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The Ring of the Nibelung
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emotional-power therein acquires the faculty of definite and convincing utterance, of manifesting itself as a sharp-cut human shape, a plastic Individuality. Melody is the redemption of the poet’s endlessly conditioned thought into a deep-felt consciousness of emotion’s highest freedom (hoechster Gefuehlsfreiheit): it is the willed and achieved Unwilful, the conscious and proclaimed Unconscious, the vindicated Necessity of an endless-reaching Content, condensed from its farthest branchings into an utmost definite utterance of Feeling.” [534W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 280-281]

 

[535W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 281]

[P. 280] {FEUER} “ Starting with an infinitely confluent fund of Feeling, man’s sensations gradually concentrated themselves to a more and more definite Content; in such sort that their expression in that Ur-melody advanced at last, by Nature’s necessary steps, to the formation of Absolute Word-speech.” [535W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 281]

 

[536W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 284][P. 284]

{FEUER} “But that Melody to whose birth we now are listening, forms a complete contrast to the primal Mother-melody; and after the above more detailed observations, we may briefly denote its course as an advance from Understanding to Feeling, from Word-speech to Melody: as against the advance from Feeling to Understanding, from the Mother-melody to Word-speech.” [536W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 284]

 

[537W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 285-286]

[P. 285] “This melody was the love-greeting of the woman to the man, and the open-armed ‘Eternal Womanly’ here showed itself more loveable than the egoistic Man-ly; for it is Love itself, and only as the highest love-entreaty (Liebesverlangen) is the Womanly to be taken, -- be it revealed in woman or in man. For all the wonders of the meeting, the man yet left the loving woman: what to this woman was the highest sacrificial incense of a life-time, to the man was a mere passing fume of love. Only the poet whose Aim we have here expounded, will feel driven so irresistibly to a heart-alliance with the ‘eternal womanly’ of Tone-art, that in these nuptials he shall celebrate alike his own redemption.

{FEUER} Through the redeeming love-kiss of that Melody the poet is now inducted into the deep, unending mysteries of Woman’s nature: he sees with other eyes, and feels with other senses. To him the bottomless sea of Harmony, from which that beatific vision rose to meet him, is no longer an [P. 286] object of dread, of fear, of terror, such as earlier it seemed in his imaginings of the strange and unknown element; [* Translator’s Footnote: “Siegfried, last scene: ‘Wie end’ ich die Furcht? Wie fass’ ich Muth?’ “] now, not only can he float upon the surface of this ocean, but – gifted with new senses – he dives into its lowest depth. (…) For the very winds of heaven, does the poet now command, -- since those winds are nothing but the breath of never-ending Love, of the Love in whose delight the poet is redeemed, and through its might becomes the lord of Nature.” [537W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 285-286]

 

 

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