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.
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.
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
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.
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.