The Richard Wagner Complete Edition presents the composer’s entire output for the first time in a reliable form. The conductor Michael Balling, in the early years of the 20th century, attempted to make Wagner‘s work more accessible for research and performance, but the edition only reached 10 volumes – some with grave shortcomings – and was discontinued after Balling‘s death in 1925. A further attempt at a complete edition by Otto Strobel was abandoned at the preliminary stages.This third attempt at a complete edition will be the first scholarly, critical edition, based on an evaluation of all the accessible source materials and the latest findings of serious Wagner research. As the edition is also intended for practical performance, the musical text has been kept free of philological insertions; these are listed in the appendices of each volume in the Critical Commentary. Numerous, partly unpublished works – some relatively unknown – and variant versions are published here for the first time. The edition presents authentic texts for Wagner specialists and researchers and critically based performing materials. Contrary to widely held opinions, even the well-known works of Wagner are not necessarily available in reliable editions. The genesis, history and performances directed by Wagner himself are extensively documented so as to present as complete an image as possible of Wagner‘s compositional intentions.