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Enviada: Qui Nov 09, 2006 1:34 pm
Assunto: Motivos condutores
peço desculpas pelo texto estar em inglês, pois foi usado para uma palestra minha na soc. wagn de NY
For a new understanding of Wagner´s “Grund Themem”
“These themes – or leading motives as they have come to be called- are not merely identification tags; nor is the score a simple patchwork made up by introducing each motive at the appropriate point in the stage –action. Wagner´s own description of his themes was ‘melodic moments of feeling’, and writing about his intentions beforehand he said:’These melodic moments will be made by the orchestra into a kind of emotional guide throughout the labyrinthine structure of the drama’. Wagner´s motives have, in reality, a fundamentally psychological significance, and his score is a continous psychological development of the stage action.”
By this time of Wagner´s research, it is very clear that this afirmative- no matter how much a truism it is- hasn´t, so far, been clearly demonstraded by any theory.
The whole of musical connections between “Grund Themem” has yet to be established, but its development seems to be treading in a sure foot, even more when one notices, for example, the fusion of themes for the creation of new ones (as A. Lorenz has brilliantly demonstrated in the case of the so called “Siegfrieds Liebe theme”, originated from the so called “Flight” theme plus an inversion of the “treaty” theme), but the “psychological development”, as stated by Cooke, and as far as the actual meaning or structure of meanings of each motive is concerned, still demands a proper theory for the actual language of the wagnerian music-drama to reach its full understanting.
The present theory was developed in a video made by myself back in 1986,”Wagner: drama, Mito e Música”, at which I´ve tried to give a more comprehending interpretation to leading motives, based on 2 premises:
1) Each and every motive moves on a “Symbol Axis”, which both extremes are, respectively, the more concrete and the more abstract possible meanings.
2) The development of symbols from one motive to
its offspring occurs in a process in which one content (among several contents) of the originating motive is amplified, being this new motive/amplification itself a full new array of potential contents
We may start with the so called(from now one this expression is spelled as SC) Sword motive. Its first appearance, which Wagner himself was only able to relate to an visual symbol in the first complete performance of the Ring was, however, an intrinsic part of the original fabric of the score.
The originating motive of the SC sword theme is the Horn arpeggio which opens the whole drama, and this motive is a basic symbol for primeval nature. Later, the SC Sword theme will relate mainly to the Volsung heroes, to his heroic deeds, and to the object (sword) itself.
However, the idea behind the creation of the Volsung breed is to create a free being that will regain the Ring and so trying to re-establish the natural order threatned by Wotan´s act. Thus the SC Sword motive represents not only the object, the Volsungs and his deeds, but also, and mainly THE IDEA OF TRYING TO RE-ESTABLISH THE NATURAL ORDER! This is why, in its original setting, the 1st appearance of the SC Sword motive wasn’t related to any concrete symbol, either in theatrical action or to an object itself.
This also might explain why this motive appears when the dead Siegfried raises his hand; however present, the hero by then wouldn´t be able to alter anything by himself, and also there is no Sword to be seen, but the idea itself of a re-established natural order (in a much farther-away way, we should say, than could evr be thought by Wotan...) is fulffiled unmistakably. By now, one begins to notice that, in trying to reach the most basic and comprehending meaning (or group of meanings) of an motive, one must consider the vast majority of its appearances, if not all of them!
Going ahead we might sum up the 2nd premise as a kind of words’ game: If we give to a group of people an initial word (like “Black”), and ask them to say the 1st word that might relate to it , we may tread the following sequence: “Night”-“to sleep”-“dream”-“fantasy”-“illusion”-“madness”-“madhouse”-“building”-“constructor”, and so on. As one may see, there is no obligation to take the meaning of the 1st word of this sequence as the absolute meaning for the whole sequence, but we may follow a perfect and logical progressive chain of meanings between the 1st and the last word (or even further still).
The motive chosen here to demonstrate this is the SC “Flight” motive. As known, it stems in its most 1st appearance from the phrase sung by Flosshilde in Rheingold I: “Wie deine Anmut mein Aug’ erfreut...”, and it is related (albeit specifically here in a mock way...) to a loving feeling. This phrase is taken by Alberich himself just a little later when he sings:”Die dritte, so traut, betrog sie mich auch?” (the descending part of the motive); now this motive has 2 contents:Love and anguish. This selfsame content is developed further still with the theme that accompanies Freia in her 1st appearance (Love as the Symbol of the godess herself;Anguish as her situation by the moment
In Wallküre I/1, we hear this love/anguish theme assume its full-bloom version (just after Sieglinde sings “Erquickung schaff’ich”, folowed by her own theme in progression), depicting here the imediate passion between the siblings; By the end of this act, right after the very last words of Siegmund it undergoes a quick-fiery variation thus ading to the motive a new content; Physical arousement.
From this logical progression comes out a new branch that will result, in Siegfried I/1 another theme that came straight from this last Walküre variation; the theme that depicts Siegfrieds’ own physical strenght he will undegoe another development by the Forging song (in the middle strings, when Siegfried sings:”Schmiede, mein Hammer, ein hartes Schwert!”; Although its musical kinship has come straight from the Walküres’ love/anguish/excitment theme, only the 3rd meaning is found here! If one might argue that the physical strenght described here comes straight from a theme related to Siegfried´s parents, the next transformation of it frees itself from any Volsung kinship, for it is the vassal´s theme (Götterdämmerung II, in the strings, just after Hagen´s call. We too may add that Wotan´s phrase “Endloser Grimm! Ewiger Gramm!...” (Waküre II) is not, in any circunstances, related with any “lovenessless” of the character; The love/anguish theme here blots out all other possible meanings/contents and amplifies at the most the terrible aguish of the god. The same proceedings will do for the appearance of the love/anguish theme in Wanderers’/Erda’s scene in Siegfried III/1
Going further stil, we may trY now to solve one of the toughest (and one might say apparent..) incongruencies concerning the appearance of the selfsame theme in 2 different situations: The renounciation theme sung originally by the Rhine-maidens in Rheingold I and by Siegmund, as he puls the Sword from the ash-tree.
Woglinde explains the concept itself by the theme’s 1st appearance
However,The contents of the renounciation theme as related to Alberich (strings, while he sings:”Spottet nur zu!...”) and as sung by Siegmund in WK I (“Heiligster Minne höchste Not...) in Ring are 3:
1) The feeling of renounce itself to be able to reach...
2) THE TOTAL COMMITMENT TO ATTAIN A NEW CONDITION!...
3) REPRESENTED BY THE CONCRETE SYMBOL THAT STANDS FOR THIS RESOLVE!
In other words: 1)Alberich forsakes love/Siegmund forsakes his unarmed/unloved condition:
2)(Alberich) in order to commit himself absolutely to power/(Siegmund) in order to commit himself absolutely to Love;
3)Symbolized by the Ring/Symbolized by the Sword!
As it by now has become very clear, in both stated and demonstrated above premises, the content(s) development to one theme to the next denote a structural process of abandoning the superficial differences (actions and symbols of 2 very different characters/situations/objects) to a deep-setted sameness (the pure concepts as theoretically stated above the actions /symbols/objects).
In my 1986 video, I used no words, and took the characters of the Ring as isolated symbols, with the motives played along. I’ve interpreted all the themes that are originated from the basic E-flat Rheingold Arpeggio.
Since Levi-Strauss has called Wagner the Father of all Mythic LANGUAGE, I hope this small contribution to sthenghten the ongoing appreciation of both geniuses.
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