Wagner, Richard
Tristan and Isolde WWV 90
Autograph: National Archive from the Richard-Wagner-Stiftung Bayreuth
Edition no.
BVK 2270
Volume / Series
Documenta musicologica. II/45 / Bärenreiter Facsimile
Konrad, Ulrich
Language(s) of work
English, German
Product format
Half-leather binding
Pages / Format
405 S. - 41,7 x 30,0 cm
Awarded with the German Music Edition Prize "Best Edition" 2013

“This Tristan will be something formidable! This last act!”

“I fear the opera will be banned – if the whole work is not parodied through bad performance: only mediocre performances can save me! Thoroughly good ones will surely drive people crazy.”
Richard Wagner

While working on the score to “Tristan und Isolde”, Richard Wagner expressed his excitement and elation about his new musical drama. Indeed, the radical originality of the work proved to be both unique and forward-looking: Over 150 years ago it signified the “dawn” of the modern era and to this day it has not lost any of its fascination. Throughout his life, Richard Wagner was proud of his even handwriting.

He constantly strove to produce manuscripts of a high calligraphic standard. The Tristan manuscript is also clearly written. More so than in his other scores however, traces of his working process are evident. It is precisely this aspect of the autograph that makes it fascinating. Reading it, one is witness to Wagner’s highlyconcentrated, powerful and relentless writing. This manuscript is in every possible way unparalleled reflecting individuality and uniqueness.

In time for the 200th anniversary of Wagner’s birth in 2013, this great work is published as a BÄRENREITER FACSIMILE in cooperation with the National Archive of the Richard-Wagner-Stiftung Bayreuth. In addition to the complete score, the edition includes the autograph concert ending of the Vorspiel as well as three pages that Wagner rejected while composing and later used for sketches.

Ulrich Konrad, the renowned musicologist describes the genesis and performance history of the work in his comprehensive commentary. He also details the physical appearance and condition of the autograph as well as giving an insight into the musical language of Wagner.
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