In the third part of his »Ring« tetralogy, Wagner incorporates fairy-tale motifs into his epic mythological story. The well-known tale of »The Story of the Youth Who Went Forth to Learn Fear« is echoed in »Siegfried« as well as episodes from the medieval »Nibelungenlied«. Natural imagery such as the famous »Waldweben« testify to Wagner’s special skill at painting pictures with music; fire and thunderstorms, smelting, forging and other activities, are vividly evoked. The gods appear one last time: Wotan, once so powerful, has disguised himself as a wanderer and hardly intervenes in the action anymore. Omniscient Erda, who hauntingly prophesied the demise of the gods in »Rheingold«, no longer knows anything about the course of world events. The future seems to belong to Siegfried and Brünnhilde, whose joy knows no bounds. And yet a tragic finale seems inevitable.


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