Richard Wagner to Louis Schindelmeisser, Leipzig, 7 June 1837
"My dearest Louis,
In the greatest of hurries, I am writing you a few words. After deliberating at length in the express car, I have come to the decision to now give everything to this commitment in Riga. My dear, dear friend, once again I urge you to do everything you can to deliver the contract with Holtei to me as soon as possible; it is of the utmost importance to me. Once again: - my wife need not be taken into consideration at all, - 1,000 silver rubles: contract for 2-3 years; if you could do anything more for me, that would be it.”
East Prussia is the name of the former most eastern Prussian province, which existed until 1945 and whose extent (regardless of historically slightly changing border courses) roughly corresponds to the historical landscape of Prussia. The name was first used in the second half of the 18th century, when, in addition to the Duchy of Prussia with its capital Königsberg, which had been promoted to a kingdom in 1701, other previously Polish territories in the west (for example, the so-called Prussia Royal Share with Warmia and Pomerania) were added to Brandenburg-Prussia and formed the new province of West Prussia.
Nowadays, the territory of the former Prussian province belongs mainly to Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast) and Poland (Warmia-Masuria Voivodeship). The former so-called Memelland (also Memelgebiet, lit. Klaipėdos kraštas) first became part of Lithuania in 1920 and again from 1945.
Kaliningrad is a city in today's Russia. It is located in the Kaliningrad oblast, a Russian exclave between Lithuania and Poland. Kaliningrad, formerly Königsberg, belonged to Prussia for several centuries and was the northeasternmost major city.
Livonia (latv. Livonija, est. Liivimaa) is a historical landscape in the Baltic States. Nowadays it includes parts of southern Estonia and northern Latvia. The landscape was named after the Livons who once lived there.
Richard Wagner in his personal notes, 1836 (Red Pocketbook)
“debts; - lawsuits... a bad situation; departure for Berlin on May 17th."
Tragheim was a quarter of the former Prussian city of Königsberg, what is now Kaliningrad, Russia. It was located north of the castle and was known as an upscale district.
Richard Wagner to Louis Schindelmeisser, Dresden, 12 June 1837
"I am destitute now. I simply must get the Riga position […] I have no money at the moment, and my situation will not be easy to sort out. […] Do everything you can. This letter to Holtei. No more secrets. Warmest thanks to you my dear Louis! Adieu!!”
Richard Wagner to Minna Wagner, Berlin, 20 June 1837
"Minna, I went to Holtey's. Everything is arranged, we are in agreement, and tomorrow we sign the contract. Riga has been described to me as the most pleasant place to stay in the world, especially when it comes to earning money; [...] Minna, become a woman again, throw away all your harsh opinions, be mine again!
Richard Wagner to August Lewald, Riga, 12 November 1838
“I found the enclosed poem in the “Musenalmanach” (Muses’ Almanac); though I have little fondness for the melancholy of the fir tree, it is sometimes impossible to resist it in Livonia; I have composed the piece in a Livonian key and am sending it to you with the request to add it to "Europa"; but by no means should you judge this composition in the same way you would one of my operas; the way I compose these, I think it is safe to say, is— thank God—less Livonian."