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The Ring of the Nibelung

The Ring of the Nibelung

By Richard Wagner
Translated by John Deathridge

"Now comes the new translation by John Deathridge, doyen of English-speaking Wagner scholars, with a grasp of his life and writings that may never have been equalled. [...] In that noble enterprise he seems to me to be entirely successful. [...] 'Awesome' is a word I detest, but how else can one describe that? Beautifully presented and authoritative, which can only [...] cast light on this inexhaustible masterwork."―Michael Tanner, Spectator

"The Ring provides a meticulous study of the psychology of politics and power[...] Hugely illuminating [...] Deathridge's translation, flexibly and vividly conceived, shines a special light into the literary and psychological depths of the Ring."―Benjamin Poore, Asymptote Journal

"For the past decade, Penguin has been producing handsome hardcover versions of their classics [...] both elegant and quirky in shocks of bright color"―The New York Times

The scale and grandeur of Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung has no precedent and no successor. It preoccupied Wagner for much of his adult life and revolutionized the nature of opera, the orchestra, the demands on singers and on the audience itself. The four operas—"The Rhinegold", "The Valkyrie", "Siegfried" and "Twilight of the Gods"—are complete worlds, conjuring up extraordinary mythological landscapes through sound as much as staging.

Wagner wrote the entire libretto before embarking on the music. Discarding the grand choruses and bravura duets central to most operas, he used the largest musical forces in the context often of only a handful of singers on stage. The words were essential: he was telling a story and making an argument in a way that required absolute attention to what was said. The libretto for The Ring lies at the heart of nineteenth century culture. It is in itself a work of power and grandeur and it had an incalculable effect on European and specifically German culture. John Deathridge's superb new translation, with notes and a fascinating introduction, is essential for anyone who wishes to get to grips with one of the great musical experiences.

Hardcover
816 pages
In English and German
Penguin Classics, 2018
Written between 1848 to 1874
5.3 x 2 x 8.1 inches
ISBN 9780241305850
Mythology, Poetry, Opera

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