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An anonymous donor sends autograph letter of Richard Wagner to a Benedictine library


Biblioteca de Montserrat

Miriam Diez Bosch - published on 08/01/17

The library of the Benedictine Monastery of Montserrat, in Barcelona, was not expecting this gift.

The Library of the Catalonian Benedictine Monastery of Montserrat has received an autograph letter from the opera composer Richard Wagner (Leipzig, 1813-Venice, 1883). The letter is 18 x 11.5 cm and is written in blue ink on paper, written in French and addressed to the editor of the newspaper El Periódico Ilustrado Español, dated 1881.

This is the content of Wagner’s letter:

To the Director of the Periódico Ilustrado Español. From Gaul, where heroic Goths created and defended an asylum to threatened Christianity, the swan knight set out for Flanders. He returns to his country for the centenary of He whose genius and destiny called him to be the conscious interpreter of the instincts of his people. May this coincidence be seen as a homage rendered by the supernatural to the memory of the poet whose work and life show us the fusion operated by the art of real life and religious sentiment. It may also bode well for Lohengrin’s return to the region from which he left. Richard Wagner.

The letter was bought by a donor at La Suite Gallery in Barcelona, and is now preserved in the manuscript section of the Montserrat Monastery library. Wagner spent time at the monastery, and it is believed to be the inspiration for the Grail castle of Montsalvat in his opera Parsifal.

Read more:

This letter was acquired in an auction in memory of the pre-wagnerian Catalonian pioneers Marsillach, Letamendi and Pena. Following this Catalonian operatic tradition, the Festivals of Bayreuth visited the theater of the Lycee of the Opera in Barcelona twice.

The library of Montserrat was founded in the 11th century, and its catalog can be visited here.


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