Paul Joukowski’s sketch of Wagner, made on the evening before his death.

On this day in 1882, Richard Wagner’s last opera, Parsifal — actually described as a ‘stageconsecrating festival-play‘ (don’t blame me: that’s what ‘Bühnenweihfestspiel‘ means…) — premiered at his theatre in Bayreuth.

It was the end of his life’s work: seven months later, Wagner was dead.

Here are the three Preludes that begin the musical drama’s three acts.

I’m not going to tell you about the story — because the Preludes don’t.

Well, not in any superficial sense, anyhow… Continue reading