A question from Wintersturmer

General Discussion about Wagner and The Ring of the Nibelung

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A question from Wintersturmer

Postby alberich00 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:29 pm

I’d like your opinion regarding the statement of the curse motif after Fasolt’s murder in Rheingold. Just before it appears, there are two short passages on strings of three rapid repetitions of the same note. Is this merely a sort of tension-building musical device to announce the fortissimo Curse on brass which has no relationship to the motif structure, or is it an abbreviated form of the Power of the Gods (appearing, notably, in a four-note version as Valhalla is consumed in Gotterdammerung), the very power that is placed at risk by the Ring? I suppose that the demise of Fasolt, a symbol of the belief in everlasting life (Freia) would be an existential threat to Religious Man. Please feel free to clarify my musings.

Regards from Wintersturmer
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Re: A question from Wintersturmer ("Curse it")

Postby alberich00 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:31 pm

Dear Wintersturmer:

It’s actually Fafner, who is, of the two giants, the greatest egoist, and the giant who as a dragon represents fear (including fear of death), is the Giant aligned with Freia’s gift of immortality through her apples of sorrowless youth eternal. In fact we hear the Golden Apples Motif often when Fafner is discussing Freia, but hear instead Freia’s own motif, the basis for the Love Motif’s #39, #40, and #64, whenever Fasolt, the amorous giant, is discussing Freia. So Freia’s status as goddess of love is distinct from her status as goddess of immortality, though some authors confuse the two by calling her the goddess of youth. The distinction in the claim of the giants Fafner (Fear) and Fasolt (Love) to Freia is predicated on this distinction in Freia herself.

I’ll listen to that passage and get back to you soon. It’s a perfect question for those members of the discussion forum who can read music, which I can’t. Of course, one should be able to hear an allusion such as the one you mention.

Your friend from wagnerheim.com,

Paul
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