Josef Johann Nepomuck Vincenz STANDTHARTNER
4 Feb 1818 - 28 Aug 1892 @ Alsergrund, Niederösterreich
s/o Leopold Standthartner & Johanna Schönaich
husband of Wilhelmina Khym


Dr. Josef Standhartner
Leibarzt der Kaiserin Elizabeth, gehörte
zu den engsten und hilfreichsten Freunden
Wagners in Wien. In seiner Wohnung fand
in November 1862 einer denkwürdige Vorle-
sung der Meistersinger. Dichtung statt.

Saint Stephen Cathedral
in the 1st district of Vienna
where in 1856 Josef Standthartner
was married to Wilhelmina Khym Schönaich,
and where their daughter was baptized.


The Home of Dr. & Mrs. Joseph Standthartner
was at the corner of Seilerstätte and Singerstrasse
in the 1st district of Vienna.
Shown above is the buiding now on the site.

Tief gebeugt von Schmerz, gibt Minna Standthartner in ihrem und im Namen ihrer unterzeich-
neten Kinder und Enkel Nachricht, dass ihr theurer Gatte

Dr. Josef Standthartner,

k. k. Hofrath und Primararzt im allgemeinen Krankenhause, Directionsmitglied der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Vicepräsident des
Rndolfiner-Vereines etc. etc., Ritter des Ordens der eisernen Krone, Ritter des königlich preussischen rothen Adlerordens dritter Classe,
Comthur des königlich bayrischen Michaelsordens, des portugiesischen Christusordens, des Sachsen-Ernestinischen Hausordens, des
Sachsen-Weimarischen Falkenordens mit dem Stern, Commandeur des spanischen Isabellenordens und des serbischen Takowa Ordens,

am 28. August, kurz vor Mitternacht, versehen mit den Tröstungen der heiligen Religion, nach langem,
schweren Leiden, selig in dem Herrn entschlafen ist.
Die entseelte Hülle des theuren Verblichenen wird Dienstag, den 30. d.M., präcise 3 Uhr Nach-
mittags vom Trauerhause: IX., Alserstrasse Nr. 4, in die Pfarrkirche zur allerheil. Dreifaltigkeit in der
Alserstrasse geführt, daselbst feierlich eingesegnet und sodann auf dem Friedhofe zu Heiligenstadt im eigenen
Grabe zur ewige Ruhe bestattet.
Die heilige Seelenmesse wird Mittwoch, den 31. d.M., um 9 Uhr Früh in obgenannter Pfarr-
kirche gelesen.
Wien, am 29. August 1892.

Professor Dr. Isidor Schnabel,.................................................................................Gustav Schoenaich,
als Schwiegersohn...................................................................................................Franz Schoenaich,
Carl Schnabel,.................................................................................................... k. u. k. Generalmajor,
Rosa Schnabel,....................................................................................................Mathilde Schnabel, geb. Standthartner,
als Enkel...............................................................................................................als Kinder.


Church of the All-Holy Trinity,
at Alserstrasse 17, on the border between Josefstadt and the Alsergrund
(the 2nd and the 9th Districts of Vienna),
where were celebrated the funeral Masses of
Joseph Standthartner,
his wife Wilhelmina Khym Schönaich Standthartner,
and also several of their children.

The funeral Mass for Ludwig van Beethoven was also celebrated here.

Richard Wagner, My Life. Translated by Andrew Gay. Edited by Mary Whittall. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1983).

pp. 644-45 [1861]: "I stopped first of all at Karlsruhe for another interview with the Grand Duke, was accorded the same friendly reception, and got permission to engage in Vienna those singers I might need for a model performance of Tristan at the theatre in Karlsruhe. Armed with this command, I went on to Vienna, where I stayed at the Archduke Karl and awaited the fulfillment of a promise Kapellmeister Esser had made by letter to put on a few performances of my operas for me. It was here I first heard my Lohengrin performed on the stage. Although the opera had already been given very frequently, the whole ensemble got together for the complete rehearsal I had requested. The orchestra immediately played the prelude with such beauty and warmth, and the voices of the singers and their other good qualities were displayed to such good advantage in the performance of a work they already knew well that, overcome by these impressions, I lost all inclination to criticize any aspect of the production. People seemed to notice how deeply moved I was, and to Dr Hanslick this no doubt appeared the proper moment to have himself amicably introduced to me, while I was sitting on the stage and listening; I greeted him shortly as if he were entirely unknown to me, whereupon the tenor Ander introduced him to me again with the comment that this was my old-acquaintance Dr Hanslick; I replied laconically that I remembered Dr Hanslick very well, and turned back to the rehearsal. It seems my Viennese friends now had the same experience as previously my London acquaintances, when they had tried to direct my attention to the most fearsome critic and found me disinclined to any such gesture. This fellow, who, then still a young student, had attended one of the first performances of Tannhäuser in Dresden and had written about the work with glowing enthusiasm, had since developed into one of the most vicious opponents of my work, as had been amply demonstrated on the occasion of productions of my operas in Vienna. Those members of the opera company well disposed toward me seemed henceforth to have no greater concern than to effect a reconciliation between me and this critic; as they did not succeed, those who ascribed to the enmity thus aroused the ensuing failure of every undertaking in which I counted on Viennese support may not have been far wrong....I was able to go about the real business I had in mind. The academic young of Vienna had wanted to do me the honor of a torchlight procession, but I declined this, thereby gaining Esser's wholehearted approval, in particular. Together with the highest authorities at the Opera, he began considering how these triumphs could be exploited. I presented myself to Count Lanskoronsky, Comptroller of the Imperial Court, who had been described to me as a strange man who knew absolutely nothing about art and its requirements. When I submitted my appeal that he should give the principal singers at his opera house, namely Frau Dustmann (formerly Luise Meyer), Herr Beck, as well as possibly Herr Ander, leave at some future time to participate in the performance of Tristan I was planning for Karlsruhe, the old gentleman replied dryly that this would not be possible. He thought it far more reasonable, given the fact that I was satisfied with his ensemble, to give my new work in Vienna. I promptly lost the courage necessary to oppose this proposition.

As I was descending the steps of the Hofburg meditating about this new turn of events, I was met at the gate by a stately gentleman of unusually sympathetic countenance, who offered to conduct me in his carriage to my hotel. This was Joseph Standhartner, a famous society doctor and an earnest devotee of music, destined henceforth to be a staunch friend for life.

pp. 660 [1861]: "[O]n my last visit to Vienna [Kolatschek] had called on me to offer the hospitality of his house if I should ever return for a longer stay, in order to spare me the unpleasantness of residing in a hotel. For reasons of economy alone, very urgent at the time, I had willingly accepted this offer, and now drove with my luggage directly to the address he had given me. To my astonishment I discovered at once that it was in a very remote suburb, virtually without any transport to Vienna. Moreover, the house was quite deserted, for Kolatschek had gone off with his family for a summer vacation in Hutteldorf; with some difficulty I unearthed an old servant who had been given some vague idea by her employer that I was to be expected. She showed me to a little room where I was to sleep, if I wanted; there appeared to be no arrangements for laundry or any other service. Greatly put out by this disappointment, I first went back into the city in order to wait for Kolatschek in a café near St Stephen's square where, according to the maid, he would show up at a particular hour. I sat there for a long time, repeatedly asking after the man I expected to meet, when suddenly I saw Standhartner come in. His utter amazement at finding me here was intensified, as he told me, by the fact that he had never before entered this particular café. It was only a peculiar coincidence that had led him there on this day and at that time. When I informed him of my situation he at once became incensed that I should be living in the most remote part of Vienna when I had such urgent business in the middle of the city, and he immediately offered me his own home, which he was about to leave for six weeks with his family, as a temporary abode. An attractive niece [Seraphine Mauro], who was living in the same house with her mother and sister, would take care of breakfast and the necessary services. I would thus be able to make myself comfortable with the whole house at my disposal. He jubilantly led me to the house, which had already been vacated by his family to spend their summer holidays in Salzburg. Kolatschek was notified, my bag brought in, and for several days I enjoyed Standhartner's company as well as his splendid hospitality. But I also had to recognize a number of new complications for my situation in the further news my friends gave me. The rehearsals scheduled the previous year for this time (I had arrived in Vienna on August 14th) had already been postponed indefinitely, because the tenor Ander had reported trouble with his voice. Upon hearing this I at once came to the conclusion that my stay in Vienna would be pointless; yet I could not think anybody would have any idea where I should turn to pursue any constructive purpose."

p. 661 [1861]: "Princess Metternich, who had sensed my difficulty in these matters when I left Paris, had recommended me most heartily in Vienna to the family of Count Nakos, of whose wife she had spoken to me with particular emphasis. I had now also made the acquaintance through Standhartner, during the few days I spent with him before he left, of young Prince Rudolf Liechtenstein, known to his friends solely as 'Rudi'. He had been commended warmly to me as a fervent admirer of my music by his doctor, with whom he was on close terms. I often met him for meals at the Archduke Karl after Standhartner had rejoined his family, and there we agreed upon a plan to visit Count Alakos at his estate, Schwarzau, some distance away."

p. 666 [1861]: "While this whole Tristan affair was running its endless course like some chronic illness, Standhartner had returned at the end of September with his family. Consequently the next thing I had to do was to look about for a residence, which I found in the Hotel Empress Elizabeth. Through my cordial association with my friend's family, I got to know his wife [Wilhelmina] and three [step]sons [Gustav, Karl and Franz], as well as a daughter [Wilhelmina] from her first marriage, plus another daughter [Mathilde] from her second with Standhartner. With regard to my stay in this congenial home, I would henceforth greatly miss the kindly care devoted to me by the aforementioned niece Seraphine, who was not only tireless in her solicitude but also an amusing companion. Because of her dainty figure and hair always curled 'à l'enfant ', I had named her 'the doll'. Now I found it more difficult to get along in a gloomy hotel room. My living expenses also increased severely."

p. 669 [1862]: "[M]y only worry was to arrange things so that I could leave Vienna and transfer to Paris in a dignified way. In this, an arrangement made through the Standhartners' intermediation, involving an offer by the management to pay me a part of the fee stipulated for Tristan, seemed to afford some help."

p. 703-04 [1862]: "In Mainz I saw Friederike Meyer again....As I was also about to leave for Vienna, she was pleased to be able to make part of the journey with me, because she expected to stop for one day in Nuremburg where I could meet her for the rest of the trip. This we did and arrived in Vienna together, where she went to the Hotel Munsch, while I again took up residence in my already familiar Empress Elizabeth....Friederike's own condition soon aroused my most intense concern. She had contracted for three guest performances at the Burgtheater without bearing in mind how unfit she was at that time to make a favorable impression in the theater, particularly before a Viennese audience; the severe sickness from which she had recovered only in the most turbulent circumstances had disfigured her by making her unduly thin; in addition, her head had grown virtually bald, and yet she insisted on refusing to use a wig. The enmity of her sister had alienated the members of the Burgtheater company, and as a result of all this, as well as an inept choice of roles, her appearances were a failure, and there could be no question of a permanent engagement. Although she grew steadily weaker and suffered from constant insomnia, she still tried to conceal her true situation from me out of courageous reticence. At a somewhat cheaper inn, The City of Frankfurt, she now intended, as she did not seem to be embarrassed for funds, to spare her nerves as much as possible and await an improvement: at my request she summoned Standhartner, who didn't seem to be able to help her very much.

"While these matters involved me in all sorts of difficult complications, I had been keeping up my old acquaintances in Vienna. A strange incident' had occurred at the outset of this visit. I was to read my Meistersinger for the Standhartner family, just as I had done everywhere else: since Herr Hanslick was now considered a friend of mine, they thought it would be a good idea to invite him as well; but here we noticed in the course of the reading that this fearsome critic became constantly paler and angrier, and remarkably enough, when the reading was over he could not be persuaded to remain for a time, but departed at once in obvious vexation. My friends all concluded that Hanslick had interpreted the entire libretto as a pasquinade directed at him and our invitation to the reading as an insult. And the critic's attitude toward me indeed underwent a highly noticeable change from that evening forward and turned into bitter enmity, the results of which we were soon to see."

p. 707 [1862]: "I recognized Mme Kalergis, who had just arrived to spend some time in Vienna, being motivated, I fondly hoped, by the desire to do something for me as well. As she was also a friend of Standhartner, she got together with him at once to consider how I could be helped out of the critical situation I was in once again as a result of the heavy expenses of the concerts. She herself had stated to our mutual friend that she had no funds at her disposal and could only meet special expenditures by going into debt. Thus, richer patrons needed to be enlisted. Chief among these was Baroness von Stockhausen, wife of the Hanoverian minister: as a very intimate friend of Standhartner, she was warmly attached to my cause, and also won over Lady Bloomfield together with her husband, the English ambassador. There was a soirée at the residence of the latter, as well as several evening parties at the house of Frau von Stockhausen. One day Standhartner delivered five hundred guilders to me from an anonymous donor to help cover my expenses. Mme Kalergis managed to scrape together one thousand guilders, and these were also turned over to me by Standhartner for my subsequent needs. In her efforts to interest the court in me, however, she remained unsuccessful, despite her close friendship with Countess Zamoiska."

pp. 712-13 [1863]: "After the marked success of my first concert, I received some approaches from those circles to which, as now became clear to me, I had been secretly but strongly recommended by Marie Kalergis. My unseen patroness had most circumspectly prepared my introduction to the Grand Duchess Helene. I was instructed first of all to make use of a recommendation from Standhartner to the Grand Duchess's personal physician, Dr Arneth, whom he had known in Vienna, and who in turn could introduce me to her most trusted lady-in-waiting, Fraulein von Rhaden. I would have been well content to make the acquaintance of this lady alone, for in her I found a woman of wide culture, great intelligence and noble bearing, whose increasingly earnest interest in me was admixed with a certain anxiety, which seemed to pertain to some worry about the Grand Duchess. It struck me that she felt something more should be done for me than could plausibly be expected from the Grand Duchess, her temperament and character being what they were. I was still not admitted directly to this exalted person, but rather received first an invitation to an evening party in the quarters of the chief lady-in-waiting, at which among others the Grand Duchess would also be present."

p. 722 [1863]: "In [the] company [of my gun-dog named Pohl, one of the most loveable and excellent animals that ever became attached to me], I undertook long walks every day, for which the extremely pleasant neighborhood afforded admirable opportunities. Otherwise I remained more or less alone for a time, as Tausig had been confined to his bed by a severe illness for an extended period, and Cornelius was suffering from an injured foot as a result of having jumped down carelessly from an omnibus when visiting Penzing. I continued my amicable association with Standhartner and his family."

p. 732 [1863-64]: "I was able to spend New Year's Eve with the Standhartners in a confident mood and enjoy a poem specially written for the occasion by Cornelius, which was equally humorous and appropriate.

"But the new year of 1864 soon assumed an increasingly ominous aspect. I fell ill with a rapidly worsening, painful catarrhal malady, which necessitated my making frequent demands on Standhartner's care."

pp. 733-35 [1864]: "Now it became clear to me that under these circumstances I could no longer maintain my position in Vienna or my establishment in Penzing, because there was not only no prospect of earning any money even on a temporary basis, but also my short-term debts had mounted to such an ominous height under the well-known system of usury that without some extraordinary assistance my very person was actually threatened. In this situation I turned in utter frankness, at first only for advice, to Eduard Liszt, the youthful uncle of my old friend Franz and a judge at the Imperial Provincial Court. During my first stay in Vienna he had commended himself to me as a warmly devoted friend, who would always be willing to do me a favor. As far as the redemption of my short-term bills was concerned, he could see no way out other than to find a rich benefactor who would settle with the creditors. For a time he believed that a certain Madame Schöller, a devoted admirer of mine and also the wife of a rich merchant, not only possessed the means but the willingness to use them on my behalf. Standhartner, from whom I concealed nothing, also thought he could do something for me in this regard. By these efforts my situation was held in a state of suspension for a few more weeks, until it eventually turned out that the best my friends could do for me was to provide enough money to take what seemed the absolutely necessary step of fleeing to Switzerland, where I would be personally protected until such time as I could raise funds to redeem my bills.
"Thoughts of death gripped me so tightly that I lost all desire to shake them off. I set about bequeathing my books and manuscripts, of which Cornelius was to receive a share. Some time previously I had taken the precaution of commending my household effects remaining in Penzing, now no longer secure, to the protection of Standhartner. As my friends now most urgently recommended that I get ready to flee, I had turned to Otto Wesendonck, given the fact that my path would take me to Switzerland, and asked him to shelter me in his house. He rejected my request categorically: in response I could not avoid pointing out how shabbily he was behaving. Now it was a question of arranging my departure so that it would appear I would be coming back in the near future. In his great anxiety to cover up my departure, Standhartner had me come to dine at his house, where my servant Franz Mrazek brought me my luggage. I bade a very distressed farewell to him, his wife Anna [sic, should read "Minna"], as well as my good dog Pohl. Standhartner's stepson Karl Schönaich, who wept from grief, and Cornelius, who by contrast was in a frivolous mood, accompanied me to the station, where I departed on the afternoon of March 23rd, to go first of all to Munich, where I hoped to be completely unnoticed and have a chance to recuperate for two days from the frightful strain of the recent past. I spent those days in the Bayerischer Hof, from which I undertook a few walks through the city. It was Good Friday: the weather was very bad and seemed to reflect the mood of the entire populace, whom I saw proceeding from one church to another in deepest mourning. King Maximilian II, whom the Bavarians had grown to love, had died a few days before, leaving his son to ascend the throne at the youthful but still legitimate age of eighteen and a half. In a display window I saw a portrait of the young king Ludwig II, and felt that special emotion awakened in us by the sight of beauty and youth being placed in what will presumably be a very difficult situation. Here I wrote a humorous epitaph for myself and then journeyed unmolested over Lake Constance, a refugee once again and in need of shelter, and on to Zürich, from where I immediately proceeded to the estate of Dr Wille at Mariafeld."

pp. 736-37 [1864]: "I got very bad news from Vienna: to protect the household effects I had left behind in my apartment there, Standhartner had gone so far as to sell them to a Viennese agent, reserving the right to repurchase. To this I responded in extreme indignation, as I saw my landlord, to whom I had to pay rent within a few days, compromised by this action. Through Frau Wille I managed to obtain the money needed to meet this obligation and forwarded it at once to Baron Rackowitz. Unfortunately I learned that Standhartner and Eduard Liszt had done a thorough job of things, having already paid the rent from the proceeds of the furniture and thereby cutting off all possibility of my returning to Vienna, which both believed would be ruinous for me. But when I heard at the same time from Cornelius that Tausig, who was then in Hungary and had previously added his endorsement to one of my demand notes, now felt himself prevented by me from going back to Vienna as he wished,I was so deeply upset that I decided on the spot to return there, no matter how great the danger might be. I notified my friends there of this but decided first to try to provide myself with enough money to be able to offer my creditors a settlement of sorts."

Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century. Translated by J. Maxwell Brownjohn. (New York, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982).

p. 307-313 [1861-62]: "Then he climbed into a one-horse carriage and drove to Salzburg, reaching Vienna on the following day.

"Reality turned out to be harsher than his recent experiences in the Austrian capital had led him to expect. He had taken everything and everyone too literally. An apartment lent him by the journalist Adolph Kolatschek proved quite unsuited to his needs, and the local theater magnates, Intendant Count Lanskoronsky and Director Matteo Salvi, left him completely in the dark as to when rehearsals of Tristan could commence.

"By a fortunate last-minute coincidence, Wagner bumped into Dr. Standhartner, who was on the point of taking his family abroad. Standhartner offered him the use of his Seilerstätte apartment for several weeks, complete with the services of his pretty niece, Seraphine Mauro, who lived in the same house and could therefore attend to his creature comforts. Half-Italian and half-Viennese, Seraphine had a doll-like face framed by a wealth of dark ringlets that hung down to her ripe young bosom. Wagner could hardly have remained indifferent to the charms that had already enslaved Peter Cornelius, who was tortured with jealousy. For a short while, "Seraphinchen" or "Dolly" became the sole focus of Wagner's interest in the opposite sex&emdash;so much so that he shunned the company of everyone save Cornelius and Tausig.

"He soon paid a call on the tenor Alois Ander, who was proving the main impediment to preparations for Tristan. Ander had lost his voice after allegedly catching cold during a visit to the crypt of Speyer Cathedral, though knowledgeable observers claimed that his affliction of the vocal chords was psychosomatic. Wagner was assailed by a feeling of utter futility when Frau Dustmann, his Isolde, declared that Ander had been "studying" the role of Tristan for months without memorizing a single note. Like the plan for a Tristan production at Karlsruhe, this one seemed likely to be thwarted by vocal incompetence, and the work began to be regarded as unperformable. Wagner was so disheartened that he wrote to Minna on October 19 asking her to help him 'bear the misery' of their separation instead of treating him with suspicion. 'My earlier operas are all over the place; my new works are presenting me with almost insuperable difficulties. In my new works, I have pressed on far, far ahead of my time and that which our theaters are capable of.... No one cares about me. I must begin all over again.'

"But then a miracle happened: At this of all times, he determined to write Die Meistersinger. It was not in Venice a short while later, as he picturesquely states in My Life, but in Vienna, in the thick of his fears and misgivings about Tristan, that he resurrected the idea of a lighter work for the stage. This considerably devalues subsequent speculation about the "inspirational" significance of his stay in Venice. Wagner communicated his Meistersinger plan to Schott in a letter dated October 30,1861, together with a number of hard-luck stories and requests for money. He intended, he said, to tackle the subject right away. After his many disappointments in the matter of Tristan, he had decided to write a popular work designed to take the theaters of Germany by storm. It was to be based on his vague and one-dimensional Marienbad sketch of 1845. But could Die Meistersinger remain no more than a cheerful travesty of the song contest, composed around a brawl in Nürnberg? Since then, Wagner had plumbed the depths of disappointment and humiliation. Life had taught him a bitter lesson in self-denial, and that, for all Sachs's mischievous pranks, was the essence of the Meistersinger character with whom Wagner came---after all his sad experiences and his renunciation of Mathilde---to identify himself more and more.

"It was after this decision that the Wesendoncks invited him to join them in Venice for a brief spell of relaxation. He traveled by train to Trieste and by steamer to Venice, where he disembarked on November 7 and booked into the Hotel Danieli. He may well have been impelled by a faint hope of reacquiring Asyl, but a single hour in Mathilde's company sufficed to destroy the illusion that he could ever live on her doorstep again. He found the Wesendoncks 'in very flourishing circumstances' and dared not ask them any favors. Mathilde was once more pregnant. The sight of her was intolerable to him. The truth was that Isolde had never betrayed King Mark, nor was the subject of Die Meistersinger broached by Mathilde, who was in possession of the Marienbad prose sketch, but by Wagner himself, who asked for it back.
" view of his continuing frustrations in Vienna, Wagner prepared to leave for France.
"At a soirée given by Frau Dustmann before his departure, he was again accosted by Eduard Hanslick, who strove to convince him--sobbing as he did so, according to Wagner --that his musical judgment was untainted with malice. Wagner soothed the critic's ruffled feelings but squandered this final chance to win him over.
"Writing to Malwida von Meysenburg in January 1862, Wagner told her that his four weeks' work in Paris had been the happiest period in all his recent experience of life. Countess von Pourtalès, who had lost her husband a few weeks earlier, was the first to hear the full text read aloud. He had become a solo entertainer to the aristocracy, but none of them offered to help him or give him shelter. For the first time, friends and acquaintances shrank from his written requests for accommodation, among them Cosima von Bülow in Berlin. He even suggested that Cornelius move in with him and bring Seraphine Mauro as housekeeper to them both. He, Wagner, would find nothing amiss with this arrangement, though the 'social term' would be hard to define. Cornelius, covetous of Seraphine's exuberant bosom, declined his offer of a ménage à trois with thanks.

"Unable to remain in Paris and mindful, no doubt, of Schott's function as a source of ready cash, Wagner decided to move to the vicinity of Mainz. Blandine Ollivier, whom he was never to see again, took leave of him 'with a look of infinite sorrow.'

"Early in February, he traveled to Karlsruhe and plied Grand Duke Friedrich of Baden with renewed tales of woe for a full hour. From Karlsruhe he went to Mainz, where he had arranged to give full reading of his Meistersinger libretto at Schott's home, 5 Weihergraben, on the evening of February 5,1862. He had previously written to Vienna to tell Peter Cornelius that he would revert to the formal 'Sie' unless Cornelius came to Mainz posthaste.

"Cornelius was still missing when the handful of guests assembled, one of them being Wendelin Weissheimer, but Wagner refused to start without him and swore that he would appear at any moment. He turned up on the stroke of seven, even though he had been delayed by floods and lost his fur coat while crossing the Rhine.

"Everyone who heard this reading found it unforgettable. Wagner read so expressively that he was soon able to omit the characters' names because his capacity for vocal inflection made it impossible to confuse them. His audience might have been listening to an entire company. According to Weissheimer, the reading was 'a brilliant feat of rhetoric,' and interrupted only by loud applause from all present. He recalled how enchantingly Wagner delivered Sachs's 'Wie duftet doch der Flieder' in the second act and his allusion to King Mark in the third. He also praised the tenderness with which Eva's lines in the quintet---'Selig, wie die Sonne meines Gluckes lacht'---flowed from his lips. 'Ein Kind ward hier geboren.... ' Wagner's little audience knew that they were standing beside the cradle of an epoch-making work.

"Cornelius left at once so as to underline the exceptional nature of the occasion. He had not accepted Wagner's 'proposal of marriage' orally any more than he had by letter. For reasons that were perfectly clear to him, he preferred to remain independent."

pp. 321- 32 [1862]: "It is difficult to guess how the Viennese reacted when Wagner set out, late in 1862, to build a livelihood in their city on the threadbare promises of a theater manager, and how Tristan und Isolde would have sounded to Viennese ears had it been performed there. Ander persistently forgot the first act as soon as he turner his attention to the second, and Luise Dustmann, when asked by the conductor, Heinrich Esser, how she managed to memorize her part, is reputed to have answered that his guess was as good as hers. Torn between hope and despair because the singers proved incompetent or were unavailable for rehearsals, Wagner looked for other ways of endearing himself to the Viennese.

"On November 23, 1862, he gave a reading of the Meistersinger libretto at the home of Dr. Standhartner. The latter, obviously with Wagner's consent, had included Eduard Hanslick in the guest list. Hanslick, who left in high dudgeon when the reading was over, is widely reported to have done so because he recognized himself in Beckmesser or thought the character a deliberate travesty of himself. A more likely assumption is that someone in the know tipped him off to the fact that Beckmesser's name had originally been Hanslich. No one would admit to this indiscretion, of course, and the critic was cynically congratulated on having sat through the reading without losing his temper. Although Hanslick disclaims any annoyance in his memoirs, it is true that most of his subsequent pronouncements on Wagner contained some element of malice."

p. 324 [1862]: "True, he got down to orchestrating the first act of Die Meistersinger and spent his fiftieth birthday more pleasantly, in the company of his staunch friend Standhartner, than he had its immediate predecessors. True, the local glee clubs and choral societies celebrated the occasion with a belated torchlight procession and serenade on June 3, and their written dedications referred to him for the first time as 'honored Master,' but the master lacked a mistress and his happiness was incomplete."

Robert W. Gutman, Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind, and His Music. (New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1968).

pp. 204-205 [1861]: "In Weimar he again enjoyed outwardly friendly relations with Liszt, who had recently avoided him in Paris on account of the Blandine affair and also because he feared being again laid under contribution. Though Liszt's trunks were already packed for his removal from Weimar, he had tarried for the concerts. The Princess' absence from Haus Altenburg - she was in Rome - helped the friends regain something of the old conviviality . Blandine and Ollivier were also with Liszt, and, when the festival carne to an end, Wagner enthusiastically accompanied his mistress and her husband to Nuremberg, Munich, and then Reichenhall , where Cosima was taking the saline water cure, Ollivier being obliged to submit all the while to Blandine's and Wagner's joking in German over his head. During this brief August visit to Reichenhall , Wagner first sensed that a liaison with the younger sister was also possible. Fascinated by Cosima's wild disposition, he would soon answer her questioning look.

"During July he had finally disposed of his Paris household and of Minna, who was shipped off to Bad Soden in the Taunus with his vague assurances of someday establishing another nest with her. Excusing himself for two Parisian years which weighed on his conscience like a nightmare, he plaintively declared to her that all had been meant for the best. Later in the month he had visited her on his way to Weimar. Soon thereafter she left for Saxony.

"Money problems gave him no rest. Minna was again set up independently, and his own needs were far from small. No new income would be forthcoming until Tristan was performed and started on the round of German theaters. News from Vienna's great Kärntnertor Opera House was not encouraging. The tenor, Ander, so glorious a Lohengrin, had become terrified of Tristan's part and was succumbing to a series of strategic indispositions. By mid-August Wagner was in Vienna and took up residence in the house of Dr. Standhartner, a Wagner enthusiast and physician to Empress Elizabeth. Tausig formed part of Wagner's Viennese circle, as did Peter Cornelius, to whom had been entrusted the copying of those alterations and transpositions in the part of Tristan indispensable to Ander's recuperation.

"Wagner worked miracles with the Vienna orchestra and all the members of his cast except Ander, whose continuing protective hoarseness delayed the premiere repeatedly. Though publicly the tenor attributed his difficulties to a cold, caught while visiting the Kaisers' tombs in the crypt of Speyer Cathedral, nonetheless, little by little, rumor spread that Tristan challenged performance. In Leipzig, Breitkopf and Hartel became uneasy over their heavy investment in engraving what Wagner had assured them to be a practical score. In the face of these difficulties Wagner found solace in the charms of his absent host's niece and housekeeper, Seraphine Mauro, known to her admirers, who included Cornelius, as "Doll."

"Where was Wagner to get money? During visits to Paris, acquaintances would find excuses not to receive him, having come to see his needs in terms of a bottomless pit. In Berlin even the Bülows were to be terrified by the possibility of his arrival at their home. After the dismantling of his household and Minna's departure, friends at the Prussian Embassy in Paris had taken pity, and for a while he had lived at the residence of the Ambassador, Count Pourtalès. For the Countess, the daughter of Moritz August von Bethmann-Hollweg, he wrote an Albumblatt for piano that celebrated the black swans in the Embassy's pool (July). Only a month before, he had written such a thanksoffering for Princess Metternich. But it was Countess Portalès who knew how to express her concern in hard cash.

"In May a surprise visit to the Wesendonks in Zurich had netted Wagner little, and, when during his Vienna sojourn they invited him to join them on a Venetian holiday in November, he saw the opportunity of striking again. (Fearful of mentioning Mathilde's name to Minna, he wrote her that Dr. Standhartner, summoned to Venice for consultation by Empress Elizabeth, had insisted on his companionship during the journey!) The Tristan project, which he described as dangling on the lax vocal cords of a fatigued tenor, was moribund, and his situation desperate; plans to import Schnorr or Tichatschek to Vienna had fallen through. But Otto and Mathilde, at the end of their largesse, were deaf to hints. Poor Bülow, who could barely keep his household together, was soon bothered for a loan."

pp. 218-219 [1862]: "Though harsh, his estimate of Wagner is closer to modern criticism than is the undiscriminating adulation of the Wagnerites. As a partisan of the Leipzig school, Hanslick was deaf to many beauties in Wagner's scores, and in respect to Wagner, Berlioz, and Liszt (and later Bruckner and Richard Strauss) was unable to surmount an innate conservatism and a prejudice against 'literary' music. Nonetheless, he could never be accused of intellectual dishonesty. One may disagree with his complaints about Wagner's unvocal writing, boring declamation, orchestral din, clumsiness, monotony, exaggeration of expression, and perpetual modulation; yet, considering the hysterical excesses of the Wagnerites, he generally kept his temper, his logically presented opinions being based not on emotion but on a thorough study of the score in question. He had had four years of theory, composition, and piano with Tomaschek and was thoroughly professional at the keyboard.

"Though he fought Wagner vigorously, he never denied him; if he found little to praise in this music, he nonetheless could extol the beauty of a strong, sincere effort; if he detested Wagner the man, he found him invulnerable in respect to artistic morality. If Hanslick was at times wrong, he was not unrighteous.

"Wagner's attitude toward Hanslick was less dichotomous and generous; after the Lohengrin review he thoroughly loathed him.

"The Vienna Opera was well aware of Hanslick's writings on Wagner. Its optimism in planning a production of Tristan was an echo of clinking coin at the box office on Wagner nights. The Viennese public read and respected Hanslick but usually formed its own judgments. Yet, in the case of the novel and uncompromising Tristan, the management, and especially the cast, felt from the beginning that a Wagner-Hanslick rapprochement would be advantageous. Efforts had been made in this direction by Ander and Frau Dustmann. Even Laube was besought to use his influence. But at arranged 'chance' encounters Wagner was uncivil. Only when Hanslick gallantly remarked to him upon the relationship between misjudgments and personal limitations and declared himself willing to learn, did Wagner seem to respond. But to this call of the critic for social intercourse and friendship he was to give strange answer when he returned to Vienna from the Rhineland. Ironically, it was probably because of their supposed reconciliation that the Kärntnertor Opera House had summoned Wagner back.

"Hanslick was subsequently invited to the home of Dr. Standhartner to hear Wagner recite the Meistersinger poem (November 23, 1862). At this time the pedantic, narrow minded character now known to the world as Beckmesser appeared in Wagner's manuscript under the name of Hanslich. Wagner had maliciously trapped the critic in a barbarously contrived situation. Pale and upset, Hanslick fled the reading as soon as he could, Wagner doubtlessly finding the whole affair vastly amusing. As Hans Sachs he had acted out the last act of Meistersinger and sent the cantankerous Marker fleeing the scene of contest. He wanted no mercies from the critics. Success would come from the Folk, from those with no knowledge of the musty Tabulatur."

p. 233 [1863]: "Wagner had visited Vienna for a few days in May and June to gather' up his servants (the Mrazeks) and the dog, to pay the most urgent debts, and to repurchase what could be located of his auctioned possessions. In a fury against friends who had faithfully acted to protect what they could of his property from the Viennese deluge he himself had let loose, he blamed them for his losses and wrote Mathilde Maier of their 'unbelievable stupidity.' Cornelius especially aroused his ire by refusing an invitation to settle permanently with him in Bavaria. In his strange way he loved Peter. During the dark hours at Mariafeld he had gloomily written to Dr. Standhartner in Vienna, 'One thing! Send Peter to me soon! . . . He must share all sorrow with me.... Only death must he leave to me alone; he need only be close by!' Now he found it incomprehensible that Peter preferred work on his opera The Cid to the post of jester at the new Wagnerian court. Wagner was becoming more and more intractable. The opposing side of a problem had never been within his vision; now even the middle ground was blurring. One was either for or against him, and to be for him implied a complete sacrifice of personal desires. Cornelius reflected that he was treating old friends 'like bootblacks.' In a mood of deep resentment Wagner had stormed Wotan like from Vienna to take up residence at Villa Pellet.

"He was lonely; the house was desolate, his bed unshared, The rarefied air enveloping his interviews with the King left him gasping."

Ronald Taylor, Richard Wagner; His Life, Art and Thought. (New York, NY: Taplinger Publishing Company, 1979).

p. 150 [1862]: "Sitting in a café on the Stephansplatz the next afternoon, he suddenly saw a man enter whom he had met earlier in the year, when he had been in Vienna to look for singers for Tristan. The man was, personal physician to the Empress Elizabeth and an enthusiastic follower of Wagner's music. He insisted that Wagner should come and stay with him while his family was away, and Wagner made Standhartner's house his own for over a month, visiting the aristocracy, making new acquaintances, like that of the dramatist Friedrich Hebbel, discussing the world with his old friend Heinrich Laube again, now director of the Vienna Burgtheater, and trying to get Tristan finally performed.

"But nothing want right. Suitable singers, above all a tenor for the title role, were either unavailable, like Tichatschek and Schnorr von Carolsfeld, or diplomatically 'indisposed'; the music was again adjudged unplayable, and the whole opera unperformable. 'It became clear to me,' he said in Mein Leben, 'that my position was utterly desolate. The whole world seemed to have given up interest in me.' The same self-pitying tone fills a long letter to Minna at the time: 'My new works are far, far in advance of the time and far beyond the capabilities of our theatres ... Nobody asks for me. I shall have to start again from the very beginning.'

"When the Standhartner family returned from vacation, Wagner moved into the Kaiserin Elizabeth Hotel in the Weihburggasse, which quickly proved far too expensive. At the invitation of the Wesendonks he spent a week with them in Venice, then returned to Vienna. But this time with a new purpose in mind - to carry Die Meistersinger through to the end. In November he wrote a fresh scenario - in December, back in Paris at the invitation of the Metternichs, he started the poem, and the complete libretto was ready by the end of the following January."

p. 157 [1862-63]: "But less than five months later this, together with the remains of sundry fees and loans, had disappeared, most of it swallowed up by the expenses of a large, handsome apartment in a villa at Penzing, some five minutes ride from the beautiful palace of Schönbrunn, just outside Vienna. Biebrich had become petty and provincial, no place from which to launch an offensive against the theatrical establishment of Europe. The choice of Vienna was motivated by two thoughts: one was the lingering hope of seeing Tristan performed there; the other, as he put it in Mein Leben, was because 'with no other German city had I developed so close an artistic relationship'. Here, in the company of Cornelius, Tausig, Standhartner and others, and waited upon by a servant couple who remained faithful to him for a number of years, he celebrated his fiftieth birthday in grand style. 'Wagner is just like a child when he has money in his pocket,' said the Viennese conductor Heinrich Esser, who was to have directed the first performance of Tristan, 'and it does not seem to enter his head that it will not last for ever. And then he claims that he cannot work at all unless his rooms are luxurious and unless he has exclusive use of a large garden - in a word, unless he can live like a lord.'"

p. 208 [1864]: "Wagner liked neither Brahms the man nor Brahms the composer (though

many of Brahms' greatest works were yet to come - the four symphonies, the violin concerto, the B-flat major piano concerto, the clarinet quintet - they would hardly have changed Wagner's opinion). Together with Tausig, Peter Cornelius and Weissheimer, Brahms had corrected the orchestral parts for Wagner's concerts in Vienna in 1862-3, but this counted for little. The two men had met only once, in February 1864, when Dr Standhartner brought Brahms to Wagner's house in Penzing. Musically there was hardly a single point of contact between them. Brahms had gone to Das Rheingold and Die Walküre in Munich in 1870 but later was known to dissuade his pupils from concerning themselves with Wagner's music. In 1875 there was to be an unpleasant contretemps between them when Brahms, who, back in the 1860s, had received as a present from Tausig the manuscript of Wagner's new Venusberg scene for the Paris Tannhäuser of 1861, refused to return it for Wagner to publish. Eventually he did, but only in return for a copy of the de luxe edition of Das Rheingold. In her diary Cosima makes no effort to disguise her and Wagner's scorn for the 'crude, boorish' man and his 'mediocre' music."

p. 215 [1864]: "The press was equally consistent in its hostility, although faced with the growing public acceptance of Wagner's music, less sure of itself than a few years earlier. Much of his free time Wagner spent in the company of old friends, like Semper and Dr. Standhartner, and of more recent acquaintances, among them the painter Hans Makart."

p. 232 [1881]: "His health weakened, his energy diminished - the doctors failed to ascribe his frequent chest pains to a heart condition - Wagner now worked more slowly. Cosima, who begins almost every entry in her diary with a sentence on how her husband had slept, still records a large number of nights disturbed by pains and discomforts of one kind or another, or by strange and often unpleasant dreams. But his will lost none of its power, and he still dominated the social evenings at Wahnfried. Old friends came - Carl Brandt, who was to control the stage machinery for Parsifal but who died before seeing his work accomplished; the Munich painter Franz von Lenbach, who made a number of famous portraits of Wagner and his circle: Karl Ritter, from his Dresden days; Dr Standhartner from Vienna; the Countess Marie von Schleinitz and her husband; Liszt, of course, who stayed at the house for a number of days each time, and Malwida von Meysenbug."

p. 247 [1883]: "The hearse, drawn by four horses, moved off on its mile-long journey down into the centre of the town, up past the old Margraves' Opera House and on to the Villa Wahnfried. By the side of the carriage walked the twelve men who were to bear the body to its last resting-place - Feustel, Muncker. Adolf Gross. Wolzogen, Joukovsky, Anton Seidl, August Wilhelmj, leader of the Bayreuth orchestra, Heinrich Porges, Hermann Levi, Hans Richter. Dr Josef Standhartner from Vienna, and the singer Albert Niemann (the Berlin Tristan of 1876 and the first Siegmund at Bayreuth). Crowds lined the route&emdash;men, women, even children."

Hans Gal, Richard Wagner. Translated by Hans-Hubert Schönzeler. (New York, NY: Stein and Day, 1976).

pp. 137-138 [1864]: "Thanks to the memoirs of Wendelin Weissheimer, who was constantly in Wagner's company during the Vienna concerts in the winter of I861/62, we know of another pretty and typically Wagnerian episode:

"Wagner had been staying at his hotel for two months. He was still hoping for the payment which was to be made to him after the first performance of Tristan, but it did not arrive---the proprietor became worried and sent him one bill after the other....When one evening, together with Tausig, I went to visit him, he was full of woe and bemoaned his miserable position. Full of sympathy we listened to him and sat on the sofa in deep depression, while he was pacing up and down in nervous haste. Suddenly he stopped dead and said: 'Ah, now I know what is missing and what I need.' He ran to the door and rang the bell loudly. The waiter finally appeared, slowly and with hesitation, for these people soon know which way the wind is blowing, and he was no less amazed than we were when Wagner ordered: 'Will you bring us immediately two bottles of champagne on ice!' 'For God's sake, in this situation!' we cried out when the waiter had left again. But he gave us a fervent lecture on the absolute necessity of champagne especially in desperate situations---only champagne could help one to overcome such embarrassments....If you associated with Wagner you went from surprise to surprise. When I entered his room next morning he showed me 1000 guilders which the Empress had sent him, presumably at the instigation of Dr Standhartner [Wagner's friend and personal physician to Empress Elizabeth].

"Talking of champagne, let us just mention by the way that when Wagner's Penzing home was compulsorily auctioned off, the contents included one hundred bottles of that precious liquid. There is no record, however, of whether Wagner had ever paid for them."

Ernest Newman, Wagner As Man & Artist. (New York, NY: Tudor Publishing Co., 1937).

pp. 22-23 [1862]: "'...solely to his limitations; and that to widen the boundaries of his knowledge he desired nothing more ardently than to learn from me. These explanations were made with such an explosion of feeling that I could do nothing but try to soothe his grief, and promise him my unreserved sympathy with his work in future. Shortly after my departure from Vienna I heard that Hanslick had praised me and my amiability in unmeasured terms.'

"Whether Wagner's account of the interview is strictly accurate or not, we have no means of knowing; but the story, even as he tells it, indicates that Hanslick was not at this time a hopelessly prejudiced or evil-natured antagonist. In November I862 they met again at the house of Dr. Standhartner in Vienna. Wagner read the Meistersinger poem to the company.

"As Dr. Hanslick was now supposed to be reconciled with me, they thought they had done the right thing in inviting him also. We noticed that as the reading went on the dangerous critic became paler and more and more out of humour; and it was noticed that at the end he could not be persuaded to stay, but took his leave at once with an unmistakable air of irritation. My friends all agreed that Hanslick regarded the whole poem as a pasquinade against himself, and the invitation to listen to it as an outrage. And truly from that evening the critic's attitude towards me underwent a striking change; it ended in an intensified enmity, of the consequences of which we were soon made aware."

"The touching innocence of it, the air of perfect candour, of conscious rectitude, of surprise that men should be found so base as Hanslick proved himself to be! Would it be believed from this ingenuous record that Wagner had given Hanslick the most unmistakable cause of offense? It may have occurred to more than one reader to ask how Hanslick managed to recognise a caricature of himself in Beckmesser. It is hardly likely that he could have done so from the poem alone. We may be tolerably sure he had something more to go upon.

"We possess three prose sketches of the Meistersinger libretto. The first was made in 1845, the second and third&emdash; there is hardly any difference between the two&emdash;in the winter of 1861. The actual libretto was written in Paris in November 1861 and January 1862. In the second sketch the Marker is given the name of "Hanslich." In the third he becomes "Veit Hanslich." In these two later sketches the Marker is drawn with a perceptibly harsher hand. That the conferring of this name on the Marker was something more than a passing joke is shown by its appearing in both sketches, and not merely in the list of dramatis personae, but written out in full throughout. These two sketches were made, as we have seen, after the first meeting of Wagner and Hanslick in Vienna in 1861. With an author so fond of reading his own works to his friends as Wagner was, it is incredible that news of Hanslick being satirised as the pedantic Marker in the forthcoming opera should not have spread through musical Vienna, and have reached the critic's ears. His feeling, therefore, at the party in November 1862, that the shaft was aimed at himself may safely be put down not so much to his own intuition as to either a pre-suspicion or a knowledge of the truth. He would be quite justified, then, in regarding the invitation to be present at the reading as an insult. But even if we allow no weight at all to this theory, in spite of its inherent probability, what are we to think of Wagner's later conduct? He tells us more than once of Hanslick's enmity towards him; he makes no mention of himself having treated Hanslick, in the Meistersinger sketches, in a way that the critic and his friends could only regard as insulting. Hanslick was of course hopelessly wrong about Wagner the musician; but after Wagner's brusque treatment of him whenever he met him, and after the attempt to ridicule him in the Meistersinger, who will say that Hanslick was under any obligation to be fond of Wagner the man? Yet it is only Wagner's side of the case, as usual, that is given us in Mein Leben.

"The autobiography, then, has to be used with caution: not that Wagner, I suppose, often consciously perverted the truth, but that it was impossible for him to believe he was ever in the wrong in his judgments of other people...."

pp. 114-115 [1861]: "The clear-sighted and careful Minna [Wagner] was appalled at the prospect of the ruin that was threatening them once more: and Wagner made the mistake of not confiding in her. She felt her self shut out from his inner life. Apparently he was also giving her fresh cause for jealousy, the lady this time, it is said, being Liszt's eldest daughter Blandine, the wife of the Paris lawyer Ollivier.

"After the disastrous Tannhäuser performances in March I861, Wagner fluctuated for a while between Paris, Karlsruhe and Vienna, at length settling down on the I4th August in the last named city, where it was proposed to produce Tristan. Minna had gone to Soden for a cure on the 10th July: from there she went on to Dresden once more. In Vienna Wagner had the loan of Dr. Standhartner's house for some weeks during the physician's absence. His wants were attended to by a "pretty niece" of Standhartner's. This pretty niece was one Seraphine Mauro. According to Kapp['s book Richard Wagner und die Frauen], 'Wagner was not insensible to so much I beauty in his daily surroundings, and his 'dear little doll' [Puppe], as he always called Seraphine, did not let him sigh in vain....The suffering in this affair of Wagner's fell upon his friend Peter Cornelius, who....had lost his heart to the beautiful Seraphine some time before.'

"Standhartner having returned to Vienna at the end of September, Wagner had to leave his comfortable quarters, and as there seemed no prospect of an early performance of Tristan, and life at a hotel was expensive, he accepted an invitation from the Wesendoncks to meet them in Venice. He remained there only four days---'four miserable days' he calls them. How unbridgeable was the gulf made between him and Minna by the memory of the Mathilde affair of three years before may be estimated from his letters to his wife of 19th October and I3th November 1861. The first is sensible and tender; he is full of pity for the poor suffering woman, and will gladly do anything in his power to alleviate her misery,--- anything, that is, but give up the Wesendonck acquaintance. He still has plans for a reunion, and a quiet old age to be spent together. But as a preliminary to any rapprochement he insists, as he had always done, on her consenting never again to mention the name of Mathilde, for whom, he declares, his passion has from beginning to end been absolutely pure. Of all the tragedies of Wagner's life this surely is the greatest, that his one noble love, the one that was so necessary to him as an artist, to which we owe Tristan and many of the finest moods of the Meistersinger and Parsifal, should have been the one to embitter his existence and his wife's beyond all hope of remedy while his less worthy attachments were either unknown to Minna or counted for little with her. With Wagner obstinately resolved not to give up the Wesendonck acquaintance, and Minna---blind to the tree nature of the attachment, and seeing it, in all probability, merely as another Laussot affair---as obstinately bent on making the cessation of this acquaintance a condition of a full reconciliation with her husband, it was impossible that the breach between the two tortured and self-torturing souls should ever be healed. That Wagner dreaded giving Minna any cause to be reminded of Mathilde's name is evident from the sophisticated version he gives her of his Venice excursion, in his letter of I3th November 1861: we can only regard as a piece of well-meant fiction his story that Dr. Standhartner, having been summoned in haste, as deputy physician in ordinary, to attend the Empress of Austria in Venice, had pressingly insisted upon Wagner accompanying him for his health's sake. 'I returned early this morning. I hope it has done me good; at least I had no talking to do for several days, but only to go sight-seeing, which really benefitted me.' Not a word, it will be observed, as to having gone to Venice at the request of the Wesendoncks, or even as to their being in Venice at that time."

pp. 142-144 [1862]: "he must settle in some cosy nest if he is to go on with his work. But he needs a sympathetic friend near him. 'Heavens I how glad I should be to have the poor "Doll" (Puppe) with me as well! In these matters my moral sense is incurably naive. I would see nothing at all in it if the maiden were also to come to me, and were to be to me just what, with her pretty little nature, she can be. But how to find the "terminus socialis" for this? Ach Himmel! It amuses me and it grieves me!' However, if Seraphine could not come, Cornelius was to come alone; and they two were henceforth to be inseparable.

"When Wagner is settled at Sternberg under the protection of King Ludwig [II of Bavaria], Cornelius is again to come live with him and be his love. They are to live in the same house,&emdash;Cornelius can bring his piano, and there is a box of cigars awaiting him---yet each is to maintain his own independence.---'Exactly two years ago I ardently expected you in Biebrich: for a long time I had no news of you, and then I suddenly learned from a third person that you had let Tausig take you off to Geneva. You have never fully known how deeply this put me out of humour. Nothing of that sort must happen this time; but we must be open with each other, like men.' He knew that Cornelius was working at his opera the Cid, and doubted whether he could do this as well in Wagner's proximity as apart from him. Wagner will have it that Cornelius can work at the Cid and he at his Meistersinger in their common home; he is willing and anxious, indeed, to advise his friend about his opera. 'Either you accept my invitation immediately,' he concludes, 'and settle yourself for your whole life in the same house with me, or---you disdain me, and expressly abjure all desire to unite yourself with me. In the latter case I abjure you also root and branch (ganz und vollständig), and never admit you again in any way into my life....From this you can guess one thing,--- how sorely I need peace. And this makes it necessary for me to know definitely where I stand: my present connection with you tortures me horribly. It must either become complete, or be utterly severed!'

"Cornelius hesitated, as well he might, to give himself up body and soul to this devouring flame of a man; he knew Wagner, and knew what sacrifices a friendship of his kind meant for the friend. Wagner was very angry with him for not accepting the invitation at once. He came to Vienna to liquidate his debts with the 135,000 gulden placed at his disposal for that purpose by the King, and generally to put his affairs in order. Asked by Seraphine Mauro the object of his visit to the city, he curtly replied, "To quarrel with my friends." Heinrich Porges and his brother had called upon Wagner, but Cornelius did not go. 'There were such scenes,' he writes to his brother Carl on 15th June, 'and tears of rage and despair over my conduct: no answer to his letter&emdash;my Cid had "miscarried,"---he could put everything in order, go through it all cordially and calmly with me&emdash;at Sternberg, etc., etc., pianoforte ready&emdash;a box full of cigars&emdash;Peter as man and artist, etc., etc.' He saw Standhartner, who advised him, in case he did not mean to accept Wagner's invitation, not to go near him just then, as it would probably lead to a complete rupture. So Cornelius writes to Wagner between one and three in the morning, telling him that he could not settle in Munich now with anyone but his brother, but that when he has finished the Cid he will be willing to live there in merry companionship with Carl and Wagner. No answer was vouchsafed to this letter. 'Standhartner speaks to him again in my interest. Heinrich Porges writes him---"Reconciliation with Peter: otherwise&emdash;Egoist!" Thereupon he writes at once to Porges: "do not visit me to-day," and to Standhartner: "do not come till to-morrow," etc., etc., etc., and when they come next day he is gone! So that one can truly say that he has treated his best friends in Vienna like so many shoe-blacks.... He came in May 1861. This is the upshot of these three years!'

"Cornelius writes at the same time to Reinhold Kohler on the 24th: 'A row with Wagner....I was simply to be a Kurvenal. Wagner does not understand that though I have many qualifications for that,---even to a dog-like fidelity,---I have unfortunately just a little too much independence of character and talent to be his cipher behind his unit.' And on the same day to his sister Susanne: 'Unfortunately we have separated, perhaps for ever. He wrote me: Come to Sternberg---come for ever&emdash;or I will have absolutely nothing more to do with you.&emdash;I could not consent to that,&emdash;for the Cid has haunted me all the time since February, and is now coming to life,---and if I were with Wagner I should not write a note....I should be no more than a piece of spiritual furniture for him, as it were, without influence on his deeper life. I send you his letter. Tell me if any man ought to put such an "Or" to a friend: either everything, skin and hair,&emdash;or nothing at all. I have never forced myself on Wagner. I rejoiced sincerely in his friendship, and was truly devoted to him in word and deed. But to share his life,&emdash;that entices me not.'

"Wagner apparently got over his petulance, and still had hopes of inducing Cornelius to come to Munich, where he could have a post either at the Conservatoire or under the King. 'But if he is really well disposed towards me,' Cornelius writes to his brother on 4th September 1864, 'let him interest himself actively in the Cid. Everything depends on that now. But salvation will not come to me that way; Wagner never for a moment thinks seriously of anyone but himself.'

"That is the conclusion to which the study of Wagner's life and letters so often lead us."

p. 145 [1862]: "He[Wagner] writes to Cornelius from Paris at the end of January 1862: 'Listen! On Wednesday evening, the 5th February , I am to read the Meistersinger at Schott's house in Mainz. You have no idea what it is, what it means to me, and what it will be to my friends! You must be there that evening! Get Standhartner at once to give you, on my account, the necessary money for the journey [from Vienna]. In Mainz I will reimburse you, and whatever may be necessary for the return journey." [See the letter in Cornelius' Ausgewählte Briefe, I. 643.]

Richard to Minna Wagner: Letters to His First Wife. 2 Vol. Translated, Prefaced, Etc. by William Ashton Ellis. (New York, NY: Vienna House, 1972).

August 16, 1861 [Vienna]: "I had another shock with my lodgings. Good Kolatschek lives in a frightfully distant suburb so that I promptly recognised I couldn't stay there as my cab-fares alone would have cost more than my lodgings. Moreover it was very uninviting otherwise, and I was on the point of hunting for fresh lodgings when Dr. Standhartner, my highly enthusiastic Viennese friend (a kind of Dr. Schuster), luckily intervened, offering to house me in his roomy abode for as long as his family is away---til about the middle of September. This lies in the heart of the city and I'm getting to feel quite at ease in it; the only thing I have to procure for myself is dinner. At least so far as lodging is concerned, then, I can quietly wait now and see if anyone else will invite me thereafter, or if I must look out for a furnished logis for myself, which indeed is what would suit me least. For-- now comes the other melancholy item in my communications, which will make it comprehensible to you that I'm not exactly in a cheerful mood!---"

August 26, 1861 [Vienna]: "I cannot conceal that I am in a very melancholy humour through it all, and my kind host, Dr. Standthartner, has a pretty bad time with me. Nevertheless I am glad I can remain in his house a few weeks longer; by then the Ander question must have come to its full resolution, and once the thing has a definite good purpose, I shall find more heart to hire myself a room in case of need. Even as it is, my stay here costs an awful lot of money...."

September 4, 1861 [Vienna]: "I am delighted to see you are in humour enough to adorn your letters to me with such admonitions. For the rest, I am really much troubled by my stay in Vienna turning out far more expensive at present than I had presumed; and what is chiefly to blame for this, is the highly inconvenient circumstance that my singers are scattered all over the country, causing me a wicked outlay on conveyances etc. Neither have I any regular meals [provided me], and for the moment at least I'm saving nothing but the cost of lodgings: if I could accept invitations to the country, it would be another matter. Still, I hope for some relief with the approach of autumn, especially when everybody is in town again.&emdash;My host, Dr. Standthartner, has gone to join his family at Salzburg; I'm quite alone in his abode now. Tausig and Cornelius haven't come back to Vienna yet, so I'm happily protected for the present from the injurious influence of too youthful company on my views of life and general morals; tho' I hope to expose my weak mind as little as possible to such contamination even later.---"

September 26, 1861 [Vienna]: "I have moved out, had to pack and unpack everything once more, and got terribly cross with it this time! My host's family [the Standhartners] will return in a day or two; I hunted for a furnished lodging---lost hours and days over it---found nothing in needful proximity to the theatre, and finally struck up friendship with the landlord of the hotel named above [i.e., the Kaiserin Elizabeth on Weihburggasse], who is an art-enthusiast, constantly harbours famous musicians, and has let me have a big parlour with bedroom on the third floor, looking over the court, for the same terms as a private furnished lodging (all of which are dear enough!). So I'll here await the consummation of my Vienna fortunes.

"Those---God be praised---are gradually assuming a rather propitious aspect. Ander has come back to town, and will reappear in a week. He boasts that his voice has grown better and clearer than ever; whilst he is as full of zeal for Tristan as before.

"....So---my heart is considerably lightened on that score at any rate, and the only thing I have to bewail is the long delay and the loss of a hospitable house [the Standhartners'] that eased my so protracted sojourn in Vienna. I seem doomed to have everything fall out incredibly hard now; God knows when Luck will smile on me a little once again!"

November 13, 1861 [Vienna]: "Last Wednesday [6th] any friend Dr. Standhartner (as deputy physician in ordinary) was summoned in haste by the Empress to a consultation in Venice; as doctor and friend he insisted on my accompanying him, since I needed a change, some distraction, if I meant to hold out here. I returned this morning, and shall hope it has benefitted me: at least I had no talking to do for a few days running, but only sights to see, which really did me good."

August 21, 1862 [Vienna]: "You are quite right to be returning by Vienna. Call on the Laubes; they live in the 'Stoss im Himmel' block (sounds droll enough!). The Standhartners unfortunately are not at home."

November 12, 1862 [Biebrich]: "I hope to start [my trip] tomorrow, though; so expect my next letter from Vienna. If you have anything of moment to write me meanwhile, please address c/o Dr. J. Standhartner, Stadt 806. Wien.---"

December 27, 1862 [Vienna]: "Among all my cares and troubles, the care for you has still remained the most consuming. Nothing having turned up from anywhere, at last I begged Standhartner to advance me the needful on my Tristan honorarium. He has had my wish complied with through his banker,---so now take heart, good Minna!"

Karl Geiringer, Brahms: His Life and Work. Translated by H. B. Weiner & Bernard Miall. (London, UK: George Allen & Unwin, 1942).

p. 95 [1864]: " As to his male acquaintances, he was on terms of increasing friendship with the well known critic Eduard Hanslick, who even sought the acquaintance of Brahms's family in Hamburg, sending his photo to the delighted Elise. He continued to see much of Tausig and Cornelius. Both were friends of Richard Wagner, who was then living in Vienna, and were anxious to arrange a meeting between Brahms and the composer who was responsible for the resuscitation of the music-drama. The introduction was at last effected through the medium of a third mutual acquaintance, Dr. Standhartner, who took Brahms to see Wagner on February 6, 1864. The evening was a gratifying success: apart from classical music, Brahms played his Handel Variations, and Wagner could not but be impressed by this magnificent work. He expressed his admiration in the following words:

'One sees what can still be done with the old forms
in the hands of one who knows how to deal with them.'

"Never again were the two greatest German composers of their time to meet face to face. It would therefore seem appropriate to give some account of their relations here. In their art Brahms and Wagner had no points of contact whatever ( as will be more fully explained in another chapter). Precisely because of their dissimilarity, one might have thought that each could have respected the other's achievements. Actually, however, their relations ---mainly owing to the intervention of third persons--- became less friendly. The attack delivered upon the 'music of the future' by Brahms in 1860 can hardly be held responsible for this. In that year Brahms, together with Joachim, Grimm, and Scholz, drew up a manifesto in which they and a number of sympathizers sought to protest against the influence of the 'new German school'. Owing to an indiscretion this manifesto, which was really aimed at Liszt rather than Wagner, was published over the names of the four principals only, and in this form excited mirth rather than anger in the camp of their opponents."

The Diary of Richard Wagner 1865-1882: The Brown Book. Presented and annotated by Joachim Bergfeld.
Translated by George Bird. (London, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1980).

October 24, 1865 [Vienna]: "Yesterday evening Standhartner was with me: we've put a lot in order. Today it's off with him to the dentist - it's that monster who will now decide my existence -- that is to say, in Vienna."

October 26, 1865 [Vienna]: "Yesterday, as a result of a very poor night I was in a bad way: a tooth operation was undertaken; [reading] Balzac brought balm--in the evening an hour at the Standhartners'"

Cosima Wagner's Diaries. Vol. I: 1869-1877. Edited and annotated by Martin Gregor-Dellin and Dietrich Mack.
Translated and with an Introduction by Geoffrey Skelton. (New York, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978).

Sunday, May 22, 1870: "Many letters and telegrams (King [Ludwig II of Bavaria], Richter, Standhartner, etc.)."

Monday, August 21, 1871: "Letter from Dr. Standhartner (business affairs)."

Friday, November 3, 1871: "R. Writes letters to Dr. Standhartner, Herr Feustel in Bayreuth; business affairs, in short."

Tuesday, January 2, 1872: "(He [Wagner] writes to Dr. Standhartner and Kafka.)"

Monday, March 11, 1872: "R. Sends the score of Tannhäuser to Dr. Standhartner, to have the first scene copied."

Wednesday, April 24, 1872: "Letters from Standhartners, Levi...."

Friday, May 10, 1872: "Dr. Standhartner reports that people wish to form a Wagner Society in Prague and are inquiring through a member whether Wagner would agree to Czechs and Bohemians being represented in it in equal numbers. Wagnerian art is the only kind which unites hostile elements."

Tuesday, May 21, 1872: "Morning rehearsal, many Bayreuth people in my box, but friends too, among them Dr. Standhartner, who has come all the way from Vienna."

Wednesday, May 22, 1872: "Dinner at the Fantaisie with Standhartner, who, like everybody else, praised the behavior of the children, particularly of Fidi, at the ceremony."

Friday, October 25, 1872: "Sent my father [the composer Franz Liszt] the telegram from Dr. Standhartner describing Princess Hohenlohe's 18,000 florins as 'a ridiculous exaggeration--one zero too many,' to my great relief."

Wednesday, November 6, 1872: "Telegrams from my uncle and Standhartner."

Wednesday, January 21, 1874: "I write to Dr. Standhartner regarding the concert in Vienna."

Tuesday, July 28, 1874: "Telegram from our friend Standhartner, saying he is arriving today with his daughter, preparations and reception. Great joy at seeing this dear, loyal, and understanding friend again. Made music in the evening: third act of Siegfried. To my delight Dr. Standhartner finds that R. is looking very well."

Saturday, August 1, 1874: "R. relates some experiences from his life, the encounter with the King's erstwhile fiancée, Princess Sophie. Standhartner tells me how utterly the princes hate R."

Sunday, August 2, 1874: "R. very unwell, he seems to have caught cold yesterday, and singing is always a great strain on him. I alone accompany our friends to the railroad station; I am glad of Standhartner's love for Richard and his delight in what he calls R.'s good fortune. Comfortingly he finds him more cheerful than previously. But in what state do we leave our friends? In these last two years he has lost one son [Karl Schönaich] and is returning to the other [son, Gustav Schönaich] ,who is wasting away.... Oh life! We drape our wounds with rags.---Last night I heard Fidi sobbing I went to him, he complained that his throat was sore, in alarm I sent for Standhartner, it turned out to be nothing---but the shock, the alarm!....R. spends the day in bed."

Sunday, January 3, 1875: "Very nice letter from Dr. Standhartner, asking us to stay with him and his family."

Saturday, February 20, 1875: "In Vienna at 10 o'clock on Sunday; Standhartner, the Academic W. Society, 80 young people, and all sorts of others. Taken to Standhartner's house, cordial welcome."

Wednesday, March 3, 1875: "Received calls, in the evening a soirée in Makart's studio in R.'s honor--Count and Countess Andrássy, Count and Countess Széchenyi, Countess Festetics, lady in waiting to the Empress, who told me in the morning that for her R.'s art is like the creation of the world...Countess Wickenburg, Count Hoyos, Countess Wilczek, Prince Liechtenstein, the Standhartner family, the Liszt family, Herr and Frau von Angeli, Dr. Mosenthal, Prince Metternich, the Hellmesberger quartet, Semper (whom R. Seeing him for the first time in 8 years, does not at first recognize), Countess Dönhoff, Frau Wolter, and many others---perhaps 60 people in all. A pleasant occasion, everyone looking his best, face and clothes, and the general mood very cheerful."

Thursday, March 4, 1875: "In the evening went through the third act of Götterdämmerung in Standhartner's house, with piano accompaniment."

Thursday, March 11, 1875: "At 2 o'clock welcomed by the good Standhartners in Vienna."

Friday, March 12, 1875: "A letter has arrived from the King [Ludwig II], as exalted and enthusiastic as ever. He wants the fragments to be performed after Easter. R. Wants to do the concert here without a rehearsal, our friend Standhartner is against it."

Monday, May 3, 17875: "At 5 o'clock left for Vienna, tolerable night journey; arrival at Standhartners' at 9."

Thursday, May 6, 1875: "Concert at 12 o'clock--fine impression, 'Hagen's Watch' repeated. But R. Is tired. I then visit the picture and flower exhibition with Prince Liechtenstein and Standhartner."

Monday, May 10, 1875: "Sent off copies of Götterdämmerung (to Mimi, the King, Standhartner."

Thursday, July 8, 1875: "Preparations for the children's arrival, and rehearsals, between times letters; I to Dr. Standhartner, asking him to visit Hans [von Bülow, her first husband] and give me a report on his condition."

Monday, November 1, 1875: "Battered arrival at 6 o'clock in the morning; friend Standhartner at the station."

Thursday, December 2, 1875: "A quartet soirée at Hellmesberger's. In the evening our Standhartner friends."

Saturday, January 1, 1876: "Went to church, afterwards received visitors. R. discovers that the newspapers are saying that Herr Scaria demanded 2,000 florins for his entire stay in Bayreuth and had been turned down by the management committee! R. is requesting a correction through Standhartner."

Thursday, February 10, 1876: "Standhartner writes that Lohengrin will be possible in Vienna only on March 2."

Friday, January 14, 1876: "Letters, a very good one from Standhartner with an account of the royalties, then a nice one (as always) from the King [Ludwig II]."

Wednesday, April 12, 1876: "R. receives a letter from Dr. Standhartner, saying Herr Jauner is making the release of Frau Materna conditional on the performances of Tristan and Walküre in Vienna next winter. So, before the work has even been done here, the seeds of its dissolution are being sown!"

Sunday, April 23, 1876: "Around midday, while our musicians are having lunch with us, various telegrams arrive; firstly, from Herr Niemann, recommending for Sieglinde a Frl. v. Pretfeld, of whom all present say she would be---because of her figure alone--- impossible! Then from Herr Jauner, saying he is awaiting a reply to his letter in order to come to an agreement with Frau Materna! A veritable parade of baseness R. refers him to his letter to Dr. Standhartner and concludes with the sentence that he hopes he will not have to prepare himself for a hostile attitude on the part of the management."

Wednesday, March 28, 1877: "God be praised! R. is continuing to work on Parsifal, even though it means we sometimes have to deal with repugnant business matters till late in the night. Herr Hodge asks for a postponement of the guaranteed payment, we grant it to him through the lawyer.&emdash;Arrival of Richter, very vulgarly bringing the 20,000 marks, with the request that R. should sign a declaration of consent to the performance of the other three works. R. is standing by what my father has written to Standhartner. R[ichter] praises Die Walküre in Vienna---from my father's account, I gather that it lacks all dedication and nobility."

Saturday, April 21, 1877: "R. writes to friend Standhartner, setting out the terms for the use of the Nibelungen: ten percent instead of seven; 20,000 marks as an advance (not as a gift); in return, exclusive rights for the Austrian monarchy."

Wednesday, April 25, 1877: "From friend Standhartner a telegram saying that neither the Prince nor the management is raising any significant objections to R.'s proposals (10 percent, 20,000 marks advance)."

Wednesday, August 1, 1877: "Once again in Wahnfried, Friend Standhartner."

Friday, August 3, 1877: "friend Standhartner departs."

The Letters of Franz Liszt to Marie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein. Translated and Edited by Howard E. Hugo. (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1971).

March 31, 1877 [Bayreuth]: "You know that Standhartner and M. Jauner have saddled me with a commission, concerning the complete performance at Vienna of the tetralogy, 'The Ring of the Nibelungs.' Wagner is now not at all inclined to deal with the Opera directors: the obvious proof, is that he declined the twenty thousand Mark letter of credit brought him by Richter the day before yesterday, as a premium from M. Jauner for the "Nibelungs." When I spoke to him, however, of the supreme good-will that the Emperor so kindly displayed toward his work, he answered me immediately in tones of real emotion:

`As soon as His Majesty will be so good to convey me his desire to see my Nibelungs performed at Vienna,, I shall comply most respectfully, and then place my work at the disposal of the Imperial Theater.'"

Cosima Wagner's Diaries. Vol. II: 1878-1883. Edited and annotated by Martin Gregor-Dellin and Dietrich Mack.
Translated and with an Introduction, Postscript, and Additional Notes by Geoffrey Skelton. (New York, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980).

Monday, January 28, 1878: "Friend Standhartner reports that Hans [Richter] has made up for his remissness and that Rheingold is a big success in Vienna---which we doubt, insofar as we have received no telegrams about it."

Wednesday, June 5, 1878: "Memories of all our other good old friends--Standhartner, Math[ilde] Maier...."

Saturday, September 14, 1878: "Friend Standhartner yesterday announced a visit, he is coming from the international exposition in Paris, and since he wrote in French, R. says, 'Il s'est exposé lui-même comme ami de Wagner, et en cette qualité il était en effet aasez exposé là-bas' ['He has exposed himself as a friend of Wagner, and in that capacity was truly exposed there'].&emdash; As always when he jokes in French he makes use of the best and most original of expressions."

Sunday, September 15, 1878: "Beautiful day; after waiting in vain at the station for friend Standhartner, we drive to the Eremitage."

Monday, September 16, 1878: "Friend Standhartner tells us about the policemen in Gastein who surround the German Emperor in masses, and if somebody has a hand in his pocket when the Emperor or Bismarck passes by, he is politely requested to take it out!"

Tuesday, November 5, 1878: "Before reading this libretto [Spontini's Fernand Cortez] he received and answered a letter from friend Standh....He tells me that St[andhartner] was pleased with his clear, straightforward letter."

Tuesday, November 12, 1878: "He comes upstairs to fetch me, sits down beside me, and suddenly laughs about Gurnemanz's herbs and roots: 'He sounds so cross, so disgruntled.' Then he became a bit impatient and said, 'If you only knew!' And soon I do know, for when I enter the salon I see a magnificent Persian carpet for my room lying there! . . . He had been in correspondence with Standhartner about it, and now he sends off a telegram of thanks, signed 'He and she.'"

Tuesday, January 4, 1881: "A nice letter from Standhartner pleases him and starts him reminiscing about Vienna; St. is proof, he says, that one can get through to the Viennese with music&emdash;how much had he done for him when he settled in Vienna! He describes the bone structure of Standhartner's skull as frighteningly Slavonic, yet at the same time pleasing."

Saturday, May 21, 1881: "At coffeetime the Standhartners appear, father and daughter; introductions and memories of Vienna."

Sunday, May 22, 1881: "R. slept well; the Flower Greeting takes place a 8 o'clock and is very successful, the clock presented by Fidi-Parsifal delights R., and he is pleased with the flower costumes. The coats of arms of the Wagner Society towns genuinely surprise him, and he is pleased with the ceiling. In a mood of divine happiness he strolls to the summerhouse with me in the blue robe, and we exchange gold pens and little poems! Our lunch table consists of: Standhartners 3 (with Gustav!), Ritters (the parents), the Count, Jouk., Boni, Lusch, and Fidi; in the hall Eva, Loldi, Ferdi Jager, Julchen and Elsa; the latter two have to slip away unnoticed, so that the singing of the verse will float down from the gallery. Siegfried speaks Stein's poem very well, splendidly proposing the health of eternal youth, and then in a full voice Elsa movingly sings 'Nicht Gut noch Pracht,' etc., from above.---Over coffee Faf from the Festival Theater appears with the program for this evening on his back. The dear good children act out the little farces by Lope and Sachs magnificently, and Lusch speaks Wolz's linking epilogue particularly well. To the conclusion of the Sachs play J. Rub. linked the Prelude to Die Msinger, and when R. went into the salon, the children, in different costumes, sang his 'Gruss der Getreuen'; at the conclusion of the evening, after the meal, came the 'Kaisermarsch,' with altered text. All splendidly done by the children, though we are not entirely successful in sustaining the mood. Before lunch R. was upset by the military band, which he---somewhat to my concern---had allowed to take part, and it required Siegfried's toast to raise his spirits again. In the evening he was irked by the dullness of our friends, he asked Standhartner to remain behind, without considering that the stepson [G. Schönaich] would also then remain, and the presence of this man whom he cannot bear kept him from expressing all that was in his heart, and that made him almost painfully unhappy. The successful parts are what delighted me---the fact that unbidden things intervene no longer bothers me, however much it once used to pain me: I keep remembering that 'all transient things are but an image.'"

Monday, November 6, 1882: "I have to wait a long time in Saint Mark's Square for him [Wagner], and when he arrives with the children, he tells me he had a very severe spasm (I wrote to Standhartner). But he quickly recovers."

Postscript, p. 1014: "Paul von Joukowsky described Wagner's death in a letter written on February 22, 1883, to Malwida von Meysenburg:

"It was as glorious as his life. We were all waiting for him to appear at table, for he had sent word to us to begin lunch without him. In the meantime he had sent for the doctor on account of his usual spasms; then at about 2:30 he sent Betty to fetch Frau Wagner. The doctor came at 3:00, which made us all feel easier; but around 4 o'clock, since nobody had come out of his room, we became worried; then suddenly Georg appeared and told us simply that it was all over. He died at around 3 o'clock in the arms of his wife, without suffering, falling asleep with an expression on his face of such nobility and peace that the memory of it will never leave me. She was alone with him the whole of the first day and night, but then the doctor managed to persuade her to go into another room. Since then I have not seen her, and I shall never see her again; nobody will, except for the children and Gross and his wife, since he is their legal guardian. She will live in the upper rooms of the house, existing only for his memory and for the children; everything else in life has ceased to exist for her. So write only to the children, for she will never read a letter again. Since her dearest wish, to die with him, was not fulfilled, she means at least to be dead to all others and to lead the only life fitting for her, that of a nun who will be a constant source of divine consolation to her children. That is great, and in complete accord with all else in her life...."

Certainly Cosima's first intention was exactly as Joukowsky described it. In her desire for death she refused all nourishment for many hours after Wagner died, then, yielding to the inevitable, cut off her hair and laid it in Wagner's coffin. Hidden from sight in black robes, she accompanied her husband's body in the train back to Bayreuth. At Wahnfried it was carried to the grave at the bottom of the garden by Muncker, Peustel, Gross, Wolzogen, Seidl, Joukowsky, Wilhelmj, Porges, Levi, Richter, Standhartner, and Niemann. Daniela, Isolde, Eva, and Siegfried walked beside the coffin&emdash;Blondine, expecting her first child, was not present. Only after their friends had left did Cosima emerge from the house to join her children as the coffin was lowered into the grave."

W. J. Henderson, Richard Wagner: His Life and His Dramas. A Biographical Study of the Man and an Exploration of His Work. (New York, NY: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1901).

pp. 149-150 [1883]: "The exertions necessary for the production of 'Parsifal' had told severely on Wagner. It is said that at one rehearsal he fainted, and, on recovering, exclaimed "Once more I have beaten Death.' Dr. Standhartner, one of his firm Vienese friends, examined him in the course of the summer, and found that a heart affection [sic], from which the composer had long been suffering, had made dangerous progress. Wagner was not told of his exact condition, but he was warned that immediate rest and relef from care was absolutely essentoal."

Adrian Williams, Portrait of Liszt By Himself and His Contemporaries. (Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 1990).

pp. 650-651 [1885]: August Stradal*: "One morning, when Dr Standhartner, the longstanding friend of Wagner, Schoenaich, the well-known writer on music, and I were at the Master's [Liszt]. Anton Bruckner appeared. He was wearing an old-fashioned tailcoat. and in his hand held an opera hat. His clothes were not quite up to date. for with the coat he wore short grey leggings out of which peeped a pair of enormous boots. A smile came over all faces, especially when Bruckner addressed Liszt humbly with the words, 'Your Grace, Herr Canon'. He had come to ask Liszt to recommend a performance of his Seventh Symphony at the Karlsruhe Tonkünstler-Versammlung (under Mottl). Liszt apparently found Bruckner's request difficult to refuse. It was no longer possible to include the whole work, however, as the programme had already been drawn up. Otherwise amenable to all requests, he seemed to find Bruckner's reiterated entreaties disagreeable. At this short meeting between the two masters I felt that Liszt had no great liking for Bruckner as a composer. To be sure, I remember that on saying farewell he showed Bruckner great friendliness, promising that if it were still possible he would comply with his request. But at the Tonkünstler-Versammlung only the Adagio of the symphony was played. After the return from Karlsruhe to Weimar. Liszt did indeed express a favourable opinion of the Adagio, but, all the same, one had the impression that the work did not impress him particularly....

"Before leaving Vienna he visited the Musicians' Society. Rubinstein, who was in the Austrian capital to attend rehearsals of his opera Nero, also turned up that evening, as did Brahms, the Society's honorary president."

*August Stradal (1860-1930), a German-Bohemian pianist, was a pupil of Liszt.

Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde

The Great Hall

Dr. Josef Standthartner was a Director


Return to My Introduction Page for Genealogy.