#WednesdayWagner Now that the summer is about to end (Sommerdämmerung), let's resume this weekly digest of my music. Today: DIE WALKÜRE'S STORM. AN EXAMPLE OF ECONOMY OF MEANS IN WAGNER.
#TwitterCultural #SummerReading #Wagner #GreatestComposerEver
#WednesdayWagner The beginning of 'Die Walküre' is an absolute slap on the face that immerses you in a different atmosphere of 'Das Rheingold'. Indeed, the world of Gods and Nibelungs is replaced by the world of humans.
#WednesdayWagner There are many elements that contribute to the tension of this beginning. Let's mention, firstly, the 'obstinato' strategy by repeating the same idea with some transformations, as this contraction at the very beginning #TwitterCultural #SummerReading
#WednesdayWagner Another important aspect is the rhythm: the burst of 16th notes gives the perception in the ear that the accent is on the 2nd pitch (b flat) instead on the 1st one (d). At least, I perceived that in the first listening of the piece #TwitterCultural #SummerReading
#WednesdayWagner But, do you feel that this motive sounds familiar? Sure! You will listen to a small variation of it at the ending of the opera ... is the 'Sleeping Brünnhilde' motive BUT here it appears in minor mode! #TwitterCultural #SummerReading
#WednesdayWagner How is the 'Sleeping Brünnhilde' leitmotif transformed into the 'Storm' leitmotif? As indicated in the figure below. For the sake of clarity, I have started in D Major instead E major (as it appears in Act 3) #TwitterCultural #SummerReading
#WednesdayWagner Of course, some pitches have been included to form Wotan's descending scale (see thread below), but the 6th interval at the beginning and the harmony is clearly the one in Brünnhilde's motivic world
#WednesdayWagner As an example, in Wotan's final monologue (Leb' wohl), when the sleeping motive appears everywhere, sometimes the harmonic basis is a minor chord and, MAGIC, the relationship between the storm motive is clear! You can see below
#TwitterCultural #SummerReading
#WednesdayWagner But the power of this motive is so high that Wagner uses it during the whole prelude of the opera. Play again the prelude (link above) from 1.08 to 1.20 ... In the basses, there is the quasi-inversion of the motive! Gorgeous
#TwitterCultural #SummerReading
#WednesdayWagner The rapid burst of pitches is now descending, and the scale moves upwards. I call it 'quasi-inversion' because the 1st big interval is not a 6th, but a 7th. But the inversion can be heard in a really clear way 
#TwitterCultural #SummerReading
#WednesdayWagner Question: Why would Wagner enlarge this 6th interval to make it a 7th? My answer, not the real Wagner but yours trully on Twitter 🙂: To allow generating a descending pattern, since the returning pitch is not the same now.
#TwitterCultural #SummerReading
#WednesdayWagner Indeed, look at the first pitch of each motive (marked in red): You can notice ALSO THERE the Wotan's descending scale, which is indeed the one used in the motive itself
#TwitterCultural #SummerReading
#WednesdayWagner Another excerpt: If you listen to 1.32, when the 'Donner' motive appears in the brasses, let's see the patterns done by the string instruments: Surprise! The storm motive in a perfect canon with 3 voices! Impressive
#TwitterCultural #SummerReading
#WednesdayWagner So the 'Storm' leitmotif is not only a variation (or a seed!) of Brünnhilde's sleeping motive, but it's also constructed to allow such a canon (not all musical ideas can be worked in this way). Nothing is left to chance here!
#TwitterCultural #SummerReading
#WednesdayWagner Thus, you can see that the whole Prelude of this opera is based almost exclusively on one single idea, the one that will serve as a conclusion of the opera more than 3 hours laters. Isn't it wonderful?#TwitterCultural #SummerReading #Wagner #Genius

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More from @Wagner2_0

29 Jul
#WednesdayWagner Since 3 days ago we celebrated the 138th anniversary of Parsifal premiere, let's explore some connections between this Bühnenweihfestspiel and Der Ring des Nibelungen. Ladies and gentleman: PARSIFAL AND THE RING (part 1).  
#TwitterCultural #SummerReading
#WednesdayWagner In Parsifal Act 3, there is a really beautiful excerpt that ends with the orchestra playing a kind of ostinato: listen to the violins at 46:47 in this link: 
#TwitterCultural #SummerReading
#WednesdayWagner As @wagners_ring mentions in their incredible webpage (visit it right now, please), this motive is known as the "innocence" one. Read the explanation here: monsalvat.no/motif38.htm
#TwitterCultural #SummerReading
Read 10 tweets
15 Jul
#WednesdayWagner Wache, Wala! Wala! Erwach’! Another thread for you, Wagner-addicts. Let's continue with the Wotan-family leitmotifs, which indeed are related to the Wotan family members. Today: WOTAN AND SIEGFRIED.
#TwitterCultural #SummerReading
#WednesdayWagner A evolution of the "Wotan's spear" leitmotif is the "Wotan's anger". It's somehow "ondulated", although keeping the downside sense, to keep the relation with Wotan. You can listen to it below:

#TwitterCultural #SummerReading
#WednesdayWagner Well, the fact is that this "Wotan's anger" leitmotif is used in a very well known Siegfried's scene: the Forging Scene (link below, featuring the amazing Siegfried Jerusalem): 

#TwitterCultural #SummerReading
Read 11 tweets
8 Jul
#WednesdayWagner Dear friends, your favourite twitter weekly thread is here again :) Yes, I know that "Second parts were never good", but today there's a exception: "WOTAN AND BRÜNNHILDE, part 2". Let's go!
#TwitterCultural #SummerReading #Wotan #Brunnhilde #Leitmotifs
#WednesdayWagner In the previous week we presented the 'Wotan's spear' leitmotif and discovered how this was transformed into the 'Brünnhilde's lament' leitmotif, meaning that Brünnhilde is indeed getting some of the Wotan roles in the general plot
#TwitterCultural #SummerReading
#WednesdayWagner We can observe the same kind of process in 'Brünnhilde's Sleeping' Motive (or 'Brünnhilde's appeal to Wotan), which can be heard at the end of "Die Walküre", at 4.24 and also at 13:39 in the link below

#TwitterCultural #SummerReading
Read 15 tweets
1 Jul
#WednesdayWagner Hoiho! Finally you are going to calm down your abstinence syndrome of the best composer EVER! Let's two of the strongest characters ever: WOTAN and BRÜNNHILDE (part 1). And today with no sheet music examples, just audio excerpts. Hojotoho!!
#WednesdayWagner Since Wotan is always carrying a spear that points down when threatening people, the spear motive is a downside scale with a peculiar beginning that reminds us about the Valhalla theme: 

#WednesdayWagner The analogy is very clear, and it even seems quite trivial ... just a scale!!! But, how can a genius use this motive, the one that kids learn on the first day at music school? That's the real question, at least for me
Read 14 tweets
17 Jun
#WednesdayWagner Light stuff today for your weekly pill of Wagnerian dope 🙂 Let's go with ... "Echoes of Tristan Chord" (part 3 and last). In this case: use of Tristan Chord (as it is or slightly modified) by other composers!
#TwitterCultural #Covid_19 #StayHome
#WednesdayWagner My point is not to dismiss the work of the WONDERFUL composers mentioned below, but on the contrary: to highlight that nothing is created from the void, and that the so-called "inspiration" is a precise intellectual work
#TwitterCultural #Covid_19 #StayHome
#WednesdayWagner First use of "Tristan Chord": Debussy's amazing "Prelude apres midi d'un faune". After a first melodic line (like in Tristan), the first chord that appears (called "Fauno chord") is indeed the "Tristan chord". Listen here the masterpiece: 
Read 12 tweets
10 Jun
#WednesdayWagner To celebrate that #OnThisDay, 155 years ago, the great "Tristan und Isolde" was premiered, let's continue with your weekly dose of your favourite composer. Today: Echoes of Tristan Chord (part 2)
#TwitterCultural #COVID19 #StayHome
#WednesdayWagner We explored the Tristan Chord at the beginning of Act 1 (in the first bars of the drama) and also in 2nd act, both in the Prelude and in the love duet ('O sink hernieder'). But this amazing chord is used along the entire piece
#TwitterCultural #COVID19 #StayHome
#WednesdayWagner Listen carefully the moment in the love duet (Act 2) when Isolde tells "Herz an Herz dir, Mund an Mund" (heart on your heart, mouth on mouth), 3.07 in the following link

#TwitterCultural #COVID19 #StayHome
Read 12 tweets

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