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Siegfried: Page 591
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Siegfried: Act Two, Scene Three - Outside Fafner's lair: Alberich, Mime, Siegfried, and the Woodbird

[S.2.3: A]

Alberich and Mime clumsily stumble into each other while pursuing their mutually antagonistic schemes to gain control of the Ring, in a lurching, bubbling scene whose fantastic orchestration seems rather like something by a 20th century composer such as Stravinsky. The primary motif expressing their confrontation is #6, which we are hearing again for the first time since it was employed in R.1 to express the urgency and greed of Alberich in motion. This brief confrontation is a dramatization of Wotan’s remark to Alberich in S.2.2 that, with respect to competition for ownership of the Ring, besides Alberich himself only Mime desires it, and that Alberich can best grasp the motives of those who are his own kind:

(#6: Mime creeps back, looking round timidly to convince himself that Fafner is dead; at the same time Alberich emerges from the cleft on the other side; he watches Mime, then rushes forward and bars his way as the latter sets off for the cave. #5?.)

 

Alberich: (#6 >>:) Where are you sneaking to swiftly and slyly, my cunning companion?

 

Mime: (#6 >>:) Accursed brother, you’re all I need! What brings you here?

 

Alberich: (#6 >>:) Are you lusting after my gold, you rogue? Are you after my wealth?

 

Mime: (#6 >>:) Get away from this place! The field is mine: why are you rummaging here?

 

Alberich: (#6:) I suppose I’m disturbing your shady dealings if it’s to steal that you’re here!

 

Mime: (#6 >>:) What I acquired by arduous toil shan’t escape me now (:#6).

 

Alberich: (#19 harmony?:) Was it you who robbed the gold for the ring from the Rhine (:#19 harmony?)? (#50 frag:) Was it you who cast the tenacious spell on the ring? (#50 frag)

 

Mime: (#42?:) Who made the Tarnhelm that changes men’s shapes (:#42?)? (#50 frag:) Did he who needed it think it up (:#42?; :#50 frag)?

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