Wintersturmer: microlude musings from 11/6/2021

General Discussion about Wagner and The Ring of the Nibelung

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alberich00
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Wintersturmer: microlude musings from 11/6/2021

Post by alberich00 » Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:40 am

EMAIL FROM WINTERSTURMER 11/6/2021:

Heil dir,

While perusing your section on motifs and their derivations (and derivatives), I noticed that there wasn't mention of what Alex Ross called the "microlude" in V Act 2, when Fricka makes her exit after throwing a bucket of ice water in Wotan's face on the impossibility of success of redeeming religion through Siegmund (and ultimately, Siegfried). It basically serves to underline the irreconcilable difference between the self delusion of religion and reality. Like the toad motif in Rheingold, it appears only once, but I find it hard to accept that a motif that carries such weight should be a mere "one-shot wonder." I'm wondering if it isn't actually the embryo (albeit in a slower, more melodic, and tragic form) to the furious inverted Spear motif of Wotan's Revolt that appears shortly afterwards (and is capped by the Curse motif). They both convey the same message, with that additional development that Wotan now recognizes his self-delusion and ultimate twilight (and breaking of Divine Spear authority) in the Revolt.

Another musing for your second edition: Would a diagram of the interrelation between the motif and their evolution be a useful aid to the reader? Think of it as a "World Ash" (or family tree) of motifs that shows the connection between them, like the branches of a tree. It's a bit of a visual version of Cooke's motif lecture, where he takes each key motif and traces its evolution throughout the drama and the diverging branches it sprouts. However, it might turn out to be a veritable spider's web and a challenge to pull off successfully. Just a thought.

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Re: Wintersturmer: microlude musings from 11/6/2021

Post by alberich00 » Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:43 am

Paul Heise's response to Wintersturmer on 11/9/2021:

Dear Wintersturmer:

You took the words out of my mute mouth, ho ho ho. Yes, I was going to suggest to everyone who reads my book that as they make their way through it they record questions or quibbles in a computer file or in a notebook as they proceed (my method is to write them in cryptics in the margin of my book and then go back and collect the quibbles/questions and the page numbers where they appear and type them up in better form), and that they'll find that a lot of questions or quibbles which come up are eventually answered or addressed later in my book.

The same is true of the musical motifs' identifications. With constant practice (and also by going to www.wagnerheim.com to listen to at least the sound files for 177 of the total of 193 motifs described in my published book), going back and forth to the motif guide if you can't recall the significance of a motif, sooner or later a reader will more or less be able to commit all 193 to memory. It's just a matter of doing it all the time, or alternatively, being a genius with total recall (which I'm not). But also, I've made a point of continually reminding readers of the significance of most motifs as I discuss them, which lends the book a certain redundancy but also considerable convenience.

Brünnhilde's Reproach to Wotan H99AB stems, I believe, from H80 "Wotan's Frustration," which in turn derives from H19, Wotan's Spear of Divine Authority and Law. Dunning surmised that the Valkyries' chorus of defense of their sister Brünnhilde H95 is a compound of Brünnhilde's annunciation of doom to Siegmund H88, and Siegfried's Motif H93, both of which Cooke stated derive, like many other heroic motifs such as several associated with the Wälsungs, from the last three notes of Erda's Motif H52. But I'll listen again to see if I hear Brünnhilde's Reproach to Wotan H99AB in it. This would make logical sense.

Yes, the densely nutritious characteristic of my book proclaims its status as a lifelong resource rather than a one-off reading experience like a beach-side vacation novel, ho ho ho. I imagine folks will be going back and back to it over and over again as they try to resolve all the issues they have with the "Ring." For me, one of the greatest achievements of my epic tome is that I believe I've laid to rest the popular nonsense that RW grew tired of his Siegfried half way through, on the theory that redemption through political revolution had failed, and therefore boosted the significance of Wotan and Brünnhilde above him. The fact is that Wagner's metaphor for the social revolutionary who failed is Siegmund, and his son Siegfried is Wagner's metaphor for his substitute for failing political revolution, artistic revolution, in which Wagner turned inward to his muse of unconscious artistic inspiration, as Wotan did to his daughter Brünnhilde.

Your man from www.wagnerheim.com,

Paulus Miraculous
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