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Twilight of the Gods: Page 869
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#169, is a festive musical figure which conveys Siegfried’s tragic, uncomprehending joy in wedding his new love Gutrune, wholly oblivious to what he has lost in forgetting Bruennhilde under the spell of Hagen’s Potion, #154. It is introduced as Siegfried ecstatically cries out his welcome to Gutrune, and is the vocal line of Gutrune’s joyous response to him: may the goddess Freia give Siegfried greeting in honor of all women. Siegfried subtly invokes the sibling gods Freia (alternative name Holda) and Froh as he tells Gutrune that she should be open handed and well disposed to him in his happy state (“Frei und hold, sie nun mir frohen”), since today he’s won Gutrune as wife. The tragic irony and hubris is overwhelming as Siegfried and Gutrune call upon the gods to celebrate an event which will signal the gods’ and Waelsung heroes’ downfall, and even the downfall of that social order which up until now has been based upon either openly expressed religious faith, or traditions and sentiments which have been propagated by religious faith.

Curiously, we hear #110 (or is it #145?) as Siegfried expresses his joy that he’s finally won Gutrune’s hand (by abducting Bruennhilde for his blood-brother Gunther). #110 originally expressed Siegfried’s joy in having emancipated himself from Mime’s claims upon him, in S.1.1, so he could go out into the world of cunning men, freely wielding his newly re-forged sword Nothung. Wagner also called upon this motif (and its near neighbor #111) in T.P.2, to express Siegfried’s joy in Bruennhilde’s inspiration, which sends him out into the world of cunning men (the Gibichungs) to undertake new adventures (i.e., to create inspired works of art which will redeem them from their heart’s “Noth,” Alberich’s curse of consciousness). It is of course Bruennhilde, Siegfried’s unconscious mind, who frees Siegfried of all that Wotan loathed in himself, which was represented by Mime. But the cunning society which Mime warned Siegfried to prepare for by learning the meaning of fear from Fafner, the society which Wotan created and also came to loathe, and of whose history his hoard of knowledge speaks, is symbolized by the Gibichungs who have set out to exploit Siegfried. Siegfried is now serving this corrupt society, just as Siegfried’s archetype Loge formerly served the gods’ need to sustain their self-deceit. Siegfried’s wooing of Gutrune represents the artist’s wooing of the society into which he is born, the artist’s impulse to produce redemptive art for a society founded on hypocrisy, a society consoled only by self-deception.

[T.2.2: B]

Now Gutrune displays a curious skepticism of Siegfried’s intentions in wooing Bruennhilde for Gunther. She finds it implausible that Siegfried could have posed as Gunther overnight in Bruennhilde’s cave without seeking and winning Bruennhilde’s sexual favors, and Gutrune expresses this suspicion in a musically light-hearted dialogue that Nattiez describes as based on the style of Parisian Opera Comique [Nattiez: P. 84-86]:

Gutrune: (#42/#5 loosely based, played on oboe:) So Bruennhilde’s following my brother?

 

Siegfried: (#42/#5 loosely based >>:) The woman was easily wooed (:#42/#5 loosely based).

 

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