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Wagner. Ride the storm
Peaks of intimacy
ZURICH, Otto Wesendonck's mansion. 1856
I was a great fan of the mountains,
as a good German, so much so that they often appear in
the settings of my plays. I undertook adventurous walks in the mountains of central Switzerland. However, alongside the theme of nature, the event that marked a turning point in my life was my encounter with Schopenhauer's philosophy,which had the effect of changing my past ideals of revolution. Reading The World as
Will and Representation, I found confirmation of what I myself was slowly maturing. The significant final phrases of The Ring of the Nibelung were repeatedly modified and shaped by these new theories, which already outlined the dramas of Parsifal and Tristan. For the conception of the latter,another event of
absolute importance in my life was fundamental: my friendship with the family of Otto Wesendonck, which resided in a villa in Zurich. His wife Matilde, an amateur poet, seemed to have been made to share my genius. These were years of fervent creative activity. By 1856, The Rhinegold and the celebrated Valkyrie were finished.
Siegfried came soon after. The immense work of the Tetralogy seemed almost complete, but it was interrupted when the relationship between Matilda and myself reached the height of intimacy.... Otto had, in fact, entrusted me with a wing of his villa, where I settled with Minna. Of course, my wife was quick to notice my new love for Matilde, to whom I dedicated five poems.
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