English National Opera Guide 28: Siegfried - Richard Wagner
English National Opera Guides are ideal companions to the opera. They provide stimulating introductory articles together with the complete text of each opera in English and the original. Wagner wanted Siegfried, the third music drama in The Ring of the Nibelung, to be the most popular of the cycle. Despite its many beautiful and dramatic scenes and its vital part in the drama, it has not fulfilled its composer's aspiration: Professor Ulrich Weisstein examines why. Professor Anthony Newcomb contributes a detailed analysis of Wagner's use of leitmotifs, identifying the different purposes they fulfill. Derrick Puffett takes up the extraordinary fact that Wagner composed Tristan and Isolde and The Mastersingers of Nuremberg in the eight-year hiatus between his beginning and completion of Siegfried's second act; Puffett explores the subsequent changes in Wagner's musical imagination that enabled the composer to complete his enormous task. The thematic guide compliments those found in the other Opera Guides to The Ring Cycle.
English National Opera Guide 28: Siegfried - Richard Wagner - About the Author:
Richard Wagner (1813-83) was a composer who drew inspiration from Christian and Nordic mythology, as well as the philosophy of Schopenhauer, to pioneer dramatically new forms of music. His concept of the "Total Artwork" led to the construction of the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, an opera house he designed specifically for productions of his own operas. He also wrote widely on music and art. His operas include Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and the four parts of Der Ring des Nibelungen.