Die Walküre (The Valkyrie)
“Things like this are written only for people who have good powers of endurance (so really for nobody!)”, wrote Wagner about Die Walküre. Yet, as Geoffrey Skelton points out, the opera has enjoyed a separate popularity and existence from the Ring Cycle. George Gillespie shows just how the string of mythical events was converted into a drama remarkable for its concentrated excitement and fine construction. Barry Millington introduces the web of motifs in the complex score. The English version, with Elizabeth Forbes’s translation of the verses that Wagner did not eventually set to music but retained as footnotes to his published version, is by acclaimed translator Andrew Porter.
Contents: A Conflict of Power and Love, Geoffrey Skelton; Chronology of the Composition of ‘The Valkyrie’; An Introduction to the Music of ‘The Valkyrie’, Barry Millington; New Myths for Old, George Gillespie; Translating ‘The Ring’, Andrew Porter; Die Walküre: Poem by Richard Wagner; The Valkyrie: English translation by Andrew Porter
All these will provide the new opera-goer with food for thought.
Brilliantly produced and superb value.
Wholehearted recommendation of this valuable new series.
Richard Wagner (1813–83) was a composer who drew inspiration from Christian and Nordic mythology, as well as the philosophy of Schopenhauer, to pioneer dramatically new forms of music. His concept of the “Total Artwork” led to the construction of the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, an opera house he designed specifically for productions of his own operas. He also wrote widely on music and art. His operas include Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and the four parts of Der Ring des Nibelungen.