The Ring of Nibelung
the Ring of Nibelung is a cycle of four operas of Richard Wagner inspired by the Germanic and Scandinavian Mythologie and particularly the Niebelungenlied or the Chanson of Nibelungen , a German poem epic dating from the Middle Ages. A bearing later film this title was also carried out. The myth belongs to the inspirations of the contemporary literature.
Composed of four parts, work is a Tétralogie , and its impact was such as the word tetralogy generally indicates this work for the musicians.
the Ring of Nibelung, scenic festival in a prolog and three days (DER Boxing ring of Nibelungen) or the Boxing ring, or the Tetralogy, is the original title of the dramatic cycle in a prolog and three days of Richard Wagner. So by convenience one speaks about opera, the author himself and the specialists insist on this fact.
With nearly thirty years of gestation, the Boxing ring is an immense work. According to interpretations, it can last from thirteen to seventeen hours. The text, written in German, account more than eight thousand lines and puts in scene more than thirty characters. The music is built around more than eighty Leitmotiv E (or topics conducting) musical different (without counting the derivatives).
Impassioned by the ancient Greek Théâtre Richard Wagner borrows the structure in four parts of the ancient spectacles. It draws from them also what it calls the Gesamtkunstwerk , total art where all is dependant: Theater, Music, Poetry, Painting. It will go until building a theater devoted to its work, the Palais of the festivals of Bayreuth. “A multi-media work before the hour! ”, written Bruno Lussato. Started from a project of poem epic ( the Death of Siegfried ), this work changed with the passing of years and of the maturity of the author into gigantic a Allégorie on the company, politics, economics and the capacity.
InspirationBecause of the enormous impact that the Tetralogy will have and which will inspire many large artists later on, for the current general public, the inspiration seems to be reversed. For example somebody looking at a Lithographie of Franz Stassen will be able to accept an inspiration former to Wagner whereas they date from the years 1910-1920 and are an illustration of the Boxing ring.
For its characters, Wagner is freely inspired by the legends of the Scandinavian Mythologie of which poems of the Edda and the Saga of Völsungar .
Certain situations take as a starting point works of Leconte de Lisle like Sleeping Beauty , of the Mound-Fouqué, Charles Perrault ( the Cat Boot ), of Hebbel, Lenström, the tales of the brothers Grimm as well as other cultural or religious inspirations (its project not succeeded Jesus de Nazareth , the redemption, Saint François d' Assise speaking with the birds).
The intrigues and the events are largely imagined or reinvented by the author.
In return the Boxing ring will have a great influence on other arts: painting (many tables and illustrations take as a starting point the Boxing ring), Cinéma, band-drawn, romantic or epic literature…
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien specified that it had not taken as a starting point the Boxing ring to write to his saga the Lord of the Rings , but of Scandinavian mythology having inspired Wagner. However, one often presents the Boxing ring like work having inspired Tolkien, to promote works derived from the Boxing ring, the series of Tolkien having become even more famous.
Genesis and chronology of the RingAs usual Wagner writes the text before composing the music. It should be noted that the text is written while starting with the last day, while the music follows the chronological order of final work.
One notices one seven years long period during which Wagner will not touch any more with work. Not that the author ignores the Boxing ring but the richness and the complexity of the matter bring it to a dead end in the musical composition. Wagner launches out then at bottom in Tristan and the Maîtres singers, refines his technique and returns to the Boxing ring with a richer experiment. It is enough to compare the music of the Prolog which accompanies simply the text and that by the last day, extremely rich and complex, which appears to exceed the text for illustrating best and enriching its matter.
1848 : project of an opera: the death of Siegfried .
- 1850 : beginning of musical drafts.
- 1851 : outline young Siegfried .
- 1851: plan of work stopped: “as of this time (1849-1851) I carried in my head the plan of my drama of Nibelungen”, writing Wagner ( Lettres on the music ).
- 1852 : first idea of a festival to interpret the Boxing ring inspired of the ancient Greek theater and construction of a theater out of wooden especially dedicated to work.
- February 1853: the text (booklet) is published in account of author (50 specimens).
- November 1853: beginning of the musical writing.
- 1854 : composition of the Gold of the Rhine and outlines composition of the Walkyrie .
- 1856 : end of the composition of the Valkyrie, outlines composition of Siegfried .
- Louis II of Bavaria agrees to support the Boxing ring.
- 1869 : the composition act II and III of Siegfried begins again and begins composition from the Crépuscule .
- 1869: creation of the Gold of the Rhine to the opera of Berlin under injunction of Louis II
- 1870: creation of the Valkyrie
- 1874: finish the composition of the Crépuscule , work is finished on November 21st
- 1875: the theater of Bayreuth is finished in August. The author can test acoustics.
- 1876 : the integral of the Boxing ring is created in Bayreuth.
StructureWagner, which for the theatrical side was impassioned by the ancient Greek theater, wanted to build the Ring on same the diagram of four parts. Thus the Boxing ring is divided into a prelude and three parts distributed over three days:
Prolog: the Gold of the Rhine in four scenes separated by orchestral interludes.
- 1st day: the Valkyrie in three acts:
- Act 1 in 3 scenes
- Act 2 in 5 scenes
- Act 3 in 3 scenes
- 2nd day: Siegfried in three acts:
- Act 1 in 3 scenes
- Act 2 in 3 scenes
- Act 3 in 3 scenes
- 3rd day: the Twilight of the gods in a prolog and three acts:
- Prolog in 2 scenes and 2 interludes
- Act 1 in 3 scenes
- Act 2 in 5 scenes
- Act 3 in 3 scenes and an orchestral interlude ( Funeral March celebrates it )
Work is also structured musicalement by the conducting topics or Leitmotiv E , which reaches here very an high degree of sophistication: they evolve/move and change during work but, at the time of the representation, have a very important impact even for not informed ears.
It is remarkable that each one of these parts has a clean life. One can listen to them independently from/to each other. The Walkyrie was created besides five years before the integral.
Dominique Jameux in his guide Tétralogie directions for use ( the Apron Operated , chapter 2: “By what to start”) proposes the following approach:
- * a) the Gold of the Rhine : it is logical. And as of the entry a pure pleasure.
- * b) the Twilight of the Gods : that does not have anything aberrant, it is even what the author did while starting to work by the Mort of Siegfried .
- * c) Siegfried merry, animated, picturesque work And for once there is a happy outcome!
- * d) the Valkyrie : the houses of operas often introduce this only Valkyrie.
- * b) the Twilight of the Gods : that does not have anything aberrant, it is even what the author did while starting to work by the Mort of Siegfried .
But the ideal is to be able to follow the days in the chronological order.
Brief argumentFor the detail of each day, one will refer to each day composing the Boxing ring.
The Gold of the Rhine
See also: the Gold of the Rhine
The prolog tells, in four scenes which are played without interruptions, the origins of the drama. Pure gold rests at the bottom of the Rhine, kept by three ondines, the girls of the Rhine. Nibelung, Alberich, steal it while cursing the love in order to forge of it a ring which gives an unbounded power and brings the richness to that which has it. This ring is concealed to him by Wotan, on the council of Cabin, with an aim of paying the wages of Fasolt and Fafner, giant builders of Walhalla which must become the residence of the gods. Insane of anger and pain, Alberich curses the ring, which will cause from now on the loss of whoever will have it. Wotan would keep the ring for him well but Erda advises to him to flee the curse which is attached there, because the Twilight of the gods is for soon. The curse makes its effect: at the time of the division of the spoils, Fafner kills his/her Fasolt brother in order to have the ring. Frightened but still persuaded that it will be able to act on the events to come, Wotan invites the gods to enter in Walhalla while the girls of the Rhine cry the loss of pure and luminous gold.
See also: the Valkyrie
The first day tells the tragic loves of Siegmund and Sieglinde, the incestueux twins and adulteries that Wotan had of a mortal, as well as the attempts likely to fail of Wotan in order to protect itself from the curse of the ring. Fricka persuades Wotan that Siegmund is not the hero able to save the gods and the world. Wotan decides to give up his/her son in the combat which must oppose it to Hunding, husband legitimates of Sieglinde. He entrusts this task to his Brünnhilde daughter. But, touched by the impassioned love of the twins and persuaded that deeply Wotan cannot want the death of his/her son, Brünnhilde disobeys and protects Siegmund. Wotan, constrained to intervene itself in the combat, decides to punish his/her daughter. Brünnhilde is condemned to be abandoned on a rock surrounded by flame: only a hero will be able to cross this fire and to wake up it.
See also: Siegfried (opera)
The second day is centered on the character of Siegfried, wire of Siegmund and Sieglinde but also on the fight between Wotan, become the traveller and Alberich about the ring. The dwarf MIME, brother of Alberich, raised Siegfried so that it kills the Fafner giant transformed into dragon and conquers the ring thus to him. Thanks to the sword of his/her father reforged, Notung, Siegfried kill Fafner and adapt the treasure and the ring without including/understanding the significance of it. After being itself removed from MIME which sought to poison it and informs by the bird of the forest, Siegfried leaves to research the " virgin who dort" , which is not other than Brünnhilde. In way, it runs up violently against " Wotan-voyageur" who claims to bar the road to him. Of a blow of sword, Siegfried makes steal in glare the lance of the god, symbol of his capacity. Wotan leaves the scene. Siegfried wakes up Brünnhilde and becomes her husband.
The Twilight of the gods
See also: the Twilight of the gods (opera)
The third and last day unties wire of the drama, through the adventures lived by Siegfried and Brünnhilde with the kingdom of Gibich. Siegfried lost the memory following the operations of Hagen, wire of Alberich which is determined to reconquer the ring. It falls in love with Gutrune, sister of king Gunther. Insane Brünnhilde of pain shows Siegfried of treason publicly. Siegfried is defended and engaged with being torn by the lance of Hagen if he lied. At the time of a shooting party, Hagen returns the memory in Siegfried. This last reveals that he knew Brünnhilde. It was thus perjury and Hagen kills it. But Brünnhilde, which meanwhile took council near the girls of the Rhine, from now on is informed of the whole of the events. It includes/understands at the same time its error, the true direction of the ring, as well as the major desire of her Wotan father, who aspires itself to the twilight gods . Brünnhilde makes carry the body of Siegfried on one to rough-hew on which itself precipitates, joining its husband in death and thus washing the ring of any curse. The Rhine overflows in order to drown the fire. The girls of the Rhine involve Hagen, which tried to seize the ring, in the depths. The fire gained the sky. While the girls of the Rhine play merrily with the reconquered ring, Walhalla burns. The gods perish. A new world can be born on the ground.
Time in the Ring of NibelungThis work is immense and manages the Temps in an astonishing and very contrasted way. Sometimes one is face ad infinitum, other times the action is held like one day normal.
All starts as of the introduction. It is already built so that the listener does not perceive when the music starts, us giving an infinite depth towards the origins of the world. All the genesis seems to be contained in this introduction, coming from nothing, one is found at the edge of the Rhine.
Between the Prolog and the Valkyrie , time is quite as indefinite: it at least occurs fifteen to twenty years time that the Valkyrie and the twins are designed and grow. Between the Valkyrie and Siegfried , it is more concrete: Siegfried will be born and grow. Between Siegfried and the Twilight , it occurs to more the few days. It is thus noticed that between each part of the Boxing ring, time is reduced and the action accelerates.
During each day, the acts and the scenes are held over a few hours, one day at most.
It is necessary as to speak about psychological time as the spectator and especially the listener perceive. As he is written higher, the author knew to write a music which sometimes can make us change time. Time appears very lengthened at the time of the monologs which summarize and explains the actions and events passed, as if the author wanted to bring back for us to listening and comprehension, whereas the most touching moments seem to proceed in a very contracted time, music carrying us.
The conducting topics thus help to make us travel in time while bringing back for us sometimes to spent or by projecting us by intuition in the future (for example the original topic of the sword which appears during the conclusion of the Gold of the Rhine).
The symbols objectsThe Boxing ring is dominated by three main objects with the well established symbolic system:
the ring : forged in the gold of the Rhine by Nibelung Alberich which cursed the love, it represents the capacity and for certain commentators the capitalist economy but when it turns over in the Rhine at the end of work, it symbolizes the return to the box departure (“the loop is buckled”). This justifies that it is the title of work. Psychanalytiquement, any bond durable with others associates love and capacity, light and shade, Yang and Yin. Therefore, the renouncement of Alberich of the Love leads it to the trap of the Capacity, when feeling unable to be liked for itself he wants to oblige others to like it of force… Behind this renouncement, to lie the Hatred of oneself…
- the lance of Wotan : it “represents the respect of the treaty and the order founded by the human and divine laws”, written Hans Mayer. Cut by Wotan in a branch of the Ash of the World (Weltesche) which since then decayed, it is the symbol of the domination, the contractual obstacles and rigidity. In a psychoanalytical vision, it is the phallus of the Father, the capacity which his/her rebellious Son will dispute.
- the sword Notung : it is the counterpoint of the lance of Wotan. Built it also by Wotan, it is broken by the capacity of the lance but once reforged, cannot be rerized by the lance any more and is employed for tracher the latter. It is the symbol of freedom, the action and the talent, and does not lend itself as to that which has qualities to use it. Psychanalytiquement, it is the phallus of the Son, the instrument of his release vis-a-vis the authority of the Father. The Sword is a weapon more advanced than the Lance: modernity is essential on the Tradition. At the same time, the name of this sword inspires the misfortune (= Not) of a guilty conscience of this rejection (or murder symbolic system) of the Father.
- Tarnhelm : forged by dwarf MIME for his Alberich brother, it symbolizes the weakness, cowardice, the dissimulation and hypocrisy, that which it door can advance masked if it is not hidden or in another form or another face. At C.G. Jung, this mask is called Persona; it took again the mask of the actor in the Roman theater: “per-suonare”, a species of speaking pipe. Because, socially, we all are of the hypocrites: we advance masked because certain truths are too wounding to be expressed crûment.
- the Ash of the World (Weltesche) in which Wotan cut its lance. It is the Axis of the World, which connects the Earth to the Sky: cut down, any bond between these two worlds is broken. The Son loses his divine dimension and becomes completely human. Wagner speaks thus about the inescapable rise of atheism during the 19th century. the Twilight of the gods , it is the loss of a crowned vision of the Life and the Man.
- fire , incarnated by the Loge god, in whom Wotan finds an ally but which will end up almost devouring all the actors of the tetralogy. This fire of passions incarnated by Loge must be controlled, if not we are submerged by the inflation of one Me which divinise itself, by the desire of Absolute power. Thus, Wotan is initially victim of itself and its ambition before being that of Cabin, and it is the destiny of any dictator, whom it names Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin or Boris Godounov…
The spectacle, listeningEveryone knows the Chevauchée of the Valkyrie or the Funeral March , often denatured by their recovery out of the intrigue and the unit. A film enthusiast who directly listens to the opening of the third act of the Valkyrie is likely to have in his head of the images of helicopters of the war of Vietnam because of the use of this music in the film Apocalypse Now of Francis Ford Coppola. In the same way the funeral March is often played only in concert or recovery in publicities; which neophyte of the Boxing ring can think that this passage is a drama resulting from intrigues and complex events, remarkably formed of several conducting topics of original work? Only a complete listening of the Boxing ring makes it possible to include/understand all the richness of it.
Work is difficult to apprehend without a minimum of symphonic musical culture. A neophyte could for example start by familiarizing with the Ninth Symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven, then to approach Wagner by more accessible operas like the Ghost ship or Tannhäuser .
The Boxing ring is represented, each year in August, in the theater which was built for him, the Festspielhaus de Bayreuth, in general during three cycles. In addition it is regularly assembled in its entirety throughout the world. Certain days, in particular the Valkyrie , are sometimes ridden only, even in the form of concert.
One can also look at representations in video or DVD. There did not exist video recording of an integral representation of the Boxing ring before the years 1970 and what the amateurs regard as the decline of the Wagnerian voices. One can advise the Boxing ring of the Centenary put in scene by Patrice Chéreau and directed by Pierre Boulez: it is a Boxing ring musical, theatrical, rather near to the original spirit in spite of the modernization of certain scenes.
It is preferable to follow the text in a booklet during listening. The Boxing ring is not looked at nor is not listened if the texts are not included/understood. One can advise the Boxing ring of Georg Solti recorded in studio, with a splendid orchestra and high level singers, or that of Hans Knappertbusch, leader specialist in Wagner.
Still let us quote the original interpretation of Reginald Goodall which, on a splendid orchestration, chose English words. This choice to interpret the English text can come from the weakness of the Wagnerian voices at that time (1973-1977).
Catalog of films
Many filmed adaptations of the myth of Siegfried were turned, in particular those of Fritz Lang and Harald Reinl, versions different from the text of Wagner by the presence of Kriemhild and from Huns.
Among these adaptations, Giacomo Gentilomo carried out Sigfrido, a curious film of costumes, in 1958, which corresponds to the episodes of Siegfried and the Crépuscule of the gods . The film is very dated and sometimes grotesque. But the original music is characterized by many loans with the music from Wagner.
The work of Wagner was adapted in video games, transposed in a futuristic universe in the video games Ring and Ring II of Philippe Druillet. But these plays were severely criticized because the scenario, inspired of the opera, was well too complicated so that the player includes/understands. Finally, the player is brought to finish the play without having included/understood the history.
One can also see this work treated in animated the Saint Seiya whose season Asgard is based on the history of the ring of Nibelungen and Scandinavian mythology in general. In the Hilda series of polaris priestess of the kingdom of asgard had by the ring of Nibelungen which treacherously poséïdon gave to him tries to destroy the world. Many characters of the series borrow their names from those of the legend like MIME, Alberich, Hagen and especially Siegfried.
- is 73 years old, Anna Russell is devoted to a laughing comment of the Boxing ring, while being accompanied with the piano. This Ring cycles analysis was filmed at the University of Maryland in 1984.
- Wagner had unexpected interpreters:
- Glenn Gould was adapted, with its very personal manner, several partitions of Wagner like the opening of the Maîtres Singers of Nuremberg or the Siegfried Idyll, which it also recorded as leader.
- Mario LED Monaco sang Siegmund in a filmed concert. Although very Italianist, his " Wälse" last 18 seconds, that is to say one moreover than Lauritz Melchior.
- In What' S operated, Doc.? - another Bugs Bunny - Chuck Jones makes a laughing parody of the operas of Wagner. It diverts there in particular the topic of the Walkyrie. This episode is regarded as one of best the Bugs Bunny ever realized today.
Principal representationsThe Tetralogy is as much the work of a chief as of a director or the performance of large singers, Wagnerian cosmogony lending itself to multiple interpretations, as well musical as artistic or political.
- 1876, Bayreuth, to dir. Hans Richter, put in scene: Richard Wagner, decorations: Josef Hottmann then max and Gotthold Brückner.
- 1892: Covent Garden program its first Tetralogy entrusted to the rod of Gustav Mahler.
- 1896, Bayreuth, to dir. Hans Richter, put in scene: Cosima Wagner (according to the spectacle of its husband deceased), with the support of Anton Fuchs, Ernst Brauschweig, Siegfried Wagner, his/her son. Decorations: Max and Gotthold Brückner.
- 1898-1899: Richard Strauss directs his first Tetralogy to Berlin.
- 1924-1925: in Basle, the setting in scene of Adolphe Appia diagram the myth of its Germanic loudor. Wieland Wagner will be able to remember it in 1951.
- 1933-1942: Bayreuth, to dir. Heinz Tietjen, put in scene: Heinz Tietjen, decorations: Emil Preetorius. The Boxing ring of Bayreuth " nazifié" , with Winifred Wagner with the orders.
- 1938-1942: New York, Metropolitan. Dir.: Erich Leinsdorf . Setting in scene: L. Sachse, D. Defrère. Siegrfried and Brünhild with two interpreters of legend: Lauritz Nickel silver and Kirsten Flagstad, which ignited Metropolitan.
- On order of Stalin, Eisenstein puts in scene the Valkyrie at the Bolchoï to celebrate with dignity the Pacte germano-Soviet.
- 1950: Wilhelm Furtwängler directs a Boxing ring of anthology to the Scala of Milan.
- 1951-1958: Bayreuth: to dir. Herbert von Karajan, 1951, Clemens Krauss, 1953, Josef Keilberth, 1952,1954-1955, Hans Knappertsbusch, 1951,1956-1958. Setting in scene and decorations: Wieland Wagner. The revival of the " neues Bayreuth" , with the setting in scene purified of the grandson of the type-setter. Second golden age of the crowned Hill, with prestigious chiefs and singers who enter the legend (Hans Hotter, Wolfgang Windgassen, Josef Greindl, Ludwig Weber, Astrid Varnay, Martha Mödl…
- 1973: Salzburg, direction and setting in scene: Herbert von Karajan, decorations: G. Schneider-Simssen and G. Wakhevitch.
- 1976-1980: Bayreuth, to dir. Pierre Boulez, put in scene: Patrice Chéreau, decorations: Richard Peduzzi. The Boxing ring of the centenary which that of the scandal with the Rhine was also transformed into stopping and of the embourgeoized gods. Heinz Zednik triumph in Cabin, Gwyneth Jones moves with his Brünhilde deeply human. But the voices are tired.
- 1988-1992: Bayreuth, to dir. Daniel Barenboïm, put in scene: Harry Kupfer, decorations: H. Schavernoch and R. Heinrich. The irruption of the laser with Bayreuth which changes millenium.
- 2003-2006: Zurich, Paris Theater of Châtelet. The settings in scene of Bob Wilson allure his fans and exasperate its detractors: its Boxing ring is returned here to the myth, with the hieratic attitudes characters captive of space and time.
- 2006-2009: Ghent, Opera of Flandres. The setting in scene of Ivo van Hove adopts a resolutely modern party taken where gold is an electronic superpuce and the broken sword a defused bomb.
|Random links:||Max of Ollone | Clement Baptista | Jack-o'-lantern | Metrolina | General advisers of the Seine-Saint-Denis | Nottingham,_New_Hampshire|