Free pictures, posters, jokes, music and video downloads. The Walkyries are the symbol of the 'Ring of the Nibelung' by Richard Wagner







Learn how and why Ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt were invented during Renaissance

624 pages,
446 illustrations








Opera Online
opera online sitemap     home  

WHO'S WHO IN THE RING?


  • Rheingold

  • Walkure

  • Siegfried

  • Twilight of the Gods
  • Fricka
  • Rhinemaidens

  • Hagen

  • Wotan

  • Siegfried

  • Brünnhilde

  • Mime the dwarf

  • Erda


  • The Walkyries :

    They are at the origin of many misunderstandings. First of all their famous ride was often musically deformed. The main theme was accentuated in the fifth note instead of the second, replacing the spectral leap by a heavy military music. She was presented outside of the context and reorchestrated. She was accompanied by the fireworks, by the helicopters in Apocalypse Now, by a caravan of camels in the desert where nomads discovered with delight a bottle of mineral water half buried in the sand in a TV ad.

    In popular mind, the Walkyries are the symbol of the Ring, Wagner is the grandfather of triumphant German militarism and Siegfried is the Aryan hero praised and sung by the Nazis. They are musical monuments amounted to the glory of the imperious and triumphant German race. Deutschland über Alles.

    But the reality written in the opera partition is absolutely different and the Ring of Centenary was necessary to show it. The eight sisters are real hyenas, characters accumulating the negative connotations. Deprived of adequate selves, they are terrorized by Walvater Wotan who despises them openly; they are incapable to help the two women on the run. They restrict themselves to a corporatist reflex of defence towards Brünnhilde. Their necrophilia role deserves a phantasmagoria of horror. Their built in function is to instigate the frenzy, the virility of young people to make them to death. Hegel asserted, not without reason, that the one that wins in the fight is the hero who pawns his life to defend his cause. Walkyries suite this definition to the extreme: the heroes whom they select entail and coach for Walhalla (the Hall of the heroes), correspond all to the definition of Hegel: yes they are fearless winners, but they are dead.

    In the spectral ride, which crosses the sky the massacre frightens less than the atmosphere that precedes the entrance of the heroes to Walhalla. We are at the antipodes of the noble assembly, the delights praised by Brünnhilde to Siegmund, the delicious creatures stretching out the mead to the happy warriors. The viragos enjoy themselves with corpses, compare them, and roar. In popular imagination they always sing in choir, while per partition they roar in a horrifying disorder, screaming in the storm.

    Walkyries are atmospheric figures, comparable to Donner and to the thunderstorm. But while the theme of Donner, of his hammer and thick clouds that he collects, are based on the triad of nature, the harmony of the furies is based on the fifth increased, succession of two major tierces. This agreement belongs to the scale by tones, used profoundly by Debussy to represent the unverifiable force of elements and impulses. The stage setting and the iconography further reinforce the musical and semantic misunderstandings.

    It is certainly extremely difficult to represent these riders crossing the airs; Wagner the precursor showed the way by using light projections. But today the stage-directors represent them either as hardened grandmothers in grey plastic clothes, with Prussian helmet headwear, or bitchy witches in leather motorbike ware.The behaviour of Walkyries justifies to a certain extent Brünnhilde's contemptuous attitude to one of them: Waltraute comes to ask her for help.

    She depicts the troop of her sisters in a horrible light. The warrior sisters incapable of any reaction, surround wallowed on the ground, terrorized, and paralysed by fear, the indifferent and depressive God. They are unemployed and demoralized by idleness. The Walkyries will perish in the final fire with the powerless and catatonic gods.

    Top

    Back to Who's Who

    Free DHTML scripts provided by
    Dynamic Drive