Wagner and the Fate of the Earth: A Contemporary Reading of The Ring


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Wagner subsequently delayed announcing his completion of Siegfried to prevent this work also being premiered against his wishes. Wagner had long desired to have a special festival opera house, designed by himself, for the performance of the Ring. In , he decided on a location in the Bavarian town of Bayreuth.

In , he moved to Bayreuth, and the foundation stone was laid. Wagner would spend the next two years attempting to raise capital for the construction, with scant success; King Ludwig finally rescued the project in by donating the needed funds.

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The Bayreuth Festspielhaus opened in with the first complete performance of the Ring , which took place from 13 to 17 August. The first production of the Ring in Italy was in Venice the place where Wagner died , just two months after his death, at La Fenice. The Ring is a major undertaking for any opera company: Early productions of the Ring cycle stayed close to Wagner's original Bayreuth staging. Trends set at Bayreuth have continued to be influential.

Following the closure of the Festspielhaus during the Second World War , the s saw productions by Wagner's grandsons Wieland and Wolfgang Wagner known as the 'New Bayreuth' style , which emphasised the human aspects of the drama in a more abstract setting. This drew heavily on the reading of the Ring as a revolutionary drama and critique of the modern world, famously expounded by George Bernard Shaw in The Perfect Wagnerite.

Early performances were booed but the audience of gave it a minute ovation in its final year; [16] [17] the production is now generally regarded as revolutionary and a classic.

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The Ring of the Nibelung by Richard Wagner

Although many Ring productions try to remain close to Wagner's original stage design and direction, others seek to re-interpret the Ring for modern audiences, often including decor and action that Wagner himself did not envisage. The production by Peter Hall , conducted by Georg Solti at Bayreuth in is an example of the former, while the production by Richard Jones at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in —, conducted by Bernard Haitink , is an example of the latter.

In the first production of the cycle in Russia in modern times was conducted by Valery Gergiev at the Mariinsky Opera , Saint Petersburg, designed by George Tsypin. The production drew parallels with Ossetian mythology. Each part of the cycle had a different director. The production uses imagery from various eras of American history and has a feminist and environmentalist viewpoint. Recent performances of this production took place at the John F. The staging of Das Rheingold by Robert Lepage involved 24 identical wedges able to rotate independently on a horizontal axis across the stage, providing level, sloping, angled or moving surfaces facing the audience.

Bubbles, falling stones and fire are projected on to these surfaces, linked by computer with the music and movement of the characters. Classical Voice America heralded the production as "one of the best Rings anywhere in a long time.

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It is possible to perform The Ring with fewer resources than usual. In , the City of Birmingham Touring Opera now Birmingham Opera Company , presented a two-evening adaptation by Jonathan Dove for a limited number of solo singers, each doubling several roles, and 18 orchestral players. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article possibly contains original research.

Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. April Learn how and when to remove this template message. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. September Learn how and when to remove this template message. The neutrality of this section is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until conditions to do so are met.

August Learn how and when to remove this template message. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. This section has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.

Learn how and when to remove these template messages. Der Ring des Nibelungen: Composition of the poem. Composition of the music. Der Ring des Nibelungen discography. Retrieved June 17, Ringing in the century". Retrieved 20 September Companion , edited by Barry Millington which, as well as containing essays, including one on the source material which provides an English translation of the entire text that strives to remain faithful to the early medieval Stabreim technique Wagner used.

See Mendelssohn , pp. The Lion roars for Wagner". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 October Retrieved 11 October Archived from the original on 26 April Retrieved 3 December Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Retrieved 10 February Retrieved 23 August Archived from the original on 5 March Retrieved 5 August Abridged staging of classic Wagner cycle rings true — Pittsburgh Post-Gazette". Retrieved 17 January Parsifal film Parsifal film.

Der gerettete Alberich Expecting Someone Taller. Jahrhundertring What's Opera, Doc? A Film from Germany. The Dragon King Ein Heldenepos in 39 Abenteuern novel. Helpmann Award for Best Opera. Retrieved from " https: Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. This page was last edited on 20 September , at By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Even lyrics are used narratively: When Frodo and Sam approach Minas Morgul, the choir sings syllables from "The Revelation of the Ringwraiths", associated with the ringwraith theme, without quoting the theme, per se.

Besides recurring gestures and variations, there are also pieces that were written by Shore specifically for one set piece, and are woven throughout it: The Emyn Muil sequences features on album a choral melody unique to the sequence which, in the rarities version of the piece, appears several times during the sequence. The Lorien scenes have several individual pieces built out of the Lorien theme, including the choral piece accompanying the reveal of Caras Galadhon and Galadriel, the Lament for Gandalf and the two versions of the Farewell music.

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There are also a number of fanfares used for reveals of places in the story: While Adams refrains from labeling these sorts of pieces as themes, he does list two "structural, non-leitmotivic ideas" [38] relating to the monsters of Middle Earth which do not align with the classic definition of the leitmotiv:. Although the score is by Howard Shore, some of the diegetic music in the film is not. Other musical sound effects, added by the film's sound design department, include war horns and bells ringing. The role of these pieces within the structure of the music of the Lord of the Rings is arguable.

While they weren't composed by Howard Shore, they often were accompanied by the score: The second verse of "Edge of Night" was accompanied by the string section and picked up by the clarinet, Gandalf's performance of the Old Walking song was harmonized by the orchestra, the underscore to both of Enya's compositions was orchestrated and conducted by Howard Shore. The fiddle accompaniment of the Drinking Score is even featured in the live performances.

All of those pieces excluding "rock and pool" as well as what are outright effects like horn calls are even featured on the album. Some of it, like Aragorn's coronation chant, even appears in the Lord of the Rings Symphony. Furthermore, many of the musical sound effects like horn-calls were made to complement the score [48] while other pieces shared a more coincidental connection to the score, such as the stepwise melody of "The Edge of Night" evoking the Shire music and its open-fifth opening figure, evoking Gondor, where it is sung in the film.

Within the overarching concept of Howard's Middle Earth music including the music of "the Hobbit" films , the score has occasionally adopted diegetic music by "the Elvish Impersonators" like the Misty Mountains song, as well as leaked into diegetic music like "Valley of Imladris" and even into sound effects, with a war horn calling out the Erebor theme. Hence, these compositions can be viewed in much the same way that other composers will use phrases from Dies Irae as themes within their scores.

These "themes" include the piece "Flaming Red Hair on her feet" which would go on to be reprised in The Hobbit, The Old Walking Song, which appears twice in the score; Rock and Pool, which appears three times in the series; The Edge of Night [note 38] which was reprised in the trailer for The Battle of the Five Armies and is related to that film's own end-credit song. These can be, to some extent, attributed to the thematic family of The Shire.

Others such as the musically-produced sound-effects associated with the Ring or the Orcish war chants recorded in a crowded Rugby stadium can be associated with the Mordor material. Even pieces such as Aniron which is formally dubbed "theme for Aragorn and Arwen" or the Two Towers trailer music, Requiem for a Tower , could be seen as part of the construction of the music of Middle Earth. Howard Shore orchestrated the music himself and made use of an immense ensemble: In a live performance, a lot of the expanded instrumentation such as sections of double brass or added woodwinds - are removed, and some of the parts can be doubled by a single player, and the various soloist parts are often performed by one soprano.

Nevertheless, such performances always require a mimimum of players, and have been known to exceed pieces, [note 44] with expanded choral forces and sometimes with augmented orchestral forces. The orchestra, choir, soloists and instruments were recorded at a variety of venues: Several of the soloists were recorded in private studios.

Effort was put into creating a unified sound between the various orchestras and venues. Shore was adamant on creating a unique sound for this series, and created a unique way of handling the orchestra, dividing it by the range of the instruments. The choir, soloists and specialist instruments were often but not always recorded apart from the orchestra, with many of the choral sessions being conducted by their respective choirmaster, under Shore's supervision.

The film score for The Lord of the Rings incorporates extensive vocal music blended with the orchestral arrangements. The great majority of the lyrics used in the libretto are in the invented languages of Middle-earth, representing the various cultures and races in Tolkien's writings. Old English was used as an analog for Rohirric and English was used as an analog for the Common Tongue.

Some of these languages had been developed extensively by Tolkien, while others were extrapolated by linguist David Salo based on the limited examples of vocabulary and linguistic style available. The libretto was derived from several sources, including songs and poems written by Tolkien, phrases from the screenplay often sung against the corresponding dialogue or recitation as well as original and adapted material from Shore and from screenwriters Fran Walsh , Philippa Boyens , and others, all translated by Salo while stressing good choral sounds.

The score includes a series of songs, diegetic and non-diegetic. Some of the songs and the associated underscore were released as single CD releases and music videos featuring footage from the film and the production, prior to the release of the entire soundtracks. Besides the source songs, the films also feature instrumental diegetic music, mostly by The Elvish Impersonators: The underscore goes on to accompany most of those diegetic pieces: Mortensen's chant at the coronation is backed by soft choir and strings. Because a lot of the music was being recorded as the film was being edited and because the recordings were subjected to the direction of Peter Jackson, the process took several weeks for each film and produced a variety of alternate takes and changing compositions.

Therefore, several pieces of music written by Howard Shore never made it into the final cut of the film trilogy or any officially released soundtracks.

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Among these are various alternate takes and small extensions that were micro-edited out of the film and soundtrack releases, but some have been unearthed by fans. Some additional music, including the most prominent alternate takes, was released in the Rarities Archive or played over the fan-credits of the Extended films.

For instance, a special musical arrangement written for the trailer for The Return of the King , which primarily consisted of principal leitmotives along with movie trailer -like music. Recordings of the score were originally issued on single-disc albums, that closely followed the theatrical release dates of the films or presented earlier versions recorded during the film's editing. All soundtrack albums of the trilogy have been released through Reprise Records , Enya's label at that time of the first soundtrack's release. While the cover art for The Fellowship of the Ring uses an original compilation of film characters, the covers for The Two Towers and The Return of the King reflect the respective film posters.

Limited Deluxe versions of the Original Soundtracks were also released, with bonus tracks covering Farewell to Lorien from the Extended Edition and the song Use Well the Days, as well as a documentary made by Shore's wife, Elizabeth Conotoir, following Shore's creation of the music and his work with the soloists and director. Starting in , a year after the extended release of The Return of the King , Reprise Records began to release one multi-disc set for each part of the trilogy.

These annually published collections, titled The Complete Recordings , contain the entire score for the extended versions of the films on CD , along with an additional DVD-Audio disc that offers 2. Each album also comes with extensive liner notes by music journalist Doug Adams which reviews all of the tracks and provides information about the process of composing and recording the score, as well as a detailed list of all musical instruments, people and organizations involved. These Annotated Scores have been made freely available by New Line on the promotional website for the soundtracks see below.

The cover artwork uses common elements for the three albums like the film series' logo and an inscription in Tolkien's tengwar letters. The background of each album cover differs though in that it shows an aspect from the map of Middle-earth drawn by Christopher Tolkien that fits the title of the release and the location of the plot: As of , Rhino Entertainment is presently in the process of re-releasing the Complete Recordings. The scores will also be released digitally, as well as on vinyl in limited edition, individually numbered sets. The Complete Recordings for The Fellowship of the Ring which unlike the other two albums, was conceived as an isolated film score, span just over three hours of music on three CDs.

The set was released on 13 December The set was released on 7 November The accompanying DVD-audio disc is double-sided to accommodate all of the material. The set was released on 20 November and is available for digital download. There are straightforward presentations of themes and pieces not written to conform to image, but usually for the finale of the theatrical credits, and for albums of other people involved with the music production such as Enya.

Shore also created a suite for chamber orchestra and flute created for Sir James Galway. The Live to Projection concerts also feature variations of some of those suites as entr'acte music. The book contains a detailed look at the themes and leitmotives in the film's music. The CD has 21 tracks of previously unreleased music created for the films, as well as an audio interview with Howard Shore.

Following the theatrical release of each of the films, Howard Shore reworked the music from the films and original soundtrack releases into movements for the concert hall, eventually creating the complete The Lord of the Rings Symphony , a more structured six-movement work for orchestra, choir and soloist. This suite has been performed in various concert halls around the world, accompanied by a light and visual art show by Alan Lee and John Howe. The minute-long DVD features extensive excerpts of the concert given by Shore and the Montreal Orchestra, Grand Choir and Children choir at the "Montreal en Lumiere" Festival, interspersed with spoken commentary by Shore, who recounts his approach in composing the music for the three films and then reworking it into the LOTR symphony.

Live to Projection is a series where The Lord of the Rings theatrical films which only had dialogue and sound effects are projected while the music is performed live in sync with the films. The concerts, which consist of multiple movements, [] restore unused or alternate sections of the soundtrack where other concerts of this kind for other films repeat the final film music and even required Shore to edit several bars of the music, [] including a feature entr'acte suite. Sometimes they are performed as a cycle featuring the Lord of the Rings Symphony followed by each theatrical film on four consecutive nights.

The choir and orchestra are amplified for sake of control over the sound mix with the film, which is supplied with subtitles in the local language. The score and the scoring process, like the rest of the making of the Lord of the Rings, merited extensive documentation. Each film featured a section of "making-of" dedicated entirely to the music, describing some of the main themes and pieces, and Shore's approach, as well the diegetic music and end-credits songs.

Shore also took part in the audio commentary of each film. The recording sessions were featured, with interviews of Shore and Jackson, in Television broadcasts. Doug Adams followed the production of the music, interviewed Shore numerous times for Film Music Monthly magazine, and created liner notes and annotated scores featuring extensive comments from Shore, to accompany the Complete Recordings. The limited-edition of the original Soundtrack of Return of the King featured a minute documentary made by Shore's wife, Elizabeth Cotnoir, which followed him in the making of the score.

This trend was followed in the documentation of The Music of The Hobbit , with a minute HD documentary of the score to An Unexpected Journey and a minute one for The Desolation of Smaug, as well an episode of the production diary being dedicated to it. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. History of the Ring. This theme is usually associated with the One Ring and its history. The Shire Hymn Setting. The theme for Frodo Baggins, a variation on the theme of the Hobbits, which features a series of hymn-like chords under the melody. The last chord in the sequence can be heard after each phrase of the melody ends.

The Isengard theme on brass and the Orc theme on Percussion. Colloquially regarded to be the main theme of Lord of The Rings. While there are recited and narrated sections in the film, they are performed in spoken language rather than as an operatic recitative , making the music more of an operetta. Although, with composers like Wagner diminishing the distinction of the recitative and aria, and with others like John Adams, John Corigliano, Philip Glass, John Harbison and even Andre Previn instilling further changes to the medium, Shore's work on the films can be "set at the edges of opera pretty easily" or at least compared to recordings of operas where the recitative parts are dialed out.

Later, the choirs would be conducted by their director after the orchestral sessions on the relevant part of the picture were recorded earlier that day. However, the difference arises mostly from short stops of music during scene transitions of which there are many given the film's length rather than drawn out passages that go unscored. The theme itself is little more than a devolved form of the broader "Power of Mordor" theme.

Nevertheless, both instances are not entirely beyond reason. The Moria material opens The Two Towers, and a vein of Dwarvish music continues to follow Gimli throughout; similarly, The Gondor Reborn music has a strong affinity to the triumph of good Gondor in this instance and is in this scene extrapolated from its Gondor association and used more broadly. A similar device is used when Shore applies The Fellowship theme not to denote the nine walkers, but rather notions of Fellowship in general, when Haldir joins the battle of Helm's Deep.

Critique of the leitmotif concept. In the liner notes, Doug talked about "over 80" and in the published book he identified 93 motivs although the book at one point was [1] said to include motivs , including four motivs that are counted under two different categories, three non-recurring ideas and one variation on existing theme. This figure does not include an unused, second-age variation of the Gondor theme nor additional motivs that only appear in alternate forms of the soundtrack, neither does it include isolated motivs that were reprised in The Hobbit scores, all of which increase the count of leitmotives to , along with 62 or more leitmotives that appear in The Hobbit trilogy.

There are also other, non-thematic recurring figures in the scores, which still play an important role in the dramatic development of the story. The Two Towers also introduces a Dwarvish variant of the Fellowship theme so there is a consistent vein of Dwarvish music throughout the film. Sometimes, the large drum is played on both drumheads by two players. The wires which are then struck by a steel chain wrapped around and glued to a gardening glove worn over the player's hand.

The original recording uses a grand piano besides the one played by the keyboard section. A Composer's Journey uses a console piano where the front panel is removed. The recorded Lord of the Rings Symphony uses a soundboard which is removed from the piano for the player to strike. The Chains themselves are also used as rattles and dragged over the floor. Most notably, the charge of the Rohirrim is known to have used eight trumpets, and may have called for a similar increase in the rest of the brass section. This would explain why the Hardanger and trumpets had to be recorded separately: The brass in the Return of the King trailer which was recorded in stems was overlaid and " punced up " in the mixing to create a similar effec.

Live performances vary in size, but have been known to use six horns throughout as the recorded Symphony does or even seven horns, such as the recorded performance of the Polish Film Music Festival from In some live performances, including the recorded performance of the Lord of the Rings Symphony, it is replaced by a standard keyboard accordion.

The overall size of the choir has been known to reach up to singers. The Orensaz performance had musicians on stage. Carpentier, , p. Archived from the original on 6 October Retrieved 3 May However, the theme can easily be said to be used in opposition to its regular association, here implying meeting again with the Wizard. An immensely evocative figure! In Fellowship it was a bucolic cadence. In The Hobbit , it's an unmistakable movement from the sharp fourth of the chord to the fifth. It is a veiled reference to The History of the Ring theme. Edmund Meinerts identifies it as well.

Doug Adams identifies it as a motiv in his liner notes. An Unexpected Journey, liner notes , p. The theme is also noted in a draft of Doug Adams' book. Marilynn Miller also originally separated the Shire B theme from the A-phrase. She comments that Doug Adams does not categorise the expansive B-phrase as either the rural or pensive variant - indicating perhaps that it is neither.

Marillyn Miller identifies it as playing when Isildur stands against Sauron, and cites Melson as supporting her claim, while also noting the Descending Thirds playing over it. Annotated Score, Two Towers, p. In some live performances, it is replaced by Shekere. Film Score Monthly , volume 8 number 10, pp. The male choir is composed in part of players from the New Zealand national rugby union team that double as "Haka" performers.

For Foundations of Stone, two choirs seem to be used. The original recordings used multiple sopranos, and Shore originally intended to use numerous such soloists for the Lord of the Rings, covering the range from mezzo soprano, through lyrical soprano to Coloratura parts in the third score. The Symphony often gives some of the boy soprano sections to a young girl, and also features a bass-baritone part for Elessar's Oath. The scores utilize two rhaitas in different pitches, the larger and lower-pitched one often utilizing a brass bell.

The original score used African Arabic Nay flutes, but the Symphony recording utilizes a Turkish nay , and other performances may use a Persian nay, as well. They also wrote an unreleased piece titled "Flowers for Rosie.

Wagner Leitmotives - 47 - Bliss

The Two Towers trailer featured the debut of the Evenstar theme and a variation of Lux Aeternae from Clint Mansell's Requiem for a Dream score which was reorchestrated to fit with Shore's score, earning the moniker "Requiem for a Tower". Retrieved 26 November Retrieved 25 April The Fellowship of the Ring: The Fellowship of the Ring at AllMusic.

Wagner and the Fate of the Earth: A Contemporary Reading of The Ring Wagner and the Fate of the Earth: A Contemporary Reading of The Ring
Wagner and the Fate of the Earth: A Contemporary Reading of The Ring Wagner and the Fate of the Earth: A Contemporary Reading of The Ring
Wagner and the Fate of the Earth: A Contemporary Reading of The Ring Wagner and the Fate of the Earth: A Contemporary Reading of The Ring
Wagner and the Fate of the Earth: A Contemporary Reading of The Ring Wagner and the Fate of the Earth: A Contemporary Reading of The Ring
Wagner and the Fate of the Earth: A Contemporary Reading of The Ring Wagner and the Fate of the Earth: A Contemporary Reading of The Ring

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