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The Rhinegold: Page 150
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way, so that, deaf to all entreaty, you could calmly deal with the giants alone. (…) What is still sacred and precious to hard hearts such as yours when you menfolk lust after power? (#19)

 

Wotan: (#19?:) Was such lust unknown to fricka when she begged me for the building (:#19?)?

 

Fricka: [[ #22: ]] Heedful of my husband’s fidelity, I’m bound in my sadness to brood on ways of binding him fast whenever he feels drawn away (:#22): [[ #23: ]] A glorious dwelling, domestic bliss were meant to entice you to tarry and rest (:#23). But, in having it built, you thought of bulwark and berm alone: it is meant to enhance your dominion and power; yet only to whip up greater unrest has the towering stronghold arisen.

 

Wotan: [[ #23: ]] If your aim, as my wife, was to hold me fast in the fortress, you must grant that I, as a god (:#23), while confined to the stronghold, might win (#20a modulation?:) for myself the world outside (:#20a modulation?). (#20b:) All who live love renewal and change (:#20b): (#20d:) that pleasure I cannot forego (:#20d)!

 

Fricka’s defensive response to Wotan has introduced two new motifs, #22 and #23. At its inception here #22 is associated with marital fidelity. Cooke informs us that #22 is in the same family as #64a (the first segment of the definitive Love Motif), #74 (a motif expressing love’s tenderness), and #99 (the vocal line of a song of farewell Wotan will later sing to his daughter Bruennhilde as he parts from her forever). #23 is introduced here in association with Valhalla as the source of that domestic tranquility which Fricka hopes will induce Wotan to remain within Valhalla without venturing away from her, thereby preserving his fidelity to her. But Fricka is not merely Wotan’s wife: she is the goddess of marriage and the hearth and domesticity, the household, the family, the basic unit of a society founded on belief in gods. Therefore Fricka hopes Wotan will maintain his fidelity to the values represented by Valhalla, the heavenly abode of the gods, which is the religious foundation for an ordered society. #23’s embryonic form was #8, heard in R.1 when Wellgunde cried out to Alberich: “Hey, my sweetheart!” At its inception it was an expression of the Rhinedaughters’ mockery of Alberich’s wholly natural, if awkward, longing for both sexual pleasure and feminine companionship. Cooke suggests that #23 is a basis for #93, first heard in V.3.1 when Sieglinde praises Bruennhilde’s self-sacrifice for the sake of the Waelsung clan and her unborn child Siegfried, and #149, which in T.P.2 will be associated with the muse Bruennhilde’s inspiration of the artist-hero Siegfried to undertake new adventures.

A possible conceptual basis for #23 is Feuerbach’s statement that feeling, the human heart, is the basis for that domestic sense of security which is the foundation of religious belief:

“Feeling, the heart, is the domestic life … .” [147F-EOC: p. 285]

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