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Siegfried: Page 667
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Siegfried: Act Three, Scene Three - On top of Bruennhilde's rocky peak: Siegfried and Bruennhilde

[S.3.3: A]

 The thing which most strikes us experiencing the wordless interlude during which Siegfried progresses up the mountain through the fire to reach Bruennhilde, is the sublimity of the music. It is as if we have entered an entirely new world, which though resembling the one we know, is transfigured and refined and distilled to the point that we feel we have attained the goal of earthly existence. This corresponds precisely with Wagner’s thesis about the redemptive power of his secular art which, though it doesn’t truly transcend the world or stand outside of it, makes us feel as if we’ve risen above it and its vulgar concerns. Upon reaching the peak of Bruennhilde’s mountain Siegfried is overcome with aesthetic arrest as he surveys all below him, and spots Grane and Bruennhilde asleep. Bruennhilde - her form obscured by her armor and helmet - Siegfried takes at first for a male warrior:

(The clouds, which have become increasingly fine, have dissolved into a delicate veil of rose-coloured mist and now part in such a way that the haze disperses towards the top of the stage, finally revealing only the cloudless blue sky, while on the edge of the rocky height, which has now become visible … , a veil of early-morning mist continues to hang, at the same time recalling the magic fire which is still blazing in the valley below. The arrangement of the scene is entirely the same as at the end of The Valkyrie: in the foreground, beneath the spreading branches of the fir-tree, Bruennhilde lies asleep in full shining armour, her helmet on her head, her long shield covering her. #harps [recalling the transition from R.1 to R.2, and our first view of Valhalla]; #139? [Dunning did not locate #139 at this point]; #98 [on high strings]; #139?; #87?. Siegfried reaches the rocky edge of the cliff from the back. At first only the upper part of his body is visible. He remains in this position for a long time, staring round him in astonishment.)

 

Siegfried: (quietly: #23?: [transforming into #87?:) Blissful wasteland on wondrous heights (:#23? [transforming into #87?])!

 

(#15; #129b; #23: He climbs right up and, standing on a rock by the precipice at the back, observes the scene in wonderment. He gazes into the pinewood at the side and moves further downstage.)

 

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