Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/362

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346

��WAGNER.

��Phsdra, Isabella (Bride of Messina), Maid of Orleans, Hermione, Medea, Sappho, etc. In 1870-71, at the request of Grafinn von Roon, wife of the Minister for War, she joined the Bed Cross Society, and spent nine months in tending the wounded in the State Hospitals at Berlin. In 1872 she took leave of the stage as Iphigenia, amidst many honours ; the Emperor in person presenting her with the Gold Medal for Arts and Sciences. Meantime her voice had returned to a great extent, and on May 22, 1872, at her uncle's request, she went to Bayreuth, to take part in the performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, which he gave to celebrate the laying of the first stone to his theatre there. She sang the solo alto part, as she had done on Palm Sunday twenty-six years before, at his perform- ance of the same Symphony at Dresden. In 1876, at the opening at the Wagner Theatre at Bayreuth, she took the minor parts of Walkure and Norn, only regretting she was not able to serve her uncle in a greater part.

However, in 1882 a new sphere of artistic use- fulness was opened to her. Baron von Perfall, Intendant of the Royal Opera at Munich, offered her the Professorship of Dramatic Singing, in the Royal School of Music there. This appointment she accepted (to quote her own words) ' in the hope of training young artists in the spirit and traditions of her uncle, to be worthy interpreters of his works.' [M.B.l

WAGNER, WILHELM RICHARD, born May 22, 1813, at Leipzig; died Feb. 13, 1883, at Venice; interred Feb. 18, 1883, at Bayreuth.

The materials of the following article have been thus arranged: I. Biographical, personal IE. Literary. III. Musical. IV. Chronological Lists.

I. Wagner's ancestors were natives of Saxony feirly well educated and fairly well to do. The grandfather, Gottlob Friedrich Wagner, who died in 1795, was Accisassistent, and later on Kurfiirstlich Sdchsischer Gen&ralaccisemnehmer (Receiver-general of excise), in plain words Th&rschreiber (clerk at the town-gates of Leip zig) ; he married in 1 769 Johanna Sophia Eichel daughter of Gottlob Friedrich Eichel, Schulhalter (keeper of a school). Of their children, two sons and a daughter, the eldest son, Carl Fried rich Wilhelm Wagner, born 1770 at Leipzig was the father of the poet-composer. He is described as Actuarius bei den Stadtgerichten (clerk to the city police-courts) ; a ready linguist; whose command of French stood him in gooc stead during the occupation of Leipzig, when Davoust made him chief of police ; fond of poetry, and of theatricals, in which he occasion ally took an active part as, for instance, in the private performance of Goethe's ' Die Mitschul digen,' given by Leipzig dilettanti in Thome's house, near the famous Auerbach's Keller, facing the Marktplatz. He married in 1798 Johanna Rosina Bertz (born at Weissenfels, died Feb 1848), by whom between 1799 and 1811 he hat nine children.

��WAGNER.

1. Albert Wagner, 1709-1874, studied medicine at the

University of Leipzig; actor and singer at Wttrzburg and Dresden; finally stage manager at Berlin; father of Johanna Jachmann-Wagner the well- known singer.

2. Carl Gustav Wagner, 1801, died early.

3. Johanna Rosalie Wagner, distinguished actress (Frau

Dr. Gotthard Oswald Marbach), 1803-1837. 4 Carl Julius Wagner, 1804, became a goldsmith, died at Dresden.

5. Luise Constanze Wagner (Frau Friedrich Brock-

haus), 1805-1870.

6. Clara Wilhelmine Wagner (Frau Wolfram), a singer,

1807-1875.

7. Maria Theresia Wagner 1809, died 1814.

8. Wilhelmine Ottilie Wagner (Frau Professor Her-

mann Brockhaus 1 ), 1811-1883.

9. WILHKLM KICHAED WAGNER, May 22, 1818.

The last of these dates* is inscribed on a white marble slab between the first and second stories of a quaint old house, Der weisse und rothe L'owe, in the Briihl at Leipzig, now No. 88, where the poet-composer was born. After the battle of Leipzig, October 16, 18, and 19, 1813, an epidemic fever, attributed to the carnage, fell upon the town, and just five months after Richard's birth, on November 22, the 'Herr Actuarius' died of it. His widow was left in sad straits. The eldest son was but 14; she had no private means, and her pension was small. In 1815 she became the wife of Lud- wig Geyer (born January 21, 1780, at Eisleben), actor, playwright, and amateur portrait-painter. He had formerly been a member of ' Seconda's troupe,' which used to give theatrical perform- ances alternately at Dresden and Leipzig. At the time of the marriage he was a member of the Konigl.-Sacbs-Hoftheater, and accordingly the family removed to Dresden. 8 Richard Wag- ner frequently spoke of him with affectionate reverence, treasured his portrait by the side of that of his mother, and was delighted at the sur- prise performance of one of Geyer's little plays,

  • Der Bethlehemitische Kindermord,' which waa

privately got up at Bayreuth in celebration of his 6oth birthday, 1873. 'My schoolbooks at the Dresden Kreuzschule,' Wagner said to the writer, ' were marked Richard Geyer, and I was entered under that name.'

��(Freyschutz) which was then quite new. The day before his death (30th Sept., 1821) I had to play these to him in an adjoining room, and I heard him faintly saying to my mother, 'Do you think he might have a gift for music ? '

In Dec. 1822 (set. 9) Eichard had begun to attend the Kreuzschule, a ' classical school.' He did well there, and became the favourite of Herr Sillig, the professor of Greek, to whose delight (set. 13) he translated the first twelve books of the Odyssey outof school hours. His progress in Latin

i Hermann Brockhaus. the well-known orientalist and translator of

a At Wagner's birth Beethoven was 42 years old, Spohr 29. Weber 27 Marschner 17, Bpontlnl 38, Rossini 21, Auber 29, Meyerbeer 22. Bellini U. Berlioz 10, Mendelssohn and Chopin 4. Schumann 3,

s SZ The're was also a child of the second marriage. Caecllte Geyer, who appears as Frau Avenarlus In Wagner's correspondence. Autobiographische Skizze, 1842.

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