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date: 20 October 2019


  • Barry Millington


Bühnenweihfestspiel in three acts by Richard Wagner ( see Wagner family, §1 ) to his own libretto; Bayreuth, Festspielhaus, 26 July 1882.

Wagner acquainted himself with the relevant source material for his final opera as early as the summer of 1845, when he read Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzivâl and Titurel poems, in versions by Simrock and San-Marte. The first prose sketch (now lost) was made in 1857 – not, however, on Good Friday as Wagner poetically recollected in subsequent years (see Millington 1984). The first prose draft did not follow until 1865, and the second (written mostly in dialogue form) not until 1877. The poem was written between 14 March and 19 April 1877 and the music between August 1877 and April 1879 (Wagner alternating, in his now customary fashion, between two drafts). He orchestrated the prelude (first version, with concert ending) in autumn 1878 and made his full score of the rest between ...

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