View Poll Results: Favorite Plot in the Ring Cycle?

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  • Das Rheingold

    8 29.63%
  • Die Walkure

    6 22.22%
  • Siegfried

    2 7.41%
  • Gotterdammerung

    11 40.74%
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Thread: Favorite Ring Opera by Plot?

  1. #31
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lextune View Post
    I don't know any other Ring in English, but Porter's is the only singable English translation.

    Der Ring des Nibelungen (In English) - Kingsley, Herincx, Haywood, de Marseille, Estes, Mangin, Cariaga; Holt. 1977
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

  2. #32
    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    According to OperaDepot this version is Porter's singing translation.
    No sound ever comes from the Gates of Eden.

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  4. #33
    Senior Member lextune's Avatar
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    Yes, Porter is the only singable English translation. It is likely to be the only one there will ever be. It would be a virtual impossibility to improve it.

    Sadly, it looks like that recording has cuts though.

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  6. #34
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    I'm not taken with the musical examples from that recording. The voices sound rather lightweight; I remember Raimund Herincx on recordings of Baroque music back in the 1960s, and would never have imagined him as a Wotan. The Hagen here doesn't even sound like a bass!

    Knowing Wagner in German for as long as I have, I have difficulty listening to him in translation. Wagner set texts to music with great sensitivity to vowels and consonants, and hearing a long note sung on the wrong vowel is jarring, as in the excerpt from Siegfried.

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  8. #35
    Senior Member lextune's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Knowing Wagner in German for as long as I have, I have difficulty listening to him in translation. Wagner set texts to music with great sensitivity to vowels and consonants, and hearing a long note sung on the wrong vowel is jarring, as in the excerpt from Siegfried.
    I must admit to the same bias....

    I feel confident that Wagner would have been amazed at the erudition of Porter's singable translation, and as I have already said; it is a marvel of musical/literary art, but I just can't enjoy it the way I do the original German.

    If you are a native English speaker, put on your favorite recording, and read along with Stewart Spencer's translation. It is a revelation. Beautiful. Powerful. Monumental.

    https://www.amazon.com/Wagners-Ring-.../dp/0500281947

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  10. #36
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lextune View Post
    Yes, Porter is the only singable English translation. It is likely to be the only one there will ever be. It would be a virtual impossibility to improve it.

    Sadly, it looks like that recording has cuts though.
    Now that you mention it, I recall something about cuts and so again figure Goodall is good enough for me.
    Last edited by Fritz Kobus; Dec-10-2018 at 04:31.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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  12. #37
    Senior Member lextune's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    Siegfried gives the Ring to Brunhilde out of love. Chooses love over power/material things. In other words, does the opposite of Alberich, who trades love for the Ring.

    Anything to this? ^^^^
    Alberich gives up love for power in the beginning, and it is Brünnhilde who gives up power for love in the end.

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  14. #38
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lextune View Post
    Alberich gives up love for power in the beginning, and it is Brünnhilde who gives up power for love in the end.
    Brunnhilde never wanted power. She gives up, not her own desire for power, but Wotan's, vicariously. In Walkure she says to him,"Who am I, if not your will?", and she remains faithful to him in doing always what he truly desires, even when it means opposing his official commands. It has been Wotan's struggle to learn to will his fate and to renounce once and for all the rule of the gods. But he, bound by treaty, cannot take back the ring even to renounce it. Brunnhilde alone, inheriting the ring and finally understanding fully the evil that it brings, can give it away once and for all, and thus fulfill his final wish.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Dec-11-2018 at 01:37.

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  16. #39
    Senior Member lextune's Avatar
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    It is true of course that Brunnhilde follows Wotan's deepest desire, rather than his explicit command, but we all know what happens as a result...

    Stripped of her power, the Brunnhilde that Siegfried awakens is no longer the 'will of Wotan'. By Wotan's own runic magic she is cast free, weak, and bound to he who will wake her:

    Deinen leichten Sinn lass' dich denn leiten:
    von mir sagtest du dich los.
    ...
    Du folgtest selig
    der Liebe Macht:
    folge nun dem
    den du lieben mußt!

    "Be guided now
    by your own light thoughts:
    from me you have cast yourself free.
    ...
    You blissfully followed
    the force of love
    now follow him
    whom you're forced to love"

    In Act I of Götterdämmerung Waltraute comes to Brunnhilde and tells her of Wotan's dream:

    des tiefen Rheines Töchtern
    gäbe den Ring sie wieder zurück,
    von des Fluches Last
    erlös't wär Gott und Welt!

    "if she gave back the Ring
    to the deep Rhine's daughters
    from the weight of the curse
    both god and world would be freed"

    She pleads with her sister:

    An deiner Hand, der Ring,
    er ist's; hör' meinen Rath:
    für Wotan wirf ihn von dir!

    "Upon your hand, the Ring
    that's it: o heed my counsel!
    For Wotan, cast it away from you!"


    So, even when Wotan still thinks returning the gold might save the gods, Brunnhilde's replies are unequivocal:

    Welch' banger Träume Mären
    meldest du Traurige mir!
    Der Götter heiligem
    Himmels-Nebel
    bin ich Thörin enttaucht:
    ...
    Geh' hin zu der Götter
    heiligem Rath!
    Von meinem Ringe
    raune ihnen zu:
    die Liebe ließe ich nie,
    mir nähmen nie sie die Liebe,
    stürzt' auch in Trümmern
    Walhalls strahlende Pracht!
    ...
    Schwinge dich fort, fliege zu Roß!
    Den Reif entführst du mir nicht!

    "What tales of fearful dreams
    are you telling me, sad sister?
    Poor fool that I am,
    I have risen above
    the mists of the gods' hallowed heaven:
    ...
    Go hence to the gods'
    hallowed council,
    of my Ring
    tell them only this:
    I shall never relinquish love,
    they'll never take love from me
    though Valhalla's glittering pomp
    should moulder into dust!
    ...
    Betake yourself hence
    fly off on your horse
    you'll never take the Ring from me!"


    You are right that she never desires power. And "inherit" is the right word for how she acquires it. (She speaks of the Ring as "her inheritance" as the funeral pyre is being built). But acquire it she does, (as Hagen recoils, terrified, by the dead Siegfried's outstretched hand!), and she gives it up. Not for Wotan, but for her love of Siegfried. In fact, just before the immolation she speaks of her grief, and Wotan's guilt.


    Ächter als er schwur Keiner Eide;
    treuer als er hielt Keiner Verträge;
    lautrer als er liebte kein And'rer:
    Und doch, alle Eide, alle Verträge,
    die treueste Liebe, trog keiner wie Er!
    Wiß't ihr, wie das ward?
    (nach oben blickend)
    O ihr, der Eide ewige Hüter!
    Lenkt euren Blick auf mein blühendes Leid;
    erschaut eure ewige Schuld!
    Meine Klage hör', du hehrster Gott!
    Durch seine tapferste That,
    dir so tauglich erwünscht,
    weihtest du den, der sie gewirkt,
    dem Fluche dem du verfielest:
    Mich mußte der Reinste verrathen,
    daß wissend würde ein Weib!

    Never were oaths
    more nobly sworn:
    never were treaties
    kept more truly:
    never did any man
    love more loyally:
    and yet every oath,
    every treaty,
    the truest love-
    no one betrayed as he did!
    Do you know why that was so?-
    Oh you, eternal
    guardian of oaths!
    Direct your gaze
    on my burgeoning grief:
    behold your eternal guilt!
    Hear my lament,
    most mighty of gods!
    By the bravest of deeds
    which you dearly desired
    you doomed him
    who wrought it to suffer
    the curse to which you in turn succumbed
    it was I whom the purest man
    had to betray,
    that a woman might grow wise.
    Last edited by lextune; Yesterday at 00:48. Reason: Tried to clarify myself, with moderate success I'd say.

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  18. #40
    Senior Member lextune's Avatar
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    To be fair, as I review what I've written, I can see in other passages, text that could be seen as Brünnhilde finally fulfilling Wotan desires again too....I won't post more long quotes, (and essentially have a debate with myself, ha!). Suffice to say that I wish Woodduck and I were producing the next big production of The Ring! :P

    Interestingly though, the contradictions that do exist in some character motives, (just like in real life), did not escape Wagner's notice of course. And I think they were left in with great purpose, to great dramatic effect.
    Last edited by lextune; Yesterday at 01:03.

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  20. #41
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    ^^^ I think you're right in suggesting that even Brunnhilde is not entirely immune from the curse of the ring, but she doesn't attempt to use it as a tool of domination. Her single exercise of power over another is in having Siegfried killed, and that is arguably an act of justice for the most inexplicable and terrible of crimes, the betrayal of love. But both she and Wotan must learn that love itself can be selfish, and thus can contain the very egoism that at a less evolved level of consciousness engenders the desire for power.

    Alberich shows at the very beginning of the Ring how the desire for power arises from the same basic egoism that powers the yearning for a purely selfish love and blossoms when that yearning is frustrated. The raw power which Alberich covets and exercises reveals an infantile state of being in which ego reigns unchecked and a sense of morality has not yet arisen. Wotan represents a consciousness in the process of evolving morally, and he is thus capable of acquiring wisdom as the corrosive implications of desiring and possessing power dawn on him. Brunnhilde represents the wisest part of Wotan, the part of him motivated by love, and it isn't her inmost nature to desire dominion over others (which enables her alone to perform the final sacrificial, redemptive act). She refuses to give up the ring at Waltraute's bidding not because she desires any power it might bestow but because it represents Siegfried's love. But the notion that she can escape the curse by, in effect, neutralizing it, making the ring itself into a symbol of love, the very thing Alberich renounced in order to forge the ring, is a fatal illusion, an illusion she can't recognize as such because she is blind to the egoism in sexual love. Her illusion is that of "redemption by eros," which is one of the themes of Wagner's work as a whole; in opera after opera he shows how the pursuit of that illusion results in disaster and death. Brunnhilde paradoxically represents, then dispels, then fulfills at a higher level of moral consciousness Wagner's dream of the salvation of man by woman's love, showing that love is necessary but not sufficient by showing, at least implicitly, that in order to be salvific it must be sacrificial and not selfish.

    Once the world of Wotan/Alberich and the reign of power have gone up in the purifying flames of Siegfried's funeral pyre, Wagner is ready to offer his final, more explicit, representation of this problem which he wrestles with throughout his work. Siegfried, reborn as Parsifal, is able by dint of compassion to reject the selfish love promised by Kundry and so redeem, in full consciousness, the world from Wotan and Alberich's reincarnations, Titurel and Klingsor.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Yesterday at 22:56.

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  22. #42
    Senior Member lextune's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply. It is very well said.

    I can't help but notice that neither of us has picked a "favorite plot", ha! I don't think I'll be able to. So, apologies to the original poster.

  23. #43
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lextune View Post
    Thanks for the reply. It is very well said.

    I can't help but notice that neither of us has picked a "favorite plot", ha! I don't think I'll be able to. So, apologies to the original poster.
    No, the Ring is all one story. No favorite plot for me.

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