Walkure Act II Prelude.

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Walkure Act II Prelude.

Postby WOLRAM » Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:52 pm

Having just watched a DVD of the Valkyrie Act II, which now makes infinitely more sense in the light of your analysis, I was reminded that during the prelude (just before the 'Valkyrie motif" emerges), there is a theme which sounds very much like the 'Nibelung Labour Motif" (or hammering of the anvils), at least rhythmically. I believe this rhythm (minus the last two beats) is also the basis for the accompanying theme in 'Ride of the Valyries'.
I don't think you have have mentioned this connection - Do you agree that the influence of the Nibelung's Labour Motif is present here? and if so, what could this be telling us? Could it be a reminder that Wotan is not totally different to Alberich?
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Re: Walkure Act II Prelude.

Postby alberich00 » Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:16 pm

Dear Wolram:

I've just listened to the Prelude to "The Valkyrie" Act II again and don't hear any reference to the Nibelung Hammering or Labor Motif. The motifs I detect are initially #57, the Sword Motif, #40, one version of the Love Motif, and of course #77, the Ride of the Valkyries Motif in which this prelude culminates. You can also check this question by looking at the corresponding chapter here at wagnerheim.com in my book on the "Ring," in which #57, #40, and #77 are embedded at the appropriate point in the libretto text, and of course you can listen to them. But maybe I'm missing something. Are you perhaps confusing #57, the Sword Motif, with the Nibelung Hammering Motif?

I know one thing from personal experience: the "Ring" motifs can really confound you sometimes, since their presence here and there conditions the ear/mind to look for them everywhere. My music-consultant Dr. Allen Dunning pointed out to me on many occasions that "Ring" music which I thought was motival was not. But I don't trust my own ear and have to get the experts in score analysis to give me cover, ho ho.

Listen again and check out the corresponding text of my chapter on V.2.1, with embedded/numbered motifs, and let me know if you still hear the Nibelung Hammering Motif.
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Re: Walkure Act II Prelude.

Postby WOLRAM » Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:23 pm

I've checked your narrative and I certainly hear all of the Leitmotifs you mention. What I also hear is a rhythm (emphasised on timpani) which I find suggestive of the Niebelung's hammering motive. Perhaps my imagination is playing tricks, but this passage always brings the hammering anvils to mind for those few moments just before the Valkyrie motif emerges. There might not be a true relationship between those themes, but I believe there is a rhythmic (but not melodic) resemblance.
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Re: Walkure Act II Prelude.

Postby alberich00 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:39 pm

Dear Wolram:

I hear the drum rhythm which you referenced but in this case I suspect the resemblance to the NIbelung Labor Motif is incidental. Of course, I could be wrong. It would be an interesting exercise to try to grasp what if any purely dramatic or conceptual reason there is for the appearance or recurrence of any given motif or motif variant or motif fragment at any given point in the development of the drama in Wagner's mature music-dramas. My effort in my online book about the "Ring," here at Wagnerheim, was my best effort at the time, but a great deal remains to be done. I'm hoping someday to collaborate with an astute musicologist who is willing to work their way analyitically through the entire score, to determine the functions of various motifs, their variety of uses, etc.
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