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AmDismal

Penetrating Wagner's Ring

63 posts in this topic

Well I've found Wagner's Ring very hard to get into, but someone's written a book to help people get to the bottom of this seminal piece...

Amazon Linky - the reviews definitely give it a thumbs up...

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Erk :sick:... I never did fancy Wagner.

Ah, maybe that's why SSM likes him so much :zip:

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The whole thing is certainly astonishingly complex. There are literally hundreds of these leitmotifs. They’re morphed, varied, juxtaposed in different ways continuously (and some times in parallel), in order to illustrate and set into relief different aspects of the drama as it unfolds. Leitmotifs signal the changing psychology of the characters, or concepts like fate, love, enmity, etc, etc…

Then there’s the colossal sweep of the thing, you really feel you’re totally immersed in some alien universe – like reading Tolkien, Mervin Peake or Terry Pratchett say. The musical language is incredibly original and innovative – the harmony virtually launched 20th century music! Wagner almost single handedly invented the way the orchestra sounds ever since.

And don’t forget he wrote all the words too! Directed all the staging and designed the theatre building to boot! Simply unimaginable today. What ever you think of Wagner the man, and his anti-Semitism was very nasty, he surely had a brain the size of a planet.

What I found indispensable is the two disc set ‘An introduction to the Ring’ by Deryck Cooke on Decca – don’t know if it’s still available. It provides an extensive explanation and analysis of the system of leitmotifs using examples from the Solti recordings. Your admiration just increases as you listen through it.

I think you have to be in the mood for Wagner. I wouldn’t want it every day – about once a year for the Ring is sufficient for me. But I find it easy to acknowledge his power and significance.

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A first - Penance in the classical section...:D

Have to agree with Martin about the genius of Wagner. His music dramas have sufficient appeal to please listeners who aren't familiar with the scores, yet they yield even more rewards when their intricate construction is studied. I haven't had the luxury of time to look at the sheet music for the Ring but I did so with Tristan and was humbled and impressed. btw even without such analytical preparation it is possible to feel the colossal impact of the Ring, especially if you set aside a whole day (6am to 8pm) to listen to the four operas in an unbroken sequence. By the time the Immolation Scene comes on, the impact is like a cardiac attack - so momentous is its occasion.

Good Friday beckons this week. Time for us all to take down a good recording of Parsifal and soak in its special vibes!:):):)pope.gif

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AmDismal wrote:

Well I've found Wagner's Ring very hard to get into, but someone's written a book to help people get to the bottom of this seminal piece...

Amazon Linky - the reviews definitely give it a thumbs up...

The opening first review is hilarious!

"As implied by the title, this collection probes deeply into Wagner's vast Ring piece."

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This thread needs to be imortalised, preserved and trumpeted. If anyone wants to know why the wam is as good as it is, just read these wondrous words above and weep, with laughter and awe. How can any one place be big enough to accomodate Sine Nomine, Penance and Solid. I'm crying here.:lmfao::lmfao::lmfao:

Oh god. Ah well...my contribution is just that I've always had a soft spot for big birds with horns.:bounce:

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rockmeister wrote:

This thread needs to be imortalised, preserved and trumpeted. If anyone wants to know why the wam is as good as it is, just read these wondrous words above and weep, with laughter and awe. How can any one place be big enough to accomodate Sine Nomine, Penance and Solid. I'm crying here.:lmfao::lmfao::lmfao:

Oh god. Ah well...my contribution is just that I've always had a soft spot for big birds with horns.:bounce:

Ask James to make it (a) sticky :hom:
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"For this reviewer, however, Wagner's Ring remains quite intact and is indeed tightened by the exploration. In short, this stimulating venture in and out of Wagner's Ring has resulted in a seminal, fluid output."

"Within minutes of dimming my lights and burying my head into it I became enveloped in its cavernous depths. Now having withdrawn, I feel that by entering the ring myself, a little hole in me has been filled. I thoroughly recommend everyone to take the plunge into Wagner's wonderful piece."

"An absolute pleasure...the very thought of Wagner's Ring has me licking my fingers with anticipation. Definitely worth a thumbs up."

"Initially I had a hard time getting into Wagner's ring, no matter how much I pushed myself, I just couldn't slip into it. However, I found that slowly, after repeated attempts, Wagner's ring loosened up and permitted me the access I'd been seeking."

:sw:

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Sine Nomine wrote:

I wouldn’t want it every day – about once a year ... is sufficient for me.

Takes a year for the wounds to heal? :shock:

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