FRIDAY, July 24, 2020
My immediate thought when I read about this was that Wagner, as is true of all geniuses, had to eat, and that meant he had to make a living. He wrote his Rule Britannia Overture in 1837, then this in 1871. Finally, he wrote his Grand Centennial March in 1876, supposedly for the US. Did Wagner have any great love for the US and England? I would guess no. I would guess he wrote all the music, also this piece, for money.
However, several German composers wrote patriotic music dedicated to the nation and the new empire. Johannes Brahms, for example, wrote his Song of Triumph, op. 55 in 1871.
Wagner is stealing from himself…
There is something in this one that sounds like his Meistersinger Overture from 1862. How that opera possibly could connect to a march for the Kaiser is a mystery, but the similarities are strong.
This came from Bach, so by using this tune Wagner gave tribute to both Germany and Bach, and it is prominent in his Kaisermarsch.