|Operas by Richard Wagner|
Die Hochzeit (1832)
Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung) is a cycle of four epic music dramas by the German composer Richard Wagner. Die Hochzeit (The Wedding is an unfinished Opera by Richard Wagner which predates all his completed works in the genre Die Feen ( The Fairies) is an Opera in three acts by Richard Wagner. Das Liebesverbot ( The Ban on Love) is an early Opera in two acts by Richard Wagner, with the Libretto written by the composer after Shakespeare's Rienzi der Letzte der Tribunen (WWV 49 ( Rienzi the Last of the Tribunes) is an early Opera by Richard Wagner in five acts with the Libretto Der fliegende Holländer ( The Flying Dutchman) is an Opera, with Music and Libretto by Richard Wagner. Tannhäuser (full title Tannhäuser und der Sängerkrieg auf der Wartburg / Tannhäuser and the Singers' Contest at Wartburg) is an Opera Lohengrin is a romantic Opera (or music drama in three acts composed and written by Richard Wagner. Tristan und Isolde ( Tristan and Isolde, or Tristan and Isolda) is an Opera, or Music drama, in three acts by Richard Wagner Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (The Mastersingers of Nuremberg) is an Opera in three acts written and composed by Richard Wagner Das Rheingold ("The Rhine Gold" is the first of the four operas that comprise Der Ring des Nibelungen ( The Ring of the Nibelung) by Richard Wagner Die Walküre ( The Valkyrie) is the second of the four Operas that comprise Der Ring des Nibelungen ( The Ring of the Nibelung Siegfried is the third of the four Operas that comprise Der Ring des Nibelungen ( The Ring of the Nibelung) by Richard Wagner ("Twilight of the Gods" – see Notes) is the last of the four Operas that comprise Der Ring des Nibelungen ( The Ring of the Nibelung Parsifal is an Opera, or Music drama, in three acts by Richard Wagner. Literary cycles are groups of stories grouped around common figures often (though not necessarily based on mythical figures or loosely on historic ones An epic is a lengthy Narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. The operas are based loosely on characters from the Norse sagas and the Nibelungenlied. Opera is an art form in which Singers and Musicians perform a Dramatic work (called an opera which combines a text (called a Libretto The sagas (from Icelandic saga, plural sögur) are stories about ancient Scandinavian and Germanic history about early Viking voyages The Nibelungenlied, translated as The Song of the Nibelungs, is an epic poem in Middle High German. The works are often referred to as "The Ring Cycle", "Wagner's Ring", or simply "The Ring".
Wagner wrote the libretto and music over the course of about twenty-six years, from 1848 to 1874. A libretto is the text used in an extended Musical work such as an Opera, Operetta, Masque, sacred or secular Oratorio and The four operas that constitute the Ring cycle are, in the order of the imagined events they portray:
Although individual operas are performed as works in their own right, a full understanding of the story of the Ring cycle requires attendance at all four operas, which was the intention and expectation of the composer. Das Rheingold ("The Rhine Gold" is the first of the four operas that comprise Der Ring des Nibelungen ( The Ring of the Nibelung) by Richard Wagner Die Walküre ( The Valkyrie) is the second of the four Operas that comprise Der Ring des Nibelungen ( The Ring of the Nibelung Siegfried is the third of the four Operas that comprise Der Ring des Nibelungen ( The Ring of the Nibelung) by Richard Wagner ("Twilight of the Gods" – see Notes) is the last of the four Operas that comprise Der Ring des Nibelungen ( The Ring of the Nibelung
Wagner's title is rendered in English as The Ring of the Nibelung. However the word Nibelung frequently confuses English speakers, resulting in misunderstanding of the German title, the English title, or how to use the word outside the title. The German Nibelungen and the corresponding Old Norse form Niflung ( Niflungr) is the name in Germanic and Norse mythology The word Nibelung is in the singular. The Nibelung of the title is the dwarf Alberich, and the Ring in question is the one he fashions from the Rhinegold. DWARF is a widely used standardized Debugging data format. DWARF was originally designed along with ELF, although it is independent of Object file The title therefore means "Alberich's Ring". 
The cycle is a work of extraordinary scale. Perhaps the most outstanding facet of the monumental work is its sheer length: a full performance of the cycle takes place over four nights at the opera, with a total playing time of about 15 hours, depending on the conductor's pacing. Conducting is the act of directing a Musical performance by way of visible gestures The first and shortest opera, Das Rheingold, typically lasts two and a half hours, while the final and longest, Götterdämmerung, can take up to five hours in performance.
The cycle is modelled after ancient Greek dramas that were presented as three tragedies and one satyr play. The theatre of ancient Greece, or ancient Greek drama, is a theatrical Culture that flourished in ancient Greece between c Satyr plays were an ancient Greek form of tragicomedy similar to the modern-day Burlesque style The Ring properly begins with Die Walküre and ends with Götterdämmerung, with Rheingold as a prelude. A prelude is a short piece of Music, which its form will vary from piece to piece Wagner called Das Rheingold a Vorabend or "Preliminary Evening", and Die Walküre, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung were subtitled First Day, Second Day and Third Day, respectively, of the trilogy proper. A trilogy is a set of three works of art usually Literature, Film, or Video games, that are connected and can be seen either as a single work or three
The scale and scope of the story is epic. It follows the struggles of gods, heroes, and several mythical creatures, over the eponymous magic Ring that grants domination over the entire world. God is the principal or sole Deity in Religions and other belief systems that worship one deity. A hero (from Greek grc ἥρως hērōs) in Greek mythology and Folklore, was originally a Demigod, the offspring of a mortal and The drama and intrigue continue through three generations of protagonists, until the final cataclysm at the end of Götterdämmerung.
The music of the cycle is thick and richly textured, and grows in complexity as the cycle proceeds. Wagner wrote for an orchestra of gargantuan proportions, including a greatly enlarged brass section with new instruments such as the Wagner tuba, bass trumpet and contrabass trombone. An orchestra is an instrumental ensemble, usually fairly large with string brass woodwind sections and possibly a percussion section as well The Wagner tuba is a comparatively rare Brass instrument that combines elements of both the horn and the Tuba. The bass trumpet is a type of low Trumpet which was first developed during the 1820s in Germany There are many different types of trombones. The most frequently encountered trombones today are the tenor and bass though as with other Renaissance instruments such as the Recorder He eventually had a purpose-built theatre (the Bayreuth Festspielhaus) constructed in Bayreuth in which to perform this work. Bayreuthfestjpg|thumb|350px|right|Bayreuth Festspielhaus as seen in 1882 Bayreuth ( pronounced) is a City in northern Bavaria, Germany, on the Red Main river in a valley between the Frankish Alb The theatre had a special stage which blended the huge orchestra with the singers' voices, allowing them to sing at a natural volume. The result was that the singers did not have to strain themselves vocally during the long performances. The acoustics of this performance space are among the best in the world.
The plot revolves around a magic ring that grants the power to rule the world, forged by the Nibelung dwarf Alberich from gold stolen from the river Rhine. Konstantín Alexeyevich Vasilyev (Константи́н Алексе́евич Васи́льев born September 3, 1942, in Maykop, died in 1976 was The German Nibelungen and the corresponding Old Norse form Niflung ( Niflungr) is the name in Germanic and Norse mythology DWARF is a widely used standardized Debugging data format. DWARF was originally designed along with ELF, although it is independent of Object file Alberich was a legendary sorcerer who originated in the mythology or epic sagas of the Frankish Merovingian Dynasty of the 5th to 8th century AD and whose The Rhine (Rhein Rijn Rhin Reno Rain Rhenus is one of the longest and most important Rivers in Europe at 1320 kilometres (820 mi with an average discharge Several mythic figures struggle for possession of the Ring, including Wotan (Odin), the chief of the Gods. Odin (ˈoʊdɪn from Old Norse Óðinn) is considered the chief god in Norse paganism. See also List of deities A deity is a Postulated Preternatural or Supernatural Being, who is always Wotan's scheme, spanning generations, to overcome his limitations, drives much of the action in the story. The hero Siegfried wins the Ring, as Wotan intended, but is eventually betrayed and slain. Sigurd ( Old Norse: Sigurðr) is a legendary hero of Norse mythology, as well as the central character in the Völsunga saga. Finally, the Valkyrie Brünnhilde, Siegfried's lover and Wotan's estranged daughter, returns the Ring to the Rhine. In Norse mythology the valkyries ( Old Norse Valkyrja "Choosers of the Slain" are Dísir, minor female deities Brynhildr is a Shieldmaiden and a Valkyrie in Norse mythology, where she appears as a main character in the Völsunga saga and some In the process, the Gods are destroyed.
For a detailed plot synopsis, see the articles for the individual operas.
Wagner created the story of the Ring by fusing elements from many German and Scandinavian myths and folk tales. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. Terminology and usage As a cultural term "Scandinavia" has no official definition and is subject to usage by those who identify with the culture in question as well History The concept of folklore developed as part of the 19th century ideology of Romantic nationalism, leading to the reshaping of oral traditions to serve modern ideological The Old Norse Eddas supplied much of the material for Das Rheingold, while Die Walküre was largely based on the Volsunga saga. Norse mythology comprises the indigenous pre-Christian religion, beliefs and Legends of the Scandinavian peoples including those who settled on Iceland This page refers to the Eddur poems and tales of Norse Mythology The Völsunga saga is a Legendary saga, a late 13th century Icelandic prose rendition of the origin and decline of the Volsung clan Siegfried contains elements from the Eddas, the Volsunga Saga and Thidreks saga. Þiðrekssaga (also Thidreksaga, Thidrekssaga, Niflungasaga or Vilkina saga) is a chivalric saga of the adventures of the The final opera, Götterdämmerung, draws from the 12th century High German poem known as the Nibelungenlied, which appears to have been the original inspiration for the Ring, and for which the cycle was named. The Nibelungenlied, translated as The Song of the Nibelungs, is an epic poem in Middle High German. (For a detailed examination of Wagner's sources for the Ring, and his treatment of them, see among other works Deryck Cooke's unfinished study of the Ring, I Saw the World End, and Ernest Newman's Wagner Nights. Deryck Cooke ( September 14, 1919 - October 27, 1976) was a British musicologist who was born in Leicester. Also useful is a translation by Stewart Spencer (Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung: Companion, edited by Barry Millington) which, as well as containing essays—including one on the source material—provides an English translation of the entire text which seeks to remain faithful to the early medieval Stabreim technique Wagner used). In prosody, alliterative verse is a form of verse that uses Alliteration as the principal structuring device to unify lines of poetry as opposed to
In weaving these disparate sources into a coherent tale, Wagner injected many contemporary concepts. One of the principal themes in the Ring is the struggle of love, which is also associated with Nature and freedom, against power, which is associated with civilization and law. Freedom, or the idea of being free is a broad concept that In the very first scene of the Ring, the scorned dwarf Alberich sets the plot in motion by renouncing love, an act that allows him to acquire the power to rule the world by means of forging a magical ring. In the last scene of that opera this ring of power is taken from him, so he places a curse on it: “Whosoever holds the ring, by the ring they shall be enslaved. ”
Since its inception, the Ring has been subjected to a plethora of interpretations. George Bernard Shaw, in The Perfect Wagnerite, argues for a view of the Ring as an essentially socialist critique of industrial society and its abuses. George Bernard Shaw ( (26 July 1856 &ndash 2 November 1950 was an Irish Playwright. The Perfect Wagnerite A Commentary on the Niblung's Ring is a philosophical commentary on Der Ring des Nibelungen, Richard Wagner 's chief work Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the Means of production and distribution In Sociology, industrial society refers to a society with a modern societal structure Robert Donington in Wagner's Ring and its Symbols interprets it in terms of Jungian psychology as an account of the development of unconscious archetypes in the mind, leading towards individuation. Analytical psychology (or Jungian psychology) refers to the school of Psychology originating from the ideas of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, and then advanced Many observers throughout history have argued that there are influences on Consciousness from other parts of the Mind. An archetype ( pronounced: /ˈɑːkɪtaɪp/ (Brit or /ˈɑrkɪtaɪp/ (Amer Individuation (Latin principium individuationis) is a concept which appears in numerous fields and may be encountered in work by Gilbert Simondon, Bernard Stiegler Peter Kjærulff, in The Ringbearer's Diary, interprets the Ring as an attempt to expose a structure of ideas he refers to as The Cursed Ring, which he also links to J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and Plato's The Ring of Gyges. Peter Kjærulff (born 1947 is a Danish Writer. He is the author of The Ringbearer's Diary. The Lord of the Rings is an epic Biography Early life Birth and family Plato was born in Athens Greece The Ring of Gyges is a mythical magical artifact mentioned by the philosopher Plato in Book 2 of The Republic
In his previous operas, Wagner had tried to make minimal use of recitative and scena ed aria. Recitative /rɛsɪtə'tiv/ (also known by its Italian name "recitativo" (/retʃita'tivo/ is a style of delivery (much used in Operas Oratorios For the Ring he decided to do away with them entirely and adopted a through-composed style, whereby each act of each opera would be a continuous piece of music with no breaks whatsoever. Music is described as through-composed when it is relatively continuous non- sectional and/or non- Repetitive. In the essay Opera and Drama, (1852) Wagner describes the way in which poetry, music and the visual arts should combine to form what he called The Artwork of the Future. He called these artworks "music-dramas", and thereafter very rarely referred to his works as operas. 
As a new foundation for his music-dramas, Wagner adopted the use of what he called Grundthemen, or "base themes", although they are usually referred to elsewhere as leitmotifs. A leitmotif (ˌlaɪtmoʊˈtiːf (also leitmotiv; lit "leading motif" is a recurring Musical theme, associated with a particular person place These are recurring melodies and/or harmonic progressions, sometimes tied to a particular key and often to a particular orchestration. In Music, a melody (from Greek μελῳδία - melōidía, "singing chanting" also tune, voice, or In Western music, harmony is the use of different pitches simultaneously and chords actual or implied in Music. In Music theory, the term key is used in many different and sometimes contradictory ways Orchestration is the study or practice of writing Music for Orchestra (or more loosely for any Musical ensemble) or of adapting for orchestra music composed They musically denote an action, object, emotion, character or other subject mentioned in the text and/or presented onstage. Wagner referred to them in Opera and Drama as "guides-to-feeling", and described how they could be used to inform the listener of a musical or dramatic subtext to the action onstage in the same way as a Greek Chorus did for Attic Drama. The Greek chorus ( choros) is believed to have grown out of the Greek Dithyrambs and Tragikon drama in tragic plays of the ancient The theatre of ancient Greece, or ancient Greek drama, is a theatrical Culture that flourished in ancient Greece between c While other composers before Wagner had already used leitmotifs, the Ring was unique in the extent to which they were employed, and in the ingeniousness of their combination and development.
Any important subject in The Ring is usually accompanied by a leitmotif; indeed, there are long stretches of music which are constructed exclusively from them. One such example occurs in Götterdämmerung: Siegfried's journey down the river Rhine is described first through a rhapsody on the Siegfried theme which then merges into the Rhine theme and finally into the motifs denoting the Gibichung Hall. ("Twilight of the Gods" – see Notes) is the last of the four Operas that comprise Der Ring des Nibelungen ( The Ring of the Nibelung There are dozens of individual motifs scattered throughout the Ring. They often occur as a musical reference to a presentation of their subject onstage, or to a direct reference in the text, or more subtly implied by the text. Many of them appear in several operas, and some even in all four. Sometimes, as in the character of the Woodbird, a cluster of motives is associated with a single character.
As the cycle progresses, and especially from the third act of Siegfried on, these motives are presented in increasingly sophisticated combinations. Siegfried is the third of the four Operas that comprise Der Ring des Nibelungen ( The Ring of the Nibelung) by Richard Wagner Wagner also used Franz Liszt's technique of "metamorphosis of themes" to effect a dynamic development of many leitmotifs into quite different ones with a life all of their own. A clear example occurs in the transition from the first to the second scene of Das Rheingold, in which the musical theme associated with the ring of power, newly forged, transforms into that of Valhalla, Wotan's just-completed fortress, intended as a base from which he as chief of the gods can impose his law on the world, embodied by his spear. Das Rheingold ("The Rhine Gold" is the first of the four operas that comprise Der Ring des Nibelungen ( The Ring of the Nibelung) by Richard Wagner See also Death in Norse paganism In Norse mythology, Valhalla (from Old Norse Valhöll "hall of the slain" is a majestic enormous Thus an implication is made which is left unstated in the libretto; but regardless of how a listener might make the implied connection by associating the "ring" motive with Valhalla (which will be destroyed along with the ring), the burden of the argument at this point is entirely musical. The most important result of this kind of technique is the setting up of an infinitely complex web of musico-conceptual associations which continues to provide material for discussion.
Aspects of the leitmotif system did attract criticism for being too obvious. Some have misunderstood the function of leitmotives, imagining them to be mere 'calling cards' whose function is tautological – simply informing the listener as to which character, object or idea has just arrived on stage or been mentioned; but this is no more what leitmotives are for than, for example, Debussy wrote "La Mer" to describe the sea to people who hadn't seen it for themselves. In particular, the leitmotivic profile of the cycle's end has attracted much criticism. George Bernard Shaw dismissed the final bars of the Ring (the so-called "Redemption through love" motif), saying "the gushing effect which is its sole valuable quality is so cheaply attained that it is hardly going too far to call it the most trumpery phrase in the entire tetralogy". George Bernard Shaw ( (26 July 1856 &ndash 2 November 1950 was an Irish Playwright. Other critics, such as Theodor Adorno in his essay In Search of Wagner, have speculated that Wagner did not actually know how to end the cycle, and merely spun together a few obvious motives which were chosen simply because they were the most beautiful sounding. Theodor Ludwig Wiesengrund Adorno ( September 11, 1903 &ndash August 6, 1969) was a German -born international sociologist More veneratively Mark Doran has sought to explain the cycle's final bars as the 'all-knowing orchestra's "purely musical praise of Brünnhilde". Mark Doran (born 1970 is an Australian sports journalist radio and television presenter 
The advances in orchestration and tonality Wagner made in this work are of seminal importance in the history of Western music. Orchestration is the study or practice of writing Music for Orchestra (or more loosely for any Musical ensemble) or of adapting for orchestra music composed Tonality is a system of Music in which specific hierarchical pitch relationships are based on a key "center" or tonic. He wrote for a very large orchestra, with a palette of seventeen different instrumental families used singly or in a myriad of combinations to express the great range of emotion and events of the drama. Wagner even went so far as to commission the production of new instruments, including the Wagner tuba, invented to fill a gap he found between the tone qualities of the French horn and the trombone, as well as variations of existing instruments, such as the bass trumpet and a contrabass trombone with a double slide. The Wagner tuba is a comparatively rare Brass instrument that combines elements of both the horn and the Tuba. The bass trumpet is a type of low Trumpet which was first developed during the 1820s in Germany There are many different types of trombones. The most frequently encountered trombones today are the tenor and bass though as with other Renaissance instruments such as the Recorder
In addition Wagner weakened traditional tonality to the extent that most of the Ring, especially from Siegfried Act III onwards, cannot be said to be in traditionally defined "keys", but rather in "key regions", each of which flow smoothly into the following one. In Music theory, the term key is used in many different and sometimes contradictory ways This fluidity avoided the musical equivalent of "full stops" or "periods", and was an important part of the style that enabled Wagner to build the work's huge structures - Das Rheingold is unbroken at two-and-a-half hours long. Das Rheingold ("The Rhine Gold" is the first of the four operas that comprise Der Ring des Nibelungen ( The Ring of the Nibelung) by Richard Wagner Tonal indeterminacy was heightened by the vastly increased freedom with which he used dissonance and chromaticism. In Music, chromaticism is a Compositional technique interspersing the primary Diatonic pitches and chords with other pitches of the Chromatic Chromatically altered chords, as well as a varitey of sevenths and ninths are used very liberally in the Ring, and this work, together with Tristan und Isolde, is frequently cited as a milestone on the way to Arnold Schoenberg's revolutionary break with the traditional concept of key and his rejection of consonance as the basis of an organising principle in music. This article describes musical chords in traditional Western styles Tristan und Isolde ( Tristan and Isolde, or Tristan and Isolda) is an Opera, or Music drama, in three acts by Richard Wagner Arnold Schoenberg ( pronounced ˈʃøːnbɛrk (13 September 1874 &ndash 13 July 1951 was an Austrian and later American Composer, associated with
Wagner scored the Ring for an exceptionally large orchestra, but was very specific about how many instruments should play each part. Odin (ˈoʊdɪn from Old Norse Óðinn) is considered the chief god in Norse paganism. A bass-baritone is a high-lying bass that shares certain qualities with the Baritone Voice type. This article is related to a series of articles under the main article Voice type. Freyja (sometimes anglicized as Freya) is a major goddess in Norse Paganism, a subset of Germanic Paganism. This article is related to a series of articles under the main article Voice type. Thor ( Old Norse: Þórr) is the red-haired and bearded God of Thunder in Germanic paganism and its subset Norse paganism This article is related to a series of articles under the main article Voice type. "Frey" redirects here For other uses of Frey and Freyr, see Frey (disambiguation. The tenor is the highest male voice within the Modal register, just above the Baritone voice In Norse mythology, Jörð ( Old Norse "earth" jɔrð Jarð jɑrð in Old East Norse --> sometimes Anglicized as Jord This article is related to a series of articles under the main article Voice type. In Cryptography, LOKI89 and LOKI91 are Block ciphers designed as possible replacements for the Data Encryption Standard (DES The Norns ( Old Norse: norn, plural nornir) are a kind of Dísir, numerous female beings who rule the fates of the various races of Norse In Norse mythology, Vǫlsung was murdered by the Geatish king Siggeir and avenged by one of his sons Sigmund and his daughter Signy This article is about the mythological hero Sigmund for other meanings see Sigmund (disambiguation. Signe is the name of two heroines in two connected legends from Scandinavian mythology which were very popular in medieval Scandinavia Sigurd ( Old Norse: Sigurðr) is a legendary hero of Norse mythology, as well as the central character in the Völsunga saga. In Norse mythology the valkyries ( Old Norse Valkyrja "Choosers of the Slain" are Dísir, minor female deities Brynhildr is a Shieldmaiden and a Valkyrie in Norse mythology, where she appears as a main character in the Völsunga saga and some See also Der Ring des Nibelungen The Rhinemaidens are the three water-nymphs ( Rheintöchter or Rhine daughters) who appear in Richard Wagner See also Der Ring des Nibelungen The Rhinemaidens are the three water-nymphs ( Rheintöchter or Rhine daughters) who appear in Richard Wagner See also Der Ring des Nibelungen The Rhinemaidens are the three water-nymphs ( Rheintöchter or Rhine daughters) who appear in Richard Wagner See also Der Ring des Nibelungen The Rhinemaidens are the three water-nymphs ( Rheintöchter or Rhine daughters) who appear in Richard Wagner Reginn, often Anglicized as Regin, in Norse mythology, was the son of Hreiðmarr and foster father of Sigurd. In Norse mythology, Fáfnir ( Old Norse and Icelandic) or Frænir was a son of the dwarf king Hreidmar and brother The German Nibelungen and the corresponding Old Norse form Niflung ( Niflungr) is the name in Germanic and Norse mythology Alberich was a legendary sorcerer who originated in the mythology or epic sagas of the Frankish Merovingian Dynasty of the 5th to 8th century AD and whose Mímir ( Old Norse "The rememberer the wise one" or Mim is a figure in Norse mythology renowned for his knowledge and wisdom who is beheaded Gunnar redirects here Gunnar is also a character from the 2000AD comic strip Rogue Trooper Gunther (Gundahar In Norse mythology, Gudrun, who is called Kriemhild in the Nibelungenlied, was the sister of Gunnar. Hagen ( German form or Högni ( Old Norse Hǫgni, often anglicized as Hogni) is a Burgundian warrior in tales
The woodwinds include 3 flutes and 1 piccolo, 3 oboes and 1 cor anglais, 3 clarinets and 1 bass clarinet, and 3 bassoons (with a note that contrabassoon(s) should be used if the bassoons used are unable to play the low An occasionally required). The flute is a Musical instrument of the Woodwind family Unlike other woodwind instruments a flute is a Reedless wind instrument that produces its The piccolo is a small Flute. Like the flute the piccolo is normally pitched in the key of C one octave above the concert flute (making it effectively a sopranino "Hautbois" redirects here for the strawberry variety see Hautbois strawberry. The cor anglais, or English horn, is a Double reed Woodwind Musical instrument in the Oboe family The clarinet is a Musical instrument in the Woodwind family The name derives from adding the suffix -et meaning little to the Italian word The bass clarinet is a Musical instrument of the Clarinet family The bassoon is a Woodwind instrument in the Double reed family that typically plays music written in the bass and Tenor registers and occasionally
The brass section contains 8 horns, the last four players doubling on 2 B flat tenor and 2 F bass Wagner tubas, 3 trumpets and 1 bass trumpet as well as 3 tenorbass trombones, 1 contrabass trombone (doubling on bass trombone) and 1 contrabass tuba. The Wagner tuba is a comparatively rare Brass instrument that combines elements of both the horn and the Tuba. The bass trumpet is a type of low Trumpet which was first developed during the 1820s in Germany The trombone is a Musical instrument in the brass family Like all brass instruments it is a lip-reed Aerophone: sound is produced when the player’s There are many different types of trombones. The most frequently encountered trombones today are the tenor and bass though as with other Renaissance instruments such as the Recorder There are many different types of trombones. The most frequently encountered trombones today are the tenor and bass though as with other Renaissance instruments such as the Recorder Mediatubaogg -->The tuba is the largest and lowest pitched Brass instrument.
The percussion section contains 2 pairs of timpani, a triangle, a pair of cymbals, a side drum and a carillon or glockenspiel. Timpani (also known colloquially as kettledrums or kettle drums) are Musical instruments in the percussion family The triangle is an Idiophone type of Musical instrument in the percussion family Cymbals are a modern percussion instrument Cymbals consist of thin normally round plates of various Cymbal alloys; see Cymbal making for a discussion of their The snare drum is a Drum with strands of snares made of curled metal wire metal cable plastic cable or gut cords stretched across the a drumhead typically A carillon (/kaʁijɔ̃/ /ˈkærɪljɒn/ or /kəˈrɪljən/ is a Musical instrument consisting of at least 23 cast bronze cup-shaped bells which are played The glockenspiel ( German, "set of bells quot or "play-bells" also known as orchestra bells and in its portable In Das Rheingold, the orchestra is completed with 6 harps plus one offstage harp. Das Rheingold ("The Rhine Gold" is the first of the four operas that comprise Der Ring des Nibelungen ( The Ring of the Nibelung) by Richard Wagner The harp is a Stringed instrument which has the plane of its strings positioned perpendicular to the soundboard. In several sections of the cycle, Wagner also calls for a thunder machine, 18 anvils, offstage horns and several stierhorns (4 in Götterdämmerung and 1 in Die Walküre). An anvil is a manufacturing tool made of a hard and massive block of stone or metal used as a support for Chiseling and Hammering other objects such as in ("Twilight of the Gods" – see Notes) is the last of the four Operas that comprise Der Ring des Nibelungen ( The Ring of the Nibelung Die Walküre ( The Valkyrie) is the second of the four Operas that comprise Der Ring des Nibelungen ( The Ring of the Nibelung
In the strings there are 16 first and 16 second violins, 12 violas, 12 violoncellos and 8 double basses. The violin is a bowed String instrument with four strings usually tuned in Perfect fifths It is the smallest and highest-pitched member The viola is a bowed String instrument. It is the middle voice of the Violin family, The violoncello (abbreviated to cello, or 'cello, plural cellos or celli —the c is tʃ The double bass is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed String instrument used in the modern symphony orchestra.
To facilitate performance of the work in theatres lacking large orchestra pits, reduced orchestrations are also available.
In summer 1848 Wagner wrote The Nibelung Myth as Sketch for a Drama, combining the medieval sources previously mentioned into a single narrative, very similar to the plot of the eventual Ring cycle, but nevertheless with substantial differences. The evolution of Richard Wagner’s Operatic tetralogy The Ring of the Nibelung was a long and tortuous process and the precise sequence of events which Later that year he began writing a libretto entitled Siegfrieds Tod ("Siegfried's Death"). He was likely encouraged by a series of articles in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, inviting composers to write a "national opera" based on the Nibelungenlied, a 12th century High German poem which, since its rediscovery in 1755, had been hailed by the German Romantics as the "German national epic". The Nibelungenlied, translated as The Song of the Nibelungs, is an epic poem in Middle High German. For the general context see Romanticism. In the Philosophy, Art, and Culture of German -speaking countries German Romanticism A national epic is an epic poem or similar work which seeks or is believed to capture and express the essence or spirit of a particular Nation; not necessarily a Siegfrieds Tod dealt with the death of Siegfried, the central heroic figure of the Nibelungenlied. The Nibelungenlied, translated as The Song of the Nibelungs, is an epic poem in Middle High German.
By 1850, Wagner had completed a musical sketch (which he abandoned) for Siegfrieds Tod. He now felt that he needed a preliminary opera, Der junge Siegfried ("The Young Siegfried", later renamed to "Siegfried"), in order to explain the events in Siegfrieds Tod. The verse draft of Der junge Siegfried was completed in May 1851. By October, he had made the momentous decision to embark on a cycle of four operas, to be played over four nights: Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Der Junge Siegfried and Siegfrieds Tod.
The text for all four operas was completed in December 1852, and privately published in February 1853.
In November 1853, Wagner began the composition draft of Das Rheingold. The composition of the Operatic tetralogy The Ring of the Nibelung occupied Richard Wagner for more than a quarter of a century Unlike the verses, which were written as it were in reverse order, the music would be composed in the same order as the narrative. Composition proceeded until 1857, when the final score up to the end of Act II of Siegfried was completed. Wagner then laid the work aside for twelve years, during which he wrote Tristan und Isolde and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Tristan und Isolde ( Tristan and Isolde, or Tristan and Isolda) is an Opera, or Music drama, in three acts by Richard Wagner Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (The Mastersingers of Nuremberg) is an Opera in three acts written and composed by Richard Wagner
By 1869, Wagner was living at Tribschen on Lake Lucerne, sponsored by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Tribschen is a suburb of Lucerne in the Canton of Lucerne in central Switzerland. Lake Lucerne ( German: Vierwaldstättersee, lit "Lake of the Four Forest Cantons " is a Lake in central Switzerland, the Ludwig Friedrich Wilhelm II King of Bavaria ( August 25, 1845 &ndash June 13, 1886) was king of Bavaria from 1864 until shortly He returned to Siegfried, and, remarkably, was able to pick up where he left off. In October, he completed the final opera in the cycle. He chose the title Götterdämmerung instead of Siegfried's Tod for this opera. In the completed work the gods are destroyed in accordance with the new pessimistic thrust of the cycle, not redeemed as in the more optimistic originally planned ending. Wagner also decided to show onstage the events of Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, which had hitherto only been presented as back-narration in the other two operas. These changes resulted in some discrepancies in the cycle, but these do not diminish the value of the work.
On King Ludwig's insistence, and over Wagner's objections, "special previews" of Das Rheingold and Die Walküre were given at the National Theatre in Munich, before the rest of the Ring. Thus, Das Rheingold premiered on September 22, 1869, and Die Walküre on June 26, 1870. Events 66 - Emperor Nero creates the Legion I Italica. 1236 - The Lithuanians Year 1869 ( MDCCCLXIX) is a Common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year Events 363 - Roman Emperor Julian is killed during the retreat from the Sassanid Empire. Year 1870 ( MDCCCLXX) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Wagner subsequently delayed announcing his completion of Siegfried in order to prevent this opera, too, being premiered against his wishes. Siegfried is the third of the four Operas that comprise Der Ring des Nibelungen ( The Ring of the Nibelung) by Richard Wagner
Wagner had long desired to have a special festival opera house, designed by himself, for the performance of the Ring. In 1871, he decided on a location in the Bavarian town of Bayreuth. Bavaria ( German:, with an area of 70553 Km² (27241 square miles and almost 12 Bayreuth ( pronounced) is a City in northern Bavaria, Germany, on the Red Main river in a valley between the Frankish Alb In 1872, he moved to Bayreuth, and the foundation stone was laid. Wagner would spend the next two years attempting to raise capital for the construction, with scant success; King Ludwig finally rescued the project in 1874 by donating the needed funds. The Bayreuth Festspielhaus opened in 1876 with the first complete performance of the Ring, which took place from August 13 to August 17. Bayreuthfestjpg|thumb|350px|right|Bayreuth Festspielhaus as seen in 1882 Events 3114 BC - According to the Lounsbury correlation the start of the Maya calendar. Events 986 - A Byzantine army was destroyed in the pass of Trajan's Gate by the Bulgarians under the Comitopuli
In 1882, London impresario Alfred Schulz-Curtius organized the first staging in the United Kingdom of the Ring Cycle, conducted by Anton Seidl and directed by Angelo Neumann. Events January - Richard Wagner completes Parsifal Helsinki University Chorus ( Ylioppilaskunnan Laulajat) is founded London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. Impresario, from the Italian impresa an enterprise or undertaking is a traditional term still very much in use in the Entertainment industry for Alfred Schulz-Curtius was a Classical music Impresario who was active primarily in Continental Europe and the United Kingdom from the 1870s until The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located Anton Seidl ( 7 May 1850 &ndash 28 March 1898) was a Hungarian conductor.
The complete cycle is performed most years at the Bayreuth Festival: the first staging of a new production becomes a society event attended by many important and popular people like politicians, actors, musicians and sportsmen. The Bayreuth Festival is a music festival held annually in Bayreuth, Germany, at which performances of Operas by the 19th century German composer Tickets are hard to get and are often reserved years in advance.
The Ring is a major undertaking for any opera company: staging four interlinked operas requires a huge commitment both artistically and financially. In most opera houses, production of a new Ring cycle will happen over a number of years, with one or two operas in the cycle being added each year. Bayreuth is unusual in that a new cycle is almost always created within a single year. The Ring cycle has been staged by opera companies in many different ways. Early productions often stayed close to Wagner's original Bayreuth staging. The Bayreuth Festival is a music festival held annually in Bayreuth, Germany, at which performances of Operas by the 19th century German composer Trends set at Bayreuth have continued to be influential. Following the closure of the Festspielhaus during the Second World War, the 1950s saw productions by Wagner's grandsons Wieland and Wolfgang Wagner (known as the 'New Bayreuth' style) which emphasised the human aspects of the drama in a more abstract setting. World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including Perhaps the most famous modern production was the centennial production of 1976 directed by Patrice Chéreau and conducted by Pierre Boulez. Patrice Chéreau (born 2 November 1944) is a French Opera and Theatre director, Filmmaker, Actor, and WikipediaWikiProject Classical music#Biographical_infoboxes --> Pierre Boulez (pjɛʁ buˈlɛz (b Set in the industrial revolution, it replaced the depths of the Rhine with a hydroelectric power dam and featured grimy sets populated by men and gods in business suits. The Industrial Revolution was a period in the late 18th and early 19th centuries when major changes in agriculture manufacturing and transportation had a profound effect on the This drew heavily on the reading of the Ring as a revolutionary drama and critique of the modern world, famously described by George Bernard Shaw in 'The Perfect Wagnerite'. Early performances were booed but the audience of 1980 gave it a 90 minute ovation in its final year; the production is now generally regarded as revolutionary and a classic. Ring productions tend to fall into two camps: those which try to remain fairly close to Wagner's original stage design and direction, and those which seek to re-interpret the Ring for modern audiences, often inserting stage pictures and action which Wagner himself might not recognise. The production by Peter Hall, conducted by Georg Solti at Bayreuth in 1983 is an example of the former, while the production by Richard Jones at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 1994–1996, conducted by Bernard Haitink, is an example of the latter. WikipediaWikiProject Classical music#Biographical_infoboxes --> Sir Georg Solti, KBE ( 21 October 1912 Bayreuth ( pronounced) is a City in northern Bavaria, Germany, on the Red Main river in a valley between the Frankish Alb Richard Jones (born 7 June, 1952) is a British Opera and Theatre director. WikipediaWikiProject Opera --> The Royal Opera House is an Opera house and major performing Bernard Johan Herman Haitink CH KBE (born March 4, 1929) is a Dutch conductor and Violinist Early
Another interesting complete Ring cycle was begun in 2004, performed by the English National Opera at the Coliseum Theatre near London's Trafalgar Square. English National Opera (ENO is the national opera company of England, and one of two opera companies in London, along with the Royal Opera at Covent The Coliseum Theatre (also known as the London Coliseum) is on St London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. Trafalgar Square is a square in central London, England. With its position in the heart of London it is a tourist attraction its trademark is Nelson's The production is notable for its use of contemporary minimalist sets and costumes. Many of the scenes look like rooms from Ikea and indeed the production is sponsored by the MFI furniture company. IKEA is a privately-held international home products retailer that sells flat pack Furniture, accessories bathrooms and kitchens at retail stores around the world MFI Retail Limited, usually referred to simply as MFI, is a national British Furniture Retailer.
Certain opera companies, such as the Seattle Opera, produce entirely new Ring cycles every 4 to 6 years. The Seattle Opera is an Opera company located in Seattle Washington. Seattle Opera's next cycle will be performed in August 2009.
2004 saw the first full Australian production of the Ring Cycle, in Adelaide. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. Adelaide is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of South Australia, and is the fifth largest city in Australia with a The corresponding recordings are the first from the cycle to be released in the SACD format. Super Audio CD ( SACD) is a read-only optical audio disc format that can provide higher fidelity digital audio reproduction than the Red
The Canadian Opera Company conducted its first complete Ring Cycle in 2006 upon the opening of the new Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. The Canadian Opera Company (COC located in Toronto Ontario, is the largest opera company in Canada and the sixth largest in North America. The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts is a 2071-seat Theatre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada which had its grand opening Wednesday June This production is notable for the stage direction by Canadian film directors Atom Egoyan and François Girard. Atom Egoyan OC (Ատոմ Էգոյան (born July 19, 1960) is a critically acclaimed Canadian - Armenian film maker François Girard (born January 12, 1963) is a Canadian director and Screenwriter particularly noted for his innovative film
The Royal Danish Opera performed a complete Ring cycle in May 2006 in its new waterfront home, the Copenhagen Opera House. The Royal Danish Theatre is both a performing arts organisation and a theatre that has been located at Kongens Nytorv in Copenhagen since 1748, first as the theater The Copenhagen Opera House (in Danish usually called Operaen) is the national opera house of Denmark, and among the most modern Opera houses This version of the ring tells the story from the viewpoint of Brunhilde and has a distinct feminist angle. For example, in a key scene in Die Walkure, it is Sieglinde and not Siegmund who manages to pull the sword Notung out of a tree. At the end of the cycle, Brunhilde does not die, but instead gives birth to Siegfried's child.
It is possible to perform The Ring with fewer resources than usual. In 1990, the City of Birmingham Touring Opera (now Birmingham Opera Company), presented a two-evening adaptation (by Jonathan Dove) for a limited number of solo singers, each doubling several roles, and 18 orchestral players. Birmingham Opera Company is a professional Opera company based in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham, England, that specialises in innovative Jonathan Dove (born July 18, 1959) is a British Composer of Opera and choral works and theatre film orchestral and chamber music This version made its American premiere at the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Opera Theater of Pittsburgh is an American Opera company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 's Cultural District. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ( often colloquially referred to as PA (its abbreviation by natives and Northeasterners is a state located in the Northeastern Subsequently, it was performed in full at Long Beach Opera in January 2006, and was performed in full with the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh in July 2006. Long Beach Opera is a Southern California Opera company serving the greater Los Angeles and Orange County metroplex Opera Theater of Pittsburgh is an American Opera company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 's Cultural District.
The complete Ring Cycle has been performed many times, but relatively few full commercial recordings exist, probably due to financial considerations. The four operas together take about 15 hours, which makes for several records, tapes, or CDs, and a lot of studio time. For this reason, many full Ring recordings are the result of "unofficial" recording of live performances, particularly from Bayreuth where new productions are often broadcast by German radio. The Bayreuth Festival is a music festival held annually in Bayreuth, Germany, at which performances of Operas by the 19th century German composer Live recordings, especially those in monaural, may have very variable sound but often preserve the excitement of a performance better than a studio recording. Monaural (often shortened to mono) sound reproduction is single-channel
Here are some of the best-known and most appreciated recordings of the complete Ring Cycle:
The Solti recording was the first stereo studio recording of the complete cycle, and it remains popular. In a poll on the BBC Radio 3's long running radio programme CD Review, this set was voted as the greatest recording of the 20th century.  Although Solti's was the first studio stereo recording, the cycle had previously been recorded live in stereo by Decca engineers at the Bayreuth Festival in 1955 under the baton of Joseph Keilberth. Decca Records is a British Record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis. Joseph Keilberth ( April 19, 1908 &ndash July 20, 1968) was a German conductor. Although unavailable for over 50 years, this cycle has now been issued on CD and vinyl by Testament.
First-time buyers looking for a Ring recording are often recommended the Solti. Gramophone, for example, list it as their recommendation on their website. Gramophone is a magazine published monthly in London by Haymarket devoted to classical music and particularly recordings of classical  However, when their long-time Wagner critic Alan Blyth reviewed recordings of the Ring for the feature Building a Library on CD Review (then Stereo Review) in 1986, he favoured the Böhm and Furtwängler/RAI recordings. When John Deathridge carried out a follow-up review for the programme in 1992, he favoured parts of the Goodall, Haitink and Boulez cycles for individual operas and Levine overall. 
The Ring cycle is also available in a number of video or DVD presentations. These include:
The first three of these are also available as audio recordings. Deutsche Grammophon is a German classical Record label. The company has long been known for its high standards of audio fidelity. Daniel Barenboim (born November 15, 1942) is a pianist and conductor. Bertrand de Billy, (born 1965 in Paris) is a French conductor.
Der Ring des Nibelungen, because of its size and seriousness, lends itself well to parody. A parody (ˈpɛɹədiː US, [ˈpaɹədiː] UK) in contemporary usage is a work created to mock comment on or poke fun at an original work its subject One well-known parody is Looney Tunes' What's Opera, Doc? in which Bugs Bunny plays Brünnhilde and Elmer Fudd plays Siegfried. Looney Tunes is a Warner Bros Animated cartoon series which ran in many movie theatres from 1930 to 1969 What's Opera Doc? is a 1957 Animated cartoon short in the Merrie Melodies series directed by Chuck Jones for Clyde Rabbit (uncleMrs Bugs Bunny (wifePapa Bunny (fatherMama Bunny (motherRugs Bunny Elmer J Fudd is a fictional Cartoon character and one of the most famous Looney Tunes characters (A lesser known 1945 Looney Tunes cartoon, Herr meets Hare, which was never re-released after the war, stars an unlikely pairing of Hermann Goering playing Siegfried and Bugs playing, again, Brünnhilde, in an almost identical sequence as What's Opera, Doc?, including Bugs on an absurdly fat horse. )
Anna Russell's The Ring of the Nibelungs (An Analysis) is not really a parody, since it follows Wagner's story and actually discusses many of the Ring's leitmotifs as academically as she makes them entertaining. Anna Russell, née Anna Claudia Russell-Brown ( 27 December 1911 - 18 October 2006) was an English – Canadian However, Russell draws attention to some of the more unusual elements in the plot that people often miss, to the delight of her audience.
Anthony Burgess's version of the Ring Cycle is the 1961 novel The Worm and the Ring, which transposes the action to an Oxfordshire grammar school. Anthony Burgess (February 25 1917 — November 22 1993 was an English Novelist, Critic, Composer, Librettist, Poet The Worm and the Ring is a 1961 Novel by English novelist Anthony Burgess, drawing on his time as a teacher at Banbury Grammar School Oxfordshire The comic fantasist Tom Holt similarly chooses to set Expecting Someone Taller, his sequel to the Ring, in a rural English setting. Tom Holt (born Thomas Charles Louis Holt September 13 1961 in London) is a British novelist Expecting Someone Taller is the first humorous fantasy novel by popular British author Tom Holt.
J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings appears to borrow some elements from Der Ring des Nibelungen; however, Tolkien himself denied that he had been inspired by Wagner's work, saying that "Both rings were round, and there the resemblance ceases. The Lord of the Rings is an epic " Any similarity arises because Tolkien and Wagner both drew upon the same source material for inspiration, including the Völsunga saga and the Poetic Edda. The Völsunga saga is a Legendary saga, a late 13th century Icelandic prose rendition of the origin and decline of the Volsung clan The Poetic Edda is a collection of Old Norse poems primarily preserved in the Icelandic mediaeval Manuscript Codex Regius.
|Der Ring des Nibelungen|
|Das Rheingold | Die Walküre | Siegfried | Götterdämmerung|