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By Culturekiosque Staff

BARCELONA, 19 OCTOBER 2013 — A handwritten letter from the German composer Richard Wagner (dated 1881) will come up for auction on the 24 October at La Suite, the Barcelona auction house which specialises in art and collectors items. The letter is handwritten and signed by the famous composer, whose bicentenary is being celebrated all over the world this year.  Written in blue ink on paper, "it is composed in French and Wagner wrote it to the director of the newspaper El Periódico Ilustrado Español", according to the director of La Suite, Beatriz du Breuil. "The letter was brought to us by a Barcelona-based collector of objects related to Wagner and his work, and is a letter which had already been recorded in the book Wagner’s Correspondence in Spain (1991), by Jordi Mota and María Infiesta. The letter formed part of the Wagnerian architect César Martinell’s collection, but it is not known if it had been published at any time".

Letter from Richard Wagner (detail), 1881
18 x 11,5 cm.
Photo: La Suite

According to the abovementioned book, in which the letter is transcribed, translated into Spanish, Wagner discusses random thoughts about the character of Lohengrin with the director of El Periódico Ilustrado Español and it is not known if it was finally published. It is supposed, according to Mota and Infiesta, that Wagner had been motivated to send it by the bicentenary of the death of Calderón (1881) which coincided with the premiere of the opera Lohengrin in Madrid.

Joaquin Marsillach (Barcelona, 1859 - Caldes de Estrach, 1883). Music critic and personal friend of the composer. Member of the board of trustees of the Bayreuth Festival. Promoter of Wagnerian music in Catalonia and Spain. In 1878 he published Ricardo Wagner, a biographical critical essay. He founded the Wagner Society, with Felipe Pedrell, Andreu Vidal Limona, Claudio Martínez Imbert and José de Letamendi.  Marsillach died in the same year as Wagner, without heirs, and left this card and other effects to his housekeeper, who later passed it to the architect César Martinell (Valls, 1888 - Barcelona, 1973) who gave the letter as a gift to a Barcelona collector and his partner, its last owners.

Auction: La Suite
Thursday 24 October, 7pm.
La Suite
Conde de Salvatierra 8
08006, Barcelona.

Information and bids:  (34) 93 300 14 77 /  suite@suitesubastas.com

Headline image: Richard Wagner (1813 - 1883) in 1871

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