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Gotterdammerung: Vocal Score
by F. Jameson
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0634007505, Hardcover)Goetterdaemmerung (The Twilight of the Gods) is the fourth and last of Wagner's mighty cycle of operas based on ancient Germanic sagas and myths of gods and heroes. The undauntable and mighty Siegfried awakens the sleeping Valkyrie Brunnhilde, and finally learns the meaning of fear when he falls in love with her. But he soon feels the need to go adventuring, and makes the mistake of landing at the Gibichung hall, where Gunther seeks to gain fame with the aid of his half-brother Hagen (son of the vindictive dwarf Alberich) and their sister Gutrune. Hagen drugs Siegfried, causing him to forget his former life with Brunnhilde and to fall in love with Gutrune. Siegfried, disguised, then brings Brunnhilde to wed Gunther. But Brunnhilde, who is furious, schemes with Hagen to kill the hero. When his bier is brought to the hall after a fatal hunting party, she sets it alight and then rides onto it herself; with this fire, Valhalla itself is turned to flames, and the end of the gods is at hand. Hagen is drowned by the Rhinemaidens, who reclaim the magic gold whose power set this complex saga into motion. The world is reborn, to be inherited by mere men and women.
Rudolph Sabor is a master translator. He does a superb job of recasting Wagner's words into readable English while still retaining all the tricks of meter and alliteration that are so important to Goetterdaemmerung; this could well be used as a singing translation. The book has other help for students, including side comments on the action, drama, and background, and it tells readers where each of the leitmotifs occurs. The bibliography, discography, and other references make this an extremely useful package for anyone who wants to know more about this ne plus ultra of the operatic world.
(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 22 Mar 2013 04:55:09 -0400)
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