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Wagner. Ride the storm
VIENNA, Wiener Staatsoper. 1862
I left hateful Paris after a farewell party held
in a café, where Baudelaire and Gustave Doré
were also present. I said goodbye to them and left. Before me lay an increasingly uncertain future: I had no home and knew not where to go. Moreover, I was agitated by excesses of enthusiasm and crises of depression, and I was opposed,but also fondled, by noblewomen seduced by my music.
I even began to borrow money left and right. I asked my friend Hornstein for a crazy advance of ten thousand francs, even though a certain Mrs. Kalergis had already lent me that amount to cover the hole in the Vantadour concerts. I had nothing in sight and was not expected anywhere.I was as free as an outlaw and everything
was based on chance...Only Hans von Bülow was able to break this situation by getting Tristan und Isolde performed for the first time in Vienna, at the Wiener Staatsoper. So, after uncertainties of various kinds, I left by train for Austria; during that trip, in 1962, I sketched out the overture to The Master Singers of Nuremberg,
a great comedy for which I had already written the text. However, for the performances of Tristan, I found enormous difficulties: the work was considered indecipherable, complex, abstruse and the rehearsals were soon suspended. I introduced myself to the publisher Schott in Mainz, to whom I vaguely promised to complete The Master Singers in a short time, but he did not bite.
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