An extract on #sashabraus
Wagner's earliest attempts at opera were often uncompleted. Abandoned works include a pastoral opera based on Goethe's Die Laune des Verliebten (The Infatuated Lover's Caprice), written at the age of 17, Die Hochzeit (The Wedding), on which Wagner worked in 1832, and the singspiel Mnnerlist grer als Frauenlist (Men are More Cunning than Women, 183738). Die Feen (The Fairies, 1833) was unperformed in the composer's lifetime and Das Liebesverbot (The Ban on Love, 1836) was withdrawn after its first performance. Rienzi (1842) was Wagner's first opera to be successfully staged. The compositional style of these early works was conventionalthe relatively more sophisticated Rienzi showing the clear influence of Grand Opera la Spontini and Meyerbeerand did not exhibit the innovations that would mark Wagner's place in musical history. Later in life, Wagner said that he did not consider these works to be part of his oeuvre; none of them has ever been performed at the Bayreuth Festival, and they have been performed only rarely in the last hundred years (although the overture to Rienzi is an occasional concert piece). Die Feen, Das Liebesverbot and Rienzi were performed at both Leipzig and Bayreuth in 2013 to mark the composer's bicentenary.
Wagner was an extremely prolific writer, authoring numerous books, poems, and articles, as well as voluminous correspondence. His writings covered a wide range of topics, including autobiography, politics, philosophy, and detailed analyses of his own operas.
Wagner planned for a collected edition of his publications as early as 1865; he believed that such an edition would help the world understand his intellectual development and artistic aims. The first such edition was published between 1871 and 1883, but was doctored to suppress or alter articles that were an embarrassment to him (e.g. those praising Meyerbeer), or by altering dates on some articles to reinforce Wagner's own account of his progress. Wagner's autobiography Mein Leben was originally published for close friends only in a very small edition (1518 copies per volume) in four volumes between 1870 and 1880. The first public edition (with many passages suppressed by Cosima) appeared in 1911; the first attempt at a full edition (in German) appeared in 1963.
There have been modern complete or partial editions of Wagner's writings, including a centennial edition in German edited by Dieter Borchmeyer (which, however, omitted the essay "Das Judenthum in der Musik" and Mein Leben). The English translations of Wagner's prose in eight volumes by W. Ashton Ellis (189299) are still in print and commonly used, despite their deficiencies. A complete edition of Wagner's correspondence, estimated to amount to between 10,000 and 12,000 items, is still under way under the supervision of the Institute for Music Research at the University of Wrzburg. As of November 2014, 21 volumes have appeared, covering the period to 1870.