Wagner, Richard (1813 - 1883)

Richard Wagner at the age of 57
[fig. 1]

Richard Wagner (1813 - 1883) at the age of 57
Photography of a painting, around 1870
Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien

Whether the almost the same aged Saxon musicians - even though both lived in Leipzig - have already met before 1835 remains uncertain. The review of the Columbus overtures of Wagner by Schumann in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, indicates Schumann saw the performance at the Gewandhaus on 25 May 1835 and on this occasion already met Wagner.
At the end of 1835 also an occasional correspondence occurred that is related to the music magazine, for which Wagner now and then send own contributions. But soon this contact broke off again, which might have been Schumann’s fault, who left invitations by Wagner to his opera performances unanswered. The meetings head up with the removal of the Schumanns to Dresden, where Wagner was bandmaster until the Revolution of 1848/49, but here Schumann's attitude to Wagner's operas remained reserved and ambivalent – he visited "Rienzi" for the first time on 16 April 1846 and "Tannhauser" in November 1845
In return, Wagner considered Schumann a "strange man" who had "no melody", and his opera "Genoveva" shows errors in conceptual design. Because of this "incongruity", the two of them of course did not became best friends. Both composers had so different musical “concepts”, which also resulted in an extreme establishment of two sides:  was conducted between the two composers, whose music so different "concepts" after Schumann's death, even to a pronounced "training camp": "How can there be Schumannianer, is beyond me." (I.B.)

Richard Wagner
[fig. 2]

Richard Wagner (1813 - 1883)
Etching by Unger based on a painting by Lenbach
StadtMuseum Bonn


[Translated by Katharina Ma]



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