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Twilight of the Gods: Page 918
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sympathy, or to offer others the healing they have enjoyed, or for whatever reason. The main point for Bruennhilde is that Siegfried’s insistence on granting the gift of his unconscious artistic inspiration, which she and he have enjoyed privately, to his fellow human beings, by a public presentation of his art (this is precisely what Bruennhilde meant when she said to Siegfried in T.P.2 that the sole purpose of her love for him was to inspire him to undertake new adventures, i.e., to present to the public works of art which she has inspired Siegfried to create), ultimately betrays its true but formerly hidden source, its shame, to this public. It was inevitable, it followed from the very nature of their redemptive love, that this betrayal would follow. But Bruennhilde is not yet conscious enough of the whole truth to grasp this in its full implications, to grasp what Wotan told her in V.3.3, that she herself has chosen her own punishment, and is responsible for it.

However, Hagen suggests they disguise Siegfried’s death as a hunting accident. They will inform Gutrune merely that Siegfried died at the hands of a wild boar. Hagen is of course the agent of Alberich’s curse, the boar who will end Siegfried’s life.

[T.2.5: F]

Now the three co-conspirators proceed to the infamous revenge trio of Twilight of the Gods, which tends to make Wagnerians, admirers of Wagner’s mature music-dramas, cringe, because it seems so much a throwback to the kind of operatic convention which Wagner’s music-drama had supposedly long laid to rest. It must be remembered, of course, that the libretto of Twilight of the Gods, though the last in the chronological context of the Ring drama, was the first to be written, and therefore the part of the Ring libretto text completed nearest in time to Wagner’s earlier romantic opera period, which culminated in Lohengrin, completed just a few years before (1847). Granted, Wagner could have brought the entire libretto of Twilight of the Gods entirely up to date if he had wished, but perhaps he had allegorical and/or purely aesthetic reasons for leaving such retro features intact. In any case, for this reason its libretto is perhaps the most backward looking of the Ring dramas stylistically, whereas its music is by far the most advanced in the Ring, having been written last (a fact which produces the most startling effect):

Gunther and Bruennhilde: (#170a/#164:; #45?:) So shall it be! May Siegfried fall (:#170a/#164; :#45?): (#159:) let him purge the shame that he caused me! The oath of loyalty he has betrayed (:#159): (#13 vari [music heard in #Hagen’s Watch in T.1.2-3, as if #19’s first two notes, and #45a’s #19-based harmony in its Twilight of the Gods vari, fills out Alberich’s “Wehe! Ach, wehe” from R.1?]) with his blood let him cleanse his guilt (:#13 vari [perhaps influenced by some music from “Hagen’s Watch,” T.1.2-3?])! (#19 or #20a?:) All-wise, avenging god! Oath-knowing (:#19 or #20a?) guardian of vows! (#173 vari >>:) Wotan! Turn this way! (#58b or #79?:) Bid your awesomely (:173; :#58b or #79?) (#?: [intense dissonance on “hallowed host”?]) hallowed host (#151b:) come hither to hear (#171?) this oath of vengeance (:#151b)! (#171)

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