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Wagner Beyond Good and Evil$
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John Deathridge

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520254534

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520254534.001.0001

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Siegfried Hero Second Day: Siegfried

Siegfried Hero Second Day: Siegfried

(p.61) 6. Siegfried Hero Second Day: Siegfried
Wagner Beyond Good and Evil

John Deathridge

University of California Press

This chapter presents an account of the conception and the odd death of Wagner's composition of Siegfried. Given its roots in popular fiction, Siegfried should be one of Wagner's most popular operas. However, Wagner's Siegfried is often greeted by modern audiences with large doses of skepticism. The heroic figure of Siegfried is in an especially precarious position in the richly embroidered allegory of the Ring. This composition was left stranded due to economic and other reasons, as Wagner himself started to have musical and philosophical doubts about the hero of Siegfried. Yet the wonderfully luminous counterpoint and sheer harmonic invention that suddenly confront the listener in the third act of Siegfried now convey a much truer sense of the tragedy that lies behind the hero's ecstatic discovery of himself and his feelings of love.

Keywords:   Siegfried, Wagner, Ring, harmonic intervention, tragedy, love

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