is the favourite of contemporary directors, although formerly
he appeared as an eternal " looser ", someone feeling
sorry for himself, lamenting and immature. This sympathy is
credibly due to the repelling effect of Siegfried compared
to him the "wolf cub" seems more human. And then...
The adventure of the twins is designed to inspire sympathy.
us try to understand better this charming character, albeit
somewhat a little bit annoying by his systematic vocation
for misfortune. First of all what is obvious is his total
ignorance of the manipulation of which he is the subject.
He takes everything to the first degree, as later his son
Siegfried will do.
will be necessary that Sieglinde explain their gemellarity to him,
so that he understands it. Siegmund like Siegfried love freedom
and reject the laws. Alive in the present moment, he is incapable
of establishing the slightest link of cause and effect. He merely
notices that his values are opposite to those of society, without
trying neither to adapt himself to them nor to wonder about their
validity. He is an epic character by his long story of pursuing.
He likes story telling.
second trait of the man (one supposes him a young person,
strong, brave and doubtless beautiful), is his true capacity
to fall in love. Love that comes as lightning bolt is the
sign of longing and has nothing sexual. The character dreams
to escape the double nightmare into which Wolfe plunged him
without asking: excommunication and pursuit. He strives for
friendship and love but also for the conquest of the virility
promised by his father. He conceals treasures of tenderness
but also drives for death, which will turn against him and
the pregnant Sieglinde when he will be forced into a dead
end. The young man prefers to kill himself and his twin bride
than to surrender to the mercy of his enemies. One can interpret
this suicidal decision in a number of ways. One can suppose
that he expects from his enemies a massacre preceded by humiliation:
rape and torture.
He is well placed to know the fate reserved for him; the girl he
defended was killed. We can imagine the punishment reserved by the
servants of Fricka - Neidingen for incest and adultery! It is the
most plausible version.
exists a second one, contradictory to the first. He cannot
stand the idea of separation. He dies, thus his twin bride
should also disappear. At first he prefers go down to hell
(at Hella) rather than to lead a life of enjoyment without
is not forbidden to see a certain male chauvinism in this
affection. Sieglinde is his property and he cannot stand to
see it falling in foreign hands. After all, as long as there
is life there is hope, a hope that he denies to his wife and
third characteristic of Siegmund is his unmistakable humanity. For
the first time in the Ring, appears a being inspired by Freia. Siegmund
is sensitive to the beauty of Nature (the song of the Spring) and
the beauty of a woman. This feeling inspires him one of the rare
poetic passages of all the tetralogy. He gives a wholesome lesson
to the Walkyrie, which is surprised to see to prefer a poor sick
woman to the bliss of Wotan's wishmaidens. For the first time also,
appears love, tenderness, and the feelings of Siegmund are contagious.
They are passed on to the Walkyrie, who, upset, will find the stamina
to oppose to the Iron Law of Power.
Siegmund is brave. Not in the style of the young unconscious who
plays his life at the roulette because he believes he is immortal.
But as any conscious being who knows suffering and fear, and who
being true to himself carries the burden of life, which he hates.
This courage takes several forms: heroic when he tears away Nothung
from its sheath and when he faces Hunding in fight, quiet and noble
when he resists the Walkyrie and accepts death.
is these qualities of authenticity, courage and tenderness
that moved the public and the directors. Some saw in Siegmund
the only one being really free in the Ring and all prefer
him to his son.
does the music tell us about his character? The theme, which
is connected with him officially, is depressive and grave;
it arises from the first notes of the theme of the Lance.
The one that describes the fate of wolves, the Wälsungen, consists
of three successive sections: a sort of heroic and funeral march,
which accelerated turns into aggressive fanfare, this march is followed
by a plaintive theme evoking an unfortunate fate, finally a third
very sweet and almost comforting, major section resulting in a desperate
conclusion.But when Siegmund evokes women in one way or another,
the vocal line takes on extreme inflections of sweetness and longing
joined to a delicacy of nuances which contrasts strongly with the
heroic and aggressive breaks of the stories. What else can one add?
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