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By Oliver Hilmes

During this meticulously researched booklet, Oliver Hilmes paints a desirable and revealing photo of the extreme Cosima Wagner—illegitimate daughter of Franz Liszt, spouse of the conductor Hans von Bülow, then mistress and in this case spouse of Richard Wagner. After Wagner’s loss of life in 1883 Cosima performed an important position within the promulgation and politicization of his works, assuming keep watch over of the Bayreuth pageant and reworking it right into a shrine to German nationalism. The excessive Priestess of the Wagnerian cult, Cosima lived on for nearly fifty years, crafting clone of Richard Wagner via her organizational skill and ideological tenacity.

The first ebook to use the on hand documentation at Bayreuth, this biography explores the achievements of this amazing and obsessive lady whereas illuminating a still-hidden bankruptcy of eu cultural historical past.

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Um wo zu landen? Irgendwo außerhalb des gewohnten Zusammenhangs, in der Einsamkeit. Einsamkeit - was sie dem noch nicht Siebzehnjährigen bedeutete, schildert eine Aufzeichnung, die aus den Spätjahren Offenbachs stammt. Der verlassene alte Mann gedenkt in ihr der Verlassenheit seiner Pariser Jugend und des Trostes, den ihm damals eine aus der Kindheit her vertraute Melodie gewährte. Mutter und Schwester hatten sie häufig gesungen, um ihn in Schlummer zu wiegen. Ein zarter, langsamer Walzer, von dem er allerdings nur die ersten acht Takte kannte; sei es, daß er nach ihnen immer gleich eingeschlafen war, sei es, daß seine Angehörigen selber nicht weiter gewußt hatten.

Ein sonderbares Geschick waltete über dieser Erscheinung. Der so Betitelte war nämlich tatsächlich gar nicht Lord Seymour, sondern - was kaum einer wußte ein junger verwahrloster Mensch namens La Battue. Unehelicher Sohn eines Engländers, hatte er nach dessen Tod ein Millionenvermögen geerbt und sodann durch kostspielige Torheiten billige Popularität zu erkaufen gesucht. Er hatte von seinen Verschwenderallüren im Karneval abgesehen, pompöse Bälle veranstaltet und seine verschiedenen Mätressen in Odaliskentracht durch Paris spazieren geführt.

Genau diese Tendenz aber war es auch, die das Wesen Offenbachs bestimmte und sich in seinen Operetten ausprägte. So lag in der Tat die Vermutung nahe, daß er sich gleich bei der ersten Begegnung mit dem Cancan einlassen werde. Das Unerwartete geschah: er ging am Cancan vorüber, ohne irgendwelche Gemeinsamkeiten zu wittern. Der Grund hierfür war der, daß ihm der Cancan in urwüchsigem Zustand entgegentrat, - ein grobschlächtiger Naturbursche, der seine dunkle Herkunft sofort dadurch verriet, daß er sich höchst unflätig benahm.

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