Richard Wagner

The achievement of «Tristan and Isolde»

It is August 6, 1859. You have been a guest at the Hotel Schweizerhof Lucerne since the end of March in a bid to finish your opera, Tristan and Isolde. After occupying a suite on the Bel Etage in the south annexe for the first two months, you moved to room 7 on the second floor of the main building. It is quite a bit smaller, but you have arranged it to your liking with the help of the chambermaid.

To keep disturbance to a minimum, the hotel porter has barricaded the door to the neighbouring room with mattresses. Orders have also been issued: no children on this floor, please! Nothing is allowed to stand in the way of your creative flow. From a musical point of view, the first few weeks in Lucerne have not amounted to much: the chilly weather made you feel unwell, whereupon Schweizerhof Director Eduard Segesser proposed an unusual remedy: horse-riding on a 25-year-old mare called Lise.