Author Topic: Why Rheingold and Siegfried are less popular than Walküre and Götterdämmerung?  (Read 5736 times)

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Baron Scarpia

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  Well musically, the leitmotifs repeat or are presented again in varying situations throughout the 4 operas.  For example the love duet at the end of Siegfried is heard again in Gotterdammerung.  The leitmotif at the beginning of Rheingold is presented again in a darker form in the Siegfried funeral march in Gotterdammerung, The leitmotif representing the giants, the wanderer, etc. are repeated, sometimes in varying forms throughout the 4 operas.   I can see how one might prefer the action sequence in one ring opera over another, but I tend to view the whole thing as one piece.  Just me I suppose. 


Clearly there are crucial thematic connections mediated by the leitmotifs, but that doesn't exclude the possibility they were used more effectively in one than another. He did put it aside for 12 years and write two operas before resuming with a refined technique.

My perspective is perhaps influenced by the fact that my life circumstances would never allow me the time to listen to the entire ring sequentially and absorb it as a whole.  Getting through one act is difficult.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 07:45:34 AM by Baron Scarpia »

Offline Rinaldo

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A little thread necromancy after yesterday's Siegfried in Vienna I had the pleasure attending. Well, pleasure – the orchestra played their viennese hearts out, the singers were mostly solid, but the staging was the epitome of blandness. I'm all for simple, stark productions, but save for a wonderful dying Fafner towering over Siegfried, this was a school-level effort. A hole for a grave here, a spear-that-doesn't-break-but-has-to-be-awkwardly-switched there, everything bathing in shades of grey... It all felt like one giant post-covid budget cut and the uninspired direction didn't help.

That said, I've certainly warmed to the music in the first two acts. And by warmed I mean I liked it a lot. The third still seems too disjointed and patchwork. The long gap shows – and not in a good way. I don't hear a master who took serious time to ponder how to sort things out, but a guy suddenly remembering he had a deadline twelve years ago.

And the chief problem that persists? Siegfried is such a repellent dunce. I know he's supposed to be a Tarzan-like man-child, condemned to a destiny he didn't choose, but calling this simpleton heroic? Until *gasp* seeing a woman, he doesn't have to overcome anything. The guy just stumbles from one scene to another and whoops, I've killed a dragon, well, let's have a nap and wait for a bird to tell me what to stumble into next.

Hard to fall for a drama built around its least interesting character.