0 Star of Eve
WAGNER was fond of introducing real personages from history into his Operas, and several of the characters in Tannhäuser actually belonged to the ago which tho Opera describes. Wolfram von Eschenbach, who appears as one of the Minstrel Knights, was a distinguished poet of those far-off days ; some have thought him the most impor-. tant figure in the literature of the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. He counted himself a soldier rather than
7 a poet, and there is no doubt that with spear and sword he did noble service on behalf of the Landgrave Hermann , his Feudal chief in the Opera, as in real life he actually was. Of his own poetry, he wrote with quite needless modesty, though, so far as we can guess, in all sincerity. A considerable volume. of it has come down to the present day; best known is the long poem, ' Parsifal,' in which the story of the Grail and its Knights is set forth with profound reverence and much beauty ; reverence was cloarly a dominating influence in his life. The sentiments which Wagner- gives him to sing as the first competitor in the Song Contest in Tannhauser are very much those which he not only preached, but practised in real life-loyal service and faithful devotion to one lady ; here ho speaks of her as a star to which his spirit looks with steadfast faith.
His other song, oven better known, is taken from the third act of the Opera. Elizabeth has been praying for the errant Tannhäuser at a wayside shrine, and has sadly and gently declined
Wolfram's offer to escort her home to the Castlo. He sings this song, as he watches her climb tho heights, with the evening star rising in the sky above the Wartburg.
Wolfram's Arias (' Tannhauser ') Gazing around upon this fair assembly - Wagner