Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Wagner's 57th birthday, 22 May 1870: Huldigungsmarsch

Once more, as related by Cosima:

During the night decorated the stairs and the vestibule, but I note by my mood that I am no longer up to festive occasions, and now, even before the day begins, here I sit, writing this and weeping. God grant my children joy today; whoever has suffered much loses the capacity to laugh. On festive days in particular one realises how sad life is! The unremarked pssing of days without unspoken fears is surely the best thing for sore hearts. God bless all whom I love, and give me rest soon! - The pleasure R. felt soon swept my melancholy mood away. At 8 o'clock I positioned the children with wreaths of roses: Loldi and Eva at the front door; farther down in the bower, beneath a laurel, Boni; at the bottom of the steps, beside the bust loaded down with flowers, myself and Fidi; at the end of the tableau Loulou. The music (Huldigungsmarsch) began at 8:30, the 45 soldiers grouped under the fir tree, at the conclusion R. emerged sobbing from the house and thanked the conductor; he was deeply moved, making me almost regret having arranged this little ceremony. Afterward the children recited poems to him, we breakfasted in gay spirits and then went off to rest. In the afternoon the birds were to be released and some fireworks lit, but a huge storm came up and we ended the day quietly. Many letters and telegrams (King, Richter, Standhartner, etc.), a fine poem from Hans Herrig (The Three Norns), a nice letter from Prof. Nietzsche. A telegram from my father ('Forever with you, on bright as on gloomy days') pleased and moved me greatly.