Sunday, May 31 (31st of May 1874)

Cosima Wagner Diaries

At 8 o’clock to church and there until almost 12; R. also comes, and all the children, including Fidi, deep emotion and awareness of the solemnity of religion and communal feeling; I think Daniella will always remember this day with emotion and exaltation.

After lunch went to church again. — The dean splendid, both yesterday and today. — A photograph, sent by a friend, of Max’s picture of Gretchen shows the repulsiveness of our present-day witty painting; R. says the face is so ordinary. — R. did some work, but he tells me he would need a second full orchestra to express his thoughts exactly as he wished. He speaks of the theme depicting Brünnhilde’s feelings as Siegfried hurries away amid boisterous rejoicing in the second act.

“With me it is not the urge to produce effects, but always to bring in different instruments to provide an interchange with the others—not just virtuoso tricks. And on top of that I am a pedant who wants to write a good score for the printers. If I were to continue as I began the Nibelungen, all the instruments in a jumble, things would progress more easily, but I should need a tremendously clever fellow beside me to copy it.” — 

A walk in the evening, the moon like a face in Kladderadatsch on our homeward journey we sing the main theme from the Coriolan Overture: “That is what is so lovely about it, so tremendously new—that it has no ending, that the themes rise up and sink down like questioning figures.” — 

We learn from Herr Voltz that the sketch for Lohengrin, which R. gave to Frau Laussot, and she presumably to Karl Ritter, has come into the hands of a rich merchant—probably through purchase! . . .

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