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Friday, 9 August 2013

Wagner and the Ring: is it Icelandic or did it succumb to German 19th century Philosophy?

Freyr and I have had a long conversation on the Ring by Wagner. Firstly, I should mention that we both immensely enjoyed the Met's Production; the Ex Machina Production company involved the special effects was really well done. Wagner, a man of breaking edge technology would have approved. This post is really a statement as to the tone and atmosphere is The Ring: as an artistic interpretation it has as much validity as the next - yet, it cannot be denied that Wagner was impressed by German philosophy and departed from the Icelandic. Freyr and I are trying to dissect the possible influence of Nietzsche and Shopenhauer. The debate is not closed, but only just beginning.... stay tuned, and in the meantime.... listen to some Wagner. Happy Bicentennial!

2 comments:

Freyr said...

The Ring Cycle is arguably the best dramatization of the Sigurd story. William Morris who translated the Volsungasaga did not think so.
I look upon it as nothing short of desecration to bring such a tremendous and world-wide subject under the gaslights of an opera: the most rococo and degraded of all forms of art – the idea of a sandy-haired German tenor tweedledeeing over the unspeakable woes of Sigurd, which even the simplest words are not typical enough to express!
My chief complaint is that there is a negative element in The Ring which even transcends the typical nordic melancholy. He seems to want to say the gods are dead and we are on our own to impress our will upon the world. There is a faint whisper of hope in the Edda which Wagner seeks to exterminate. Some would even see a prophecy of the Christ in the Voluspa...
Then the powerful mighty one, he who rules over everything
will come from above, to the judgement-place of the gods.

Barona said...

Wagner seems to have been struggling with the influence of Schopenhauer....