Lot 727: ALS in German, signed "Rich. Wagner," one page, 5.5 x 8.25, February 5, 1877. Letter to a gentleman. In full (translated): "I certainly don't want to cause you any problems, all the less so because for the time being I could not see any advantage for you here. The permission you mentioned, to be able to produce the scenes from The Ring of the Nibelung for the public by means of your invention, I gladly grant, insofar as this depends on me." He adds a short postscript, initialed "RW," in full: "I am returning the material you sent me herewith." In very good condition, with a partial separation to the central horizontal mailing fold, scattered creases, and a couple small chips and tears to toned edges.Wagner's magnum opus, The Ring of the Nibelung, was first performed in its complete four-opera cycle the year prior to this letter at the 1876 Bayreuth Festival. These operas, consisting of The Rhine Gold, The Valkyrie, Siegfried, and Twilight of the Gods, remain some of Wagner's most famous works. It seems that he grants his correspondent creative license to interpret scenes from The Ring as he sees fit, presumably for a stage performance but perhaps for illustrations or some type of artistic exhibition. It is unclear whether any sort of financial transaction was involved, but during this period Wagner was suffering from financial problems and certainly aware of his artistic rights. In the same year he was forced to sell the rights to several of his unfinished works, including the Siegfried Idyll, portions of which he had incorporated into The Ring's Siegfried. With excellent artistic content concerning his masterpiece, this is an exceedingly desirable example.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 466
Wednesday, 9th December 2015
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