Die Sieger

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Die Sieger
Draft for an opera libretto by Richard Wagner
Willich, Casar - Richard Wagner - Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig.jpeg
Portrait of Wagner who wrote the text 1856 to 1858, c. 1862
LanguageGerman
Based onLegends of Prakriti and Ānanda

Die Sieger (The Victors; WWV 89), is a draft sketch for an opera text by Richard Wagner.

The Wagner-Werk-Verzeichnis, usually shortened to WWV, is an index and musicological guide to the 113 musical compositions and works for the stage of Richard Wagner compiled by John Deathridge, Martin Geck, and Egon Voss.

Opera artform combining sung text and musical score in a theatrical setting

Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.

Richard Wagner German composer

Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is chiefly known for his operas. Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Carl Maria von Weber and Giacomo Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionised opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk, by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama. He described this vision in a series of essays published between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised these ideas most fully in the first half of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen.

Die Sieger was drafted between 1856 and 1858, at a period when Wagner had become greatly interested in Buddhism. The fragmentary prose sketch which survives shows that it was based on legends which Wagner discovered in Eugène Burnouf's 1844 Introduction to the History of Buddhism . The story tells of the love of the outcast chandala Prakriti for the monk Ānanda. Although both are ostracised by the other monks, Buddha permits their chaste union, and allows Prakriti to join the monastic community. [1]

Buddhism World religion, founded by the Buddha

Buddhism is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. Buddhism originated in ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars: Theravada and Mahayana.

Eugène Burnouf French scholar and orientalist

Eugène Burnouf was a French scholar, an Indologist and orientalist. His notable works include a study of Sanskrit literature, translation of the Hindu text Bhagavata Purana and Buddhist text Lotus Sutra. He wrote an introductory text on Buddhism and also made significant contributions to the deciphering of Old Persian cuneiform.

Chandala (चांडाल) is a Sanskrit word for someone who deals with disposal of corpses, and is a Hindu lower caste, traditionally considered to be untouchable.

Writing to Marie Sayn-Wittgenstein in 1857, Wagner refers to the girl as 'Savitri' and suggests a three-act structure. [2] He further wrote about the project to Mathilde Wesendonck from Venice in 1858, comparing himself and Mathilde to Ananda and Savitri. [3]

Mathilde Wesendonck German poet

Mathilde Wesendonck was a German poet and author. The words of five of her verses were the basis of her friend Richard Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder. He may have been her paramour.

Venice Comune in Veneto, Italy

Venice is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. It is situated on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges. The islands are located in the shallow Venetian Lagoon, an enclosed bay that lies between the mouths of the Po and the Piave rivers. In 2018, 260,897 people resided in the Comune di Venezia, of whom around 55,000 live in the historical city of Venice. Together with Padua and Treviso, the city is included in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area (PATREVE), which is considered a statistical metropolitan area, with a total population of 2.6 million.

No musical sketches for this work are known to have been undertaken. Although Wagner planned a production of Die Sieger for 1870 in his 1865 programme of proposals for King Ludwig II of Bavaria, he never progressed it; however elements of the story persist in his opera Parsifal . [4] [5]

Ludwig II of Bavaria King of Bavaria

Ludwig II was King of Bavaria from 1864 until his death in 1886. He is sometimes called the Swan King or der Märchenkönig. He also held the titles of Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, Duke of Franconia, and Duke in Swabia.

<i>Parsifal</i> opera in three acts by Richard Wagner

Parsifal is an opera in three acts by German composer Richard Wagner. It is loosely based on Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach, a 13th-century epic poem of the Arthurian knight Parzival (Percival) and his quest for the Holy Grail.

Elements of Die Sieger were used by the British composer Jonathan Harvey in his own opera, Wagner Dream (2007).

Jonathan Dean Harvey was a British composer. He held teaching positions at universities and music conservatories in Europe and the USA and was frequently invited to teach in summer schools around the world.

Wagner Dream is an opera by Jonathan Harvey, premiered in 2007, to a libretto by Jean-Claude Carrière, which intertwines events on the last day of the life of Richard Wagner with elements from a fragmentary opera sketch by Wagner himself, Die Sieger.

Related Research Articles

Ānanda Attendant of the Buddha and main figure in First Buddhist Council

Ānanda was the primary attendant of the Buddha and one of his ten principal disciples. Among the Buddha's many disciples, Ānanda stood out for having the best memory. Most of the texts of the early Buddhist Sutta-Piṭaka are attributed to his recollection of the Buddha's teachings during the First Buddhist Council. For that reason, he is known as the Treasurer of the Dhamma, with Dhamma referring to the Buddha's teaching. In Early Buddhist Texts, Ānanda was the first cousin of the Buddha. Although the early texts do not agree on many parts of Ānanda's early life, they do agree that Ānanda was ordained as a monk and that Puṇṇa Mantāniputta became his teacher. Twenty years in the Buddha's ministry, Ānanda became the attendant of the Buddha, when the Buddha selected him for this task. Ānanda performed his duties with great devotion and care, and acted as an intermediary between the Buddha and the laypeople, as well as the saṅgha. He accompanied the Buddha for the rest of his life, acting not only as an assistant, but also a secretary and a mouthpiece.

<i>The Flying Dutchman</i> (opera) opera

The Flying Dutchman, WWV 63, is a German-language opera, with libretto and music by Richard Wagner. The central theme is redemption through love. Wagner conducted the premiere at the Königliches Hoftheater in Dresden in 1843.

<i>Tristan und Isolde</i> opera by Richard Wagner

Tristan und Isolde, WWV 90, is an opera, or music drama, in three acts by Richard Wagner to a German libretto by the composer, based largely on the 12th-century romance Tristan by Gottfried von Strassburg. It was composed between 1857 and 1859 and premiered at the Königliches Hof- und Nationaltheater in Munich on 10 June 1865 with Hans von Bülow conducting. Wagner referred to the work not as an opera, but called it "eine Handlung", which was the equivalent of the term used by the Spanish playwright Calderón for his dramas.

<i>Die Walküre</i> opera by Richard Wagner

Die Walküre, WWV 86B is the second of the four music dramas that constitute Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen,. It was performed, as a single opera, at the National Theatre Munich on 26 June 1870, and received its first performance as part of the Ring cycle at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus on 14 August 1876.

Das Judenthum in der Musik antisemitic work on music theory by Richard Wagner

"Das Judenthum in der Musik" is an essay by Richard Wagner which attacks Jews in general and the composers Giacomo Meyerbeer and Felix Mendelssohn in particular. It was published under a pseudonym in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (NZM) of Leipzig in September 1850 and was reissued in a greatly expanded version under Wagner's name in 1869. It is regarded by some as an important landmark in the history of German antisemitism.

<i>Tannhäuser</i> (opera) opera by Richard Wagner

Tannhäuser, is an 1845 opera in three acts, music and text by Richard Wagner, based on two German legends: Tannhäuser, the legendary medieval German Minnesänger and poet, and the tale of the Wartburg Song Contest. The story centers on the struggle between sacred and profane love, and redemption through love, a theme running through much of Wagner's mature work.

<i>Wesendonck Lieder</i>

Wesendonck Lieder, WWV 91, is the common name of a set of five songs for female voice and piano by Richard Wagner, Fünf Gedichte für eine Frauenstimme. He set five poems by Mathilde Wesendonck while he was working on his opera Tristan und Isolde. The songs, together with the Siegfried Idyll, are the two non-operatic works by Wagner most regularly performed.

Composition of <i>Der Ring des Nibelungen</i>

The evolution of Richard Wagner's operatic tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen was a long and tortuous process, and the precise sequence of events which led the composer to embark upon such a vast undertaking is still unclear. The composition of the text took place between 1848 and 1853, when all four libretti were privately printed; but the closing scene of the final opera, Götterdämmerung, was revised a number of times between 1856 and 1872. The names of the last two Ring operas, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, were probably not definitively settled until 1856.

The composition of the operatic tetralogy The Ring of the Nibelung occupied Richard Wagner for more than a quarter of a century. Conceived around 1848, the work was not finished until 1874, less than two years before the entire cycle was given its premiere at Bayreuth. Most of this time was devoted to the composition of the music, the text having been largely completed in about four years.

Bayreuth canon

The Bayreuth canon consists of those operas by the German composer Richard Wagner (1813–1883) that have been performed at the Bayreuth Festival. The festival, which is dedicated to the staging of these works, was founded by Wagner in 1876 in the Bavarian town of Bayreuth, and has continued under the directorship of his family since his death. Although it was not originally held annually, it has taken place in July and August every year since the 75th anniversary season in 1951. Its venue is the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which was built for the first festival. Attendance at the festival is often thought of as a pilgrimage made by Wagner aficionados.

The Artwork of the Future literary work

"The Artwork of the Future" is a long essay written by Richard Wagner, first published in 1849 in Leipzig, in which he sets out some of his ideals on the topics of art in general and music drama in particular.

Wieland der Schmied(Wieland the Smith) is a draft by Richard Wagner for an opera libretto based on the Germanic legend of Wayland Smith. It is listed in the Wagner-Werk-Verzeichnis as WWV82.

Minna Planer German actress and the first wife of composer Richard Wagner

Christine Wilhelmine "Minna" Planer was a German actress and the first wife of composer Richard Wagner, to whom she was married for 30 years, although for the last 10 years they often lived apart. At an early age, she had an illegitimate daughter with a Royal Saxon Army officer, whom she raised as her own sister. After a stormy courtship, which involved infidelities on both sides, she married Richard Wagner in 1836.

Leubald was an attempt by the youthful Richard Wagner to write a tragic drama in the Shakespearean genre. It occupied him during the years 1827-28 while he was at school, first in Dresden and later in Leipzig. The play combines elements of Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth and Richard III, with influences from Goethe and Heinrich von Kleist. The critic Theodor Adorno has noted:

Leubald [and Wagner's other early writings] are all of a piece with those plays of which high-school pupils are wont to write in their exercise books the title, the Dramatis Personae, and the words 'Act I'.

<i>Mein Leben</i> (Wagner)

Mein Leben is the title given by the composer Richard Wagner to his autobiography, covering the years from his birth in 1813 to 1864.

References

Notes
  1. Wagner (1995), 385-6
  2. Wagner (1987). 365-6. Letter of 4 March 1857
  3. Wagner (1987) 424-6. Letter of 5 October 1858
  4. Prose Sketch for Die Sieger in Monsalvat – the Parsifal Pages, retrieved 28 January 2012
  5. Millington (1992), 322
Sources
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