Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, first sketched in 1845, was completed in 1867 and first performed at Munich under the direction of Hans von Billow on the 21st of June 1868.
In his next work, Die Meistersinger, Wagner ingeniously made poetry and drama out of an explicit manifesto to musical critics, and proved the depth of his music by developing its everyday resources and so showing that its vitality does not depend on that extreme emotional force that makes Tristan and Isolde almost unbearably poignant.
Die Meistersinger is perhaps Wagner's most nearly perfect work of art; and it is a striking proof of its purity and greatness that, while the whole work is in the happiest comic vein, no one ever thinks of it as in any way slighter than Wagner's tragic works.
Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg; 3 acts (sketch of play, 1845 poem, 1861-1862; music, 1862-1867).
Ulm is remarkable in the history of German literature as the spot where the Meistersinger lingered longest, preserving without text and without notes the traditional lore of their craft.
In 18 3 0 there were twelve Meistersinger alive in Ulm, but in 1839 the four survivors formally made over their insignia and gild property to a modern singing society and closed the record of the Meistergesang in Germany.
The last mentioned of these, Frauenlob, is said to have established the earliest Meistersinger school at Mainz, early in the 14th century.
By this time the Meistersinger schools 'had spread all over south and central Germany; and isolated gilds were to be found farther north, at Magdeburg, Breslau, Gorlitz and Danzig.
The literary value of the Meistersinger poetry was hardly in proportion to the large part it played in the life of the German towns of the 15th and 16th centuries.
At the same time there was a certain healthy aspect in the cultivation of the Meistergesang among the German middle classes of the 15th and 16th centuries; the Meistersinger poetry, if not great or even real poetry, had - especially in the hands of a poet like Hans Sachs - many germs of promise for the future.
The Meistergesang reached its highest point in the 16th century; and it can hardly be said to have outlived that epoch, although the traditions of the Meistersinger schools lingered in south German towns even as late as the 19th century.
Specimens of Meistersinger poetry will be found in various collections, such as J.
Of the older sources of information about the Meistersinger the most important are Adam Puschmann, Grundlicher Bericht des deutschen Meistergesangs zusamt der Tabulatur (1571; reprinted in W.
Jacobsthal, "Die musikalische Bildung der Meistersinger" (Zeitschrift fur dent.
The art of the Meistersingers has been immortalized by Richard Wagner in his music drama, Die Meistersinger (1868).