When Cäcilie Avenarius, Richard Wagner’s sister, saw the pile of coins on the table of Richard’s apartment in Paris – altogether the princely sum of 500 francs – she could first breath a sigh of relief about her impoverished brother’s condition. It was 1840. The money was a down payment from publisher Maurice Schlesinger for a commission which must have seemed like the bitterest punishment for such a highly creative, ambitious composer like Wagner. Schlesinger had asked the young man to prepare various arrangements of Gaetano Donizetti’s new opera La Favorite – a piano score, a piano score without words for two hands, one for four hands, arrangements for string quartets, for two violins, and for cornet à pistons. Wagner’s precarious financial situation dictated that he accept this offer immediately, and he produced what had been requested. Such pieces were, of course, not meant for the theater, but for playing at home – in all possible instrumentations, in small circles of friends as well as in elegant Paris salons. Wagner used his talent to create a sort of miniature ‘talking book’ of Favorite, which this CD presents in an exotic version for two violins. Daniel Morgenroth, suc-cessful theater and television actor, guides the listener through the most important stations of La Favorite with his narration.