At the opening of the second music drama of the Ring cycle – The Valkyrie – we enter, for the first time, the world of human beings. Siegmund is a fugitive; Sieglinde gives him shelter… Nothung [Needful] the sword General course materials: Keyboard Cycle of 5ths Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as “fair use/dealing”, for the […]

Ye gods!

  The gold has been stolen, the Rhine maidens are distraught. But it’s not only in the depths of the Rhine that the inexorable nemesis of the Ring is beginning its dark stirrings. Wotan has commissioned the giants, Fafner and Fasolt to build Valhalla – a home for the gods and the heavenly reward of […]

What is a leitmotif?

  Fifteen hours (or thereabouts, depending on the conductor) of music, spread over four nights, woven from an intricate, cross-referenced nexus of small melodic cells and chord progressions (leitmotifs), Wagner’s Ring Cycle is considered by many to be one of the greatest and most influential works of the nineteenth century. It can, however –mainly due […]