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Wagner's copy of the printed libretto of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, with his extensive autograph revisions, including some musical sketches, Mainz, B. Schott's Söhnen, 1862 
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About the object

Wagner, Richard, Wagner's copy of the printed libretto of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, with his extensive autograph revisions, including some musical sketches, Mainz, B. Schott's Söhnen, 1862 \nFirst edition, Wagner's bound and interleaved copy, revised by him for the definitive version (1868), with autograph additions on over hundred pages, new verses, characters, alterations, revisions and other changes, including all three versions of the "Prize Song" in Act III ("Morgentlich leuchtend in rosigem Schein"), major changes to the riot scene at the end of Act II in several versions, alterations to significant passages including "Wahn Wahn! überall Wahn!", to the Quintet, a complete rewriting of Beckmesser's "Preislied" ("Morgen ich leuchte in rosigem Schein") and the addition of Sachs's famous final monologue: "Habt Acht! Uns drohen üble Streich?; zerfällt erst deutsches Volk und Reich…"), the Stichvorlage for the 1868 edition, also including a few apparently earlier musical sketches in pencil (all deleted in black ink), c.250 pages (140 printed), 8vo (c.17.5 x 11.3cm), nineteenth-century brown morocco  gilt, marbled boards, [1863-1868], small tear to pp.105/106, contemporary repair to pp.39/40, inky finger-prints by the printer
GB
GB
GB

notes

This is a major source for the genesis of one of the greatest operas of the nineteenth century. This libretto was published nearly six years before the première of the Die Meistersinger, and Wagner evidently used it during his composition of the music.  Subsequently he re-used it to create the Stichvorlage for the definitive edition of the libretto in 1868, when Die Meistersinger was finally staged.  The revised edition contains new characters (six additional Mastersingers) and important new passages of text, including to Walther's famous Prize Song in the last act.  Although Wagner had often included short extracts of the evolving libretto in his letters to friends like Mathilde Wesendonck, this is the only complete autograph source for the libretto in its final form.

Besides serving as the model for the final version, this is also Wagner's working copy of the original edition.  Although Wagner made the most extensive additions in the volume for the publication of the definitive version of the 1868 libretto, there are also earlier working drafts in pencil.   These comprise both his reworking of the text and musical sketches for the opera itself.  Unlike the additions made in 1868, which are interleaved with the 1862 libretto, these apparently earlier poetic drafts in pencil appear in the margins of the printed text (for example on pages 87-88 and 139), and were subsequently deleted by the composer.  These short sketches include ideas for the beginning of Act III and for Beckmesser's music in the same act: on pages 93, 110, & 112.   Wagner crossed all these pencil sketches through in dark brown ink when he decided to use the volume to set down all the revisions necessary for the 1868 edition, including deleting the phrase "Als Manuscript gedruckt" ("for private circulation") on the title page.

Wagner's final changes in this libretto are especially significant in that they relate to the main events in the opera itself, in particular to the Prize Song in Act III, Beckmesser's song and Hans Sachs’s intervention near the end of the act.  Most striking is Wagner's autograph revision of the Prize Song, the new text of which he had composed around 24 December 1866.   Wagner has deleted the original printed versions ("Fern meiner Jugend gold'nen Thoren") on page 101 and again on page 133, and entered the new text in ink ("Morgenlich leuchtend in rosingem Schein") on the facing blanks.   The subsequent verses (and Beckmesser's version on page 130) are revised in the same manner.  This new text was published for the first time in the 1868 edition.

The original edition was published in limited numbers and is very rare: the Wagner-Werk-Verzeichnis lists only seven copies, of which this is one.   The earliest copy bearing a dedication from the composer is dated 13 January 1863; it was only advertised for sale on 6 February 1863.  As with many of Wagner's later operas, his initial ideas preceded their musical realization by many years: in this case, the first autograph prose draft survives from 1845. The first poetical draft is dated at the end 25 January 1862 and a copy of the version to be published also survives from that year (see Voss).

medium

Paper

creator

Richard Wagner

dimensions

First edition, Wagner's bound and interleaved copy, revised by him for the definitive version (1868), with autograph additions on over hundred pages, new verses, characters, alterations, revisions and other changes, including all three versions of the "Prize Song" in Act III ("Morgentlich leuchtend in rosigem Schein"), major changes to the riot scene at the end of Act II in several versions, alterations to significant passages including "Wahn Wahn! überall Wahn!", to the Quintet, a complete rewriting of Beckmesser's "Preislied" ("Morgen ich leuchte in rosigem Schein") and the addition of Sachs's famous final monologue: "Habt Acht! Uns drohen üble Streich?; zerfällt erst deutsches Volk und Reich…"), the Stichvorlage for the 1868 edition, also including a few apparently earlier musical sketches in pencil (all deleted in black ink), c.250 pages (140 printed), 8vo (c.17.5 x 11.3cm), nineteenth-century brown morocco  gilt, marbled boards, [1863-1868], small tear to pp.105/106, contemporary repair to pp.39/40, inky finger-prints by the printer

literature

WWV VIII (pp.473-4); Fuld (Librettos), p.205; Klein, p.35; E. Voss, Richard Wagner. Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Faksimile der Reinschrift des Textbuches von 1862, mit einem Aufsatz zur Entstehung des Werkes (1983). 


*Note that the price is not recalculated to the current value, but refers to the actual final price at the time the product was sold.

*Note that the price is not recalculated to the current value, but refers to the actual final price at the time the product was sold.


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