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This series provides not only a new translation of the libretto but also a guide through the labyrinth of the Ring, clarifying its literary and musical idiom and significance. The fundamental element of Wagner's music is the leitmotif, a short theme or motif associated with a particular person, object, event or idea. Each opera presents a panoply of these 'musical labels', which act as a unifying device, both dramatically and musically. The author clarifies Wagner's complex use of the leitmotif in the Ring and his translations of the libretto, uniquely, signal the appearance of each leitmotif in the margin running alongside the libretto.
The books can be enjoyed individually or as a series; either way they will equip the Wagner enthusiast with a fund of information to make the Ring journey more rewarding.
Each libretto volume offers scene-by-scene synopses, introductions to all the new leitmotifs of that scene, a bibliography and selective discography. The translation runs side-by-side with the German text, the margins identifying the motifs and offering a running commentary on the action.
This companion volume to the librettos offers essays, surveys and summaries -- designed to inform, enlighten, and occasionally, provoke. In this prodigious treasury of information, topics discussed range from the genesisand literary sources of the Ring to its performance history.
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