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The Rhinegold: Page 190
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this combination of #5 with #39 harks back directly to Alberich’s existential cry of woe at the lovelessness of the world (for him). Cooke also observed that #39 slows down and gradually transforms into a very tragic and dark variant of the essential Love Motif, #40, which Cooke described as representing love which is lost from the world thanks to Alberich’s curse on love. Though it is a Love Motif variant Cooke notes that it partakes of the Ring Motif’s (#19’s) harmony.

One of Cooke’s most wonderful insights is that this musical prelude to R.3 - the scene in which we see the consequences of the Rhinedaughters’ rejection of Alberich’s bid for love, that, having nothing to lose, he renounced love for the sake of the Ring’s power – provides a psychological portrait of the frame of mind which possesses Alberich as he converts what once had been his hope of finding love, into a vengeful desire to destroy love, or expose love as an illusion, since his bid for love has been irrevocably undone. Thus, as Cooke explained, the Rhinedaughters’ once joyous cry of “(#13:) Heiajaheia!” in celebration of the Rhinegold’s pre-fallen beauty, is transformed now into the harsh, rhythmic motif of the Nibelungs’ Slave Labor, #41, a motif representing their terribly arduous forging of Alberich's hoard of treasure with hammers in Nibelheim’s mines, spurred by his whip, a hoard with which he intends to conquer the world and compel all the living to renounce love as he has.

But, as I can’t emphasize often enough, Alberich’s renunciation of love (dependence on animal instinct) for the sake of power (the power of the conscious human mind, which rises above dependence on animal instinct) was the precondition and underlying motive for man’s invention of the gods and involvement in all other forms of artistic self-deception, for this is nothing more than man’s artificial and futile attempt to restore lost innocence. As Wagner said:

“(The state of Innocence could not come to men’s consciousness until they had lost it. This yearning back thereto, the struggle for its re-attainment, is the soul of the whole movement of civilisation since ever we learnt to know the men of legend and of history. It is the impulse to depart from a generality that seems hostile to us, to arrive at egoistic satisfaction in ourselves …).” [393W-{1-2/49} Jesus of Nazareth: PW Vol. VIII. p. 320]

 

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