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The Rhinegold: Page 290
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transfigures everything she touches.” [650W-{2/57} On Liszt’s Symphonic Poems: PW Vol. III, p. 246-247]

“Man’s nature is twofold, an outer and an inner. The senses to which he offers himself as a subject for Art, are those of Vision and of Hearing: to the eye appeals the outer man, the inner to the ear.

(…) … the more distinctly can the outer man express the inner, the higher does he show his rank as an artistic being.

But the inner man can only find direct communication through the ear, and that by means of his voice’s Tone. Tone is the immediate utterance of feeling and has its physical seat within the heart, whence start and whither flow the waves of life-blood.” [430W-{9-12/49} The Artwork of the Future: PW Vol. I, p. 91]

It is in music, Wagner tells us, that we can consign man’s reasoning power and its problems to oblivion, as if by virtue of a supernatural grace, though music comes not from a transcendent heaven, but from within those depths (of the self) which the Rhinedaughters say are alone trusty and true:

[P. 317] “In this Symphony [Beethoven’s] instruments speak a language whereof [P. 318] the world at no previous time had any knowledge: for here, with a hitherto unknown persistence, the purely-musical Expression enchains the hearer in an inconceivably varied mesh of nuances; rouses his inmost being, to a degree unreachable by any other art; and in all its changefulness reveals an ordering principle so free and bold, that we can but deem it more forcible than any logic, yet without the laws of logic entering into it in the slightest – nay, rather, the reasoning march of Thought, with its track of causes and effects, here finds no sort of foothold. So that this Symphony must positively appear to us a revelation from another world; and in truth it opens out a scheme (Zusammen-hang) of the world’s phenomena quite different from the ordinary logical scheme, and whereof one foremost thing is undeniable: -- that it thrusts home with the most over-whelming conviction, and guides our Feeling with such a sureness that the logic-mongering Reason is completely routed and disarmed thereby.” [681W-{9/60} Music of the Future, PW Vol. III, p. 317-318]

“He is a fool who would seek to win the world and a feeling of peace from outside himself! (…) Only inside, within us, deep down does salvation dwell!“ [655W-{4/7/58} Letter to Mathilde Wesendonck: SLRW, p. 383]

The Rhinedaughters’ final salvo is that those – the gods – who rejoice above are false (dependent upon self-deception) and fated (doomed to destruction). It is precisely because the gods’ rule depends upon illusion that it is false and also doomed by Alberich, who alone has the courage for the truth, alone has no illusions to lose. But if the gods can somehow return to the refuge of music, which stakes no claim to the truth (the power of the Ring), and therefore can’t be discredited by the truth, the gods can find a certainty free (at least temporarily) from fear.

We have come to the end of the first of the four Ring dramas, The Rhinegold, which Wagner regarded merely as an introductory prologue, a fore-evening, for the Ring trilogy. Being the last of the libretto texts of the Ring music-dramas which Wagner completed, having worked his way back to the beginning of time and human history to explain why Siegfried had to die, we have found The

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