For Richard Wagner, the summer months of 1875 and 1876 were among the most critical of his life: the months of organization and rehearsals for the first presentation of his Ring cycle of operas. Several Wagner biographers make reference to his close friend and associate, the ballet master Richard Fricke, as the one who solved the problems and provided the coolness and common sense required for dealing with artistic emergencies. Fricke's diaries of this period were printed posthumously in 1906 as Bayreuth vor dreissig Jahren, and were considered of sufficient interest and importance to warrant reprinting in 1983 as Richard Wagner auf der Probe.
Translated by George Fricke, the great-grandson of Richard Fricke, Wagner in Rehearsal 1875-1876 represent an invaluable and unique source of information about the composer's preparations for the Ring premiere. It also provides interesting insights into Wagner's concepts of dance, gesture and the body in general. With contributions by Liszt scholar James Deaville (historical introduction, annotations, bibliography, index), this work also sheds sheds significant light upon the world of Franz Liszt.