Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods)

By Richard Wagner

ISBN: 9780714544328

128 pages

RRP: £8.00

Richard Wagner’s fifteen-hour operatic cycle The Ring of the Nibelung ends with this great music drama. Michael Tanner’s essay tackles the scale and meaning not just of this work but of Wagner’s whole undertaking, showing that Götterdämmerung is – for all its length – his fastest-moving drama. Composer Robin Holloway brings the focus of creative genius to his discussion of the score, while Christopher Winkle’s article analyses Brunnhilde’s concluding monologue. The ninety numbered musical themes of the Thematic Guide are cross-referenced to the other Ring guides.

Contents: An Introduction to the End, Michael Tanner; Motif, Memory and Meaning in ‘Twilight of the Gods’, Robin Holloway; The Questionable Lightness of Being: Brunnhilde’s Peroration to ‘The Ring’, Christopher Wintle; Götterdämmerung: Poem by Richard Wagner; Twilight of the Gods: English translation by Andrew Porter

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  • All these will provide the new opera-goer with food for thought.

    The Daily Telegraph

  • Brilliantly produced and superb value.

    The Sunday Times

  • Wholehearted recommendation of this valuable new series.


Richard Wagner

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.