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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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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 27 July 2021

Finishing the End Third Day: Götterdämmerung

Finishing the End Third Day: Götterdämmerung

(p.68) 7. Finishing the End Third Day: Götterdämmerung
Wagner Beyond Good and Evil

John Deathridge

University of California Press

This chapter describes the conception of Wagner's composition of Götterdämmerung. When Wagner began to compose Götterdämmerung he had come such a long way, artistically and intellectually, since writing the libretto, to the extent that the music no longer rang true. Götterdämmerung had to wait for more than two decades before Wagner, who had allegedly long since reneged on the spirit of the 1848–49 Revolution, could finish it. Wagner's conceptual and practical difficulties with Götterdämmerung were due not simply to the passage of time and his growing estrangement. Wagner's solution was to give Siegfrieds Tod a prologue, to expand it into the whole Ring cycle, and then later to revise it again in light of the three new preceding dramas he had written in the meantime. But the negative images and drastic reversals remained. As a result, Wagner completely rewrote two key scenes in order to reinforce them.

Keywords:   Wagner, Götterdämmerung, Siegfried, Ring, libretto, Revolution

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