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The Ring of the Nibelung
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Richard Wagner: Writings and Recorded Remarks


[353W-{11/40} A Pilgrimage to Beethoven: PW Vol. VII, p. 41-42]

[P. 41] {FEUER} {Pre-SCHOP} [Wagner imputed the following passage to Beethoven in this fictional piece] “ ‘The instruments represent the rudimentary organs of Creation and Nature; what they express can never be clearly defined or put into words, for they reproduce the primitive feelings themselves, those feelings which issued from the chaos of the first Creation, [P. 42] when maybe there was not as yet one human being to take them up into his heart. (…) Let us set the wild, unfettered elemental feelings, represented by the instruments, in contact with the clear and definite emotion of the human heart, as represented by the voice of man. The advent of this second element will calm and smooth the conflict of those primal feelings, will give their waves a definite, united course; whilst the human heart itself, taking up into it those primordial feelings, will be immeasurably reinforced and widened, equipped to feel with perfect clearness its earlier indefinite presage of the Highest, transformed thereby to godlike consciousness.’ “ [353W-{11/40} A Pilgrimage to Beethoven: PW Vol. VII, p. 41-42]


[354W-{5/41} Der Freischuetz: PW Vol. VII, p. 174-175]

[P. 174] {FEUER} “Thus the legend of the ‘Freischuetz.’ It seems to be the poem of those Bohemian woods themselves, whose sombre aspect lets us grasp at once how the lonesome forester would believe himself, if not the prey of a daemonic nature-power, at least irrevocably subject to it. And that is just what constitutes the specifically German character of this and similar sagas … . Albeit terrible, this notion does not here [P. 175] become downright remorseless: a gentle sadness shimmers through its awe, and the lament over Nature’s lost Paradise knows how to soften the forsaken mother’s vengeance. And that is just the German type.” [354W-{5/41} Der Freischuetz: PW Vol. VII, p. 174-175]


[355W-{10/41} A Happy Evening: PW Vol. VII, p. 79-80]

[P. 79] “… grand, passionate, and lasting emotions, dominating all our feelings and ideas for months and often half a year, these drive the musician to those vaster, more intense conceptions to which we owe, among others, the origin of a Sinfonia eroica. These greater moods, as deep suffering of soul or potent exaltation, may date from outer causes, for we all are men and our fate is ruled by outward circumstances; but when they force the musician to production, these greater moods have already turned to music [P. 80] in him, so that at the moment of creative inspiration it is no longer the outer event that governs the composer, but the musical sensation which it has begotten in him.” [355W-{10/41} A Happy Evening: PW Vol. VII, p. 79-80]


[356W-{2-4/42} Halevy and La Reine De Chypre: PW Vol. VIII, p. 179]

[P.179] {FEUER} {Pre-SCHOP} “It is terrifying, and makes one dizzy, to gaze into the awful caverns of the human heart. For the poet it is impossible to render in words all that passes at the bottom of this stanchless fount, which responds in turn to the breath of God and of the Devil; he may speak to you of hate, of love, of fanaticism and frenzy; he will set before your eyes the

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