Long and beautiful letter evoking the composition of the Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Wagner had made friends with Mélanie de POURTALÈS (1836-1914) during his stay in Paris. The Countess had come to his financial aid when he returned to Germany after a twelve-year exile and was in one of the most desperate situations of his life].
He is truly a victim of adversity! He was looking forward to being called to Rheineck to tell his friend about his plans for The Singing Masters. He had declined an urgent invitation from his old acquaintances in Dresden who wanted to celebrate his birthday [on 22 May]; but he should not miss the opportunity to listen to the singer SCHNORR VON CAROSFELD who was performing in Karlsruhe in his Tannhäuser and Lohengrin, without exposing himself to the reproach of overly neglecting his own artistic interests... He therefore left last Monday 26th for Karlsruhe, where he was detained by an interview with the Grand Duke of Baden ; he visited a talented young friend on his way back, and on his way home the evening before he found the Countess's longed-for invitation to visit him in Rheineck, but at the very moment she was probably leaving Rheineck for a destination that Wagner still doesn't know about... Now he has only one hope left, and that is to accept the invitation during the Countess's summer stay at her property on Lake Thun. On the other hand, he would like to allow himself a small excursion and a refreshing break from his work in the summer. He would then make a short trip to Switzerland before reaching his desired destination. Before this refreshing excursion, he will ask the Countess about Thun, thinking about Oberhofen. He also hopes to be able to perform some of the music from his new work, perhaps with the invaluable help of an experienced pianist friend. In the meanti