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Thread: What are your 5 favorite musical cuts from the full Der ring des niebelung/Ring cycle

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    Senior Member ericdxx's Avatar
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    Default What are your 5 favorite musical cuts from the full Der ring des niebelung/Ring cycle

    ?

    For me it is:

    Siegfried: Notung! Notung! Neidliches schwert!

    Gotterdammerung: Act 2, Scene 1; Orchesterzwichenspiel

    Das Rheingold Scene 1: Vorspiel

    Gotterdammerung: Siegfrieds funeral march

    Gotterdammerung: Act 3, Scene 3, Zuruck vom Ring!

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Nice list. I love all of these.

    Got to add the dialogue in act 2 of Walküre between Siegmund and Brünnhilde. In the right hands (voices?) it can get me crying like a baby.
    Natalie

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    I was very disappointed with Siegfried's funeral march when I first heard it, as well as with the Rhine Journey. Before I got there, I have already learned that there are such fragments in last part of Der Ring and that they are highlights. I expected some new great music then and it turned out that both are mostly recycling of old material. Letimotives don't appear it any ingenious way, sometimes seem even far fetched in terms of meaning and symbolism (particularly in Funeral March). It's just as if Wagner got lazy to bring something new late in the work.

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    For me, it would be:
    Rheingold: The very begining; when the gods awake to the sight of Valhalla, on scene 2, the whole of Niebelheim, every scene with the giants or Freia.
    Walkure: Mostly the whole opera, the parts I could live without would be intermissions between the acts. Or interruptions when I'm listening to it. Seriously, I consider it to be perfect. (I guess I do listen mostly to Wotan/Fricka and Wotan/Brunnhilde on act 3).
    Siegfried: The forge scene on act 1, that's so thrilling! Act 2 is one of my favorites moments in the ring, particularly up to the point where Fafner is killed. Act 3 isn't yet set in my memory, as I just recently began exploring this opera after the first couple superficial listenings. But the moment when Siegfried meets Brunnhilde is eternaly carved in stone on me.
    Gotterdammerung is a special case, as I've not even gone through the whole opera as of yet (I will after I'm done with Siegfried!). However, that isn't to say that I haven't listened to a good chunck of it! And my favorite part so far has been everything Hagen, when Hagen is sung by Matti Salminen. I've been told once that every man is allowed a man-crush... In my case, that would be Salminen singing Hagen. (Sorry Frick, but you are a very close second!).
    "To see a world in a grain of sand,
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    Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    last 45 min of Rheingold
    last 45 min of Walkure
    last 45 min of Siegfried Act ll
    last 45 min of Siegfried Act lll
    last 45 min of Gotterdammerung

    but I love it all. Wagner really knew how to end acts and operas.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

    "Life's a long song, but the tune ends too soon for us all." Ian Anderson lyric

    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Hamlet

    "Man does not live by bread alone......"

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    Senior Member Oreb's Avatar
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    I can't say that these are my favourites - because I could never narrow that down to five. But these are the passages that I turn to when I'm trying to get a feel for the quality of a recording. If they pass these, then they are very unlikely to let me down overall:

    Das Rheingold, sc. 2 - 'Immer ist Undank Loge's Lohn!': a mixture of cunning and beauty that must be held in perfect balance throughout;

    Die Walkure, III, 3 - 'O hehrstes Wunder!': rapturous and tragic at once;

    Siegfried, I, transition between scenes 1 and 2: the juxtaposition of Mime's scheming and greed with the nobility of the Wanderer's motif and greeting;

    Siegfried, III, 3 - 'Heil dir, Sonne!': must be taken slowly, slowly, slowly, with intense concentration;

    Götterdämmerung, III, 1: a profound mixture of flirtation, magick and doom.

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Certainly the annoincement of death scene in Walkure Act2 contains some very beautiful music.

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    Rheingold: Entry of the Gods into Valhalla. More motivic magic, this time to a stately dance-rhythm... what's not to like?

    Walküre: Wotan's monologues in Act II. I find them gripping, and rate them among the finest pieces written for the bass-baritone voice.

    Siegfried: The "Forest Murmurs" scene. For some reason it always brings a lump to my throat... beauty of nature and all that, I suppose.

    Siegfried: Prelude to Act III. Barely 2 minutes long, but with such brilliant interweaving of motivic material it seems much longer.

    Götterdämmerung: The Tagesgrauen interlude from the Prologue. The transition from the gloom of the Norns' scene into the blazing light of Siegfried's and Brünnhilde's day is masterfully handled.

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    Senior Member Revenant's Avatar
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    If I had to keep the list to just five, I would choose the following seven:

    Rheingold: Donner dispersing the gloom all the way to the entrance into Valhall
    Walküre: The Sieglinde-Siegmund duet in the first act and Siegmund's scene with Brunnhilde, and Wotan's Farewell
    Siegfried: Forest Murmurs and the singing avian.
    Götterdämmerung: Funeral march.
    "No preluding! Piano pianissimo -- then all will be well." (Posted in the orchestra pit on August 13, 1876)

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    Senior Member Couchie's Avatar
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    1. Rheingold Prelude/Scene 1
    2. Walkure Act 2 Brunnhilde/Siegmund Scene
    3. Walkure Act 3 Wotan/Brunnhilde Scene
    4. Siegfried Act 3 Siegfried/Brunnhilde Scene
    5. Gotterdammerung
    Doch dieses Wörtlein: und, -wär' es zerstört,
    wie anders als mit Isoldes eignem Leben wär' Tristan der Tod gegeben?

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    The last part of Act 1 of Walkure from where Siegmund sings Wintersturme. In the hands of the right singers it is thrilling. Just listen to Vickers and Janowitz with Karajan and / or Jerusalem and Norman on Janowski's. On the Krauss Vinay is good but Resnick a little squally on top. But Krauss is electrifying. Then there is the famous Lehmann / Melchior with Walter - something special despite the recording.

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    The passages for cello quartet in the first act of Die Walkure. Plus, the Immolation Scene in the final act.

    Siegfried is probably my favorite Ring opera, though.

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    1. Prelude from Das Rheingold
    2. Entrance of the Gods into Valhalla (used this as my wedding recessional)
    3. Brünnhilde and Siegmund in Die Walkure
    4. Siegfried's Funeral March
    5. Brünnhilde's Immolation

    2 and 4 would always make this list; the others I am less sure of!

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    Anything that involves the Magic Sleep leitmotif. One of the most beautiful chord progressions in all music.
    "I like to think that oysters transcend national barriers" - Roger Waters

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    Quote Originally Posted by mountmccabe View Post
    Entrance of the Gods into Valhalla (used this as my wedding recessional)
    ...hopefully, the bit after Loge has sung "Ihrem Ende eilen sie zu"

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