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What Are You Listening To? - Printable Version

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What Are You Listening To? - Tiggi - 06-08-2010

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Building on the prologue that is Das Rheingold, this is four hours of love, death, honour, betrayal, & incest !!

The God Wotan has a number of illegitimate children; Brunnhilde the Valkyrie, Siegmund a warrior, & Sieglinde his estranged twin sister.

Siegmund is fleeing a band of warriors seeking revenge for the slaughter of some of their number. During a storm he seeks refuge in a house in the forest. Sieglinde lives there with her abusive husband Hunding. Sieglinde offers him hospitality, but when Hunding returns, he's not so sympathetic.

Hunding demands to know why Siegmund is seeking refuge. When Siegmund explains the situation it transpires that the slaughtered men belong to Hunding's tribe. Hunding tells Siegmund that he can stay overnight, but must be prepared to fight to the death in the morning.

Sieglinde has fallen for the hero, and has an inkling that Siegmund is her long-lost brother. She explains this to Siegmund, and they express their love for each other. Siegmund is unarmed, so Sieglinde describes a tree where a stranger thrust a sword many years ago. No-one has been able to remove the sword, but when Siegmund tries, the sword is pulled out of the tree. The two of them flee.

Wotan's wife Fricka is the Goddess of wedlock, and when she hears of Siegmund's part in breaking up Hunding & Sieglinde's marriage, she demands that Siegmund should be killed.

Wotan reveals that Siegmund is his son, and that he has been raised as a mortal hero since Wotan wants the golden ring (From Das Rheingold) back from the giant who now possesses it. Wotan is bound by Godly contracts so that he's not in a position to retrieve it himself, and Siegmund is to be his agent in returning the ring.

There's a furious argument, and Fricka's will prevails. Wotan speaks with his daughter Brunnhilde, and at first asks her to protect Siegmund in the forthcoming fight with Hunding. He then relents, and forbids Brunnhilde to intervene to protect Siegmund.

She finds Siegmund and informs him that he will die in battle, and that she will take him to live in eternal bliss in Valhalla. When he discovers that Sieglinde won't be able to accompany him, he declares his love for her in no uncertain terms, and tells Brunnhilde that he will not be vanquished. She realises that to allow him to die would be a blow against pure love, so she decides to help him, against her father's wishes.

The two enemies engage in battle, and Wotan appears, and kills both of them. Brunnhilde escapes with Sieglinde, and returns to the Valkyries. Brunnhilde knows that Sieglinde is pregnant by Siegmund, and that this child will one day be a hero himself, so she arranges for Sieglinde's flight to the forest in the east.

Wotan is furious at Brunnhilde's defiance, and chases her down. As a punishment, he will put her into a sleep which will only be broken when a man wakes her. This man will be her husband, and she will live a mundane, mortal life. Brunnhilde pleads that if this is to be the case, Wotan must surround her with a ring of fire, so that only a hero will be able to reach her. Wotan agrees, and the deed is done.

Magnificent stuff...

What Are You Listening To? - bass_clef - 06-08-2010

Gorecki - Symphony of Sorrowful Songs - Movement No. 02

I'm in that kind of mood Tongue


What Are You Listening To? - Tiggi - 12-08-2010

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In which Siegfried - Sieglinde's unborn child from Die Valkure - is found to have been raised by Mime - the brother of Alberich the evil dwarf from Das Rheingold - following Sieglinde's death in childbirth.

Siegfried despises Mime, who has only raised Siegfried since he hopes the young man will enable him to get his hands on the golden treasure being guarded by Fafner, who has transformed himself into a ferocious dragon using the Tarnhelm.

Siegfried quizzes Mime about his parents, and Mime recounts the events. Siegfried asks for proof of the facts, and Mime produces the pieces of the Notung sword which was shattered by Wotan's spear when he killed Siegfried's father Siegmund during Die Valkure.

Siegfried forges the sword anew from the pieces, slays the dragon, plus Mime & Alberich - who has been waiting outside Fafner's cave for an opportunity to seize back the treasure - takes the ring, and follows a woodland bird who leads him to Brunnhilde - his half sister - who has been asleep on a mountain top surrounded by a ring of fire since Sieglinde's departure at the end of Die Valkure.

Siegfried is the hero destined to brave the fire, and awake Brunnhilde, following which the half siblings fall in love.

What Are You Listening To? - Tiggi - 20-08-2010

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Opens with the three Norns - who weave the world's destiny in the form of a rope - recapping, before they manage to snap the rope.

Switches to Siegfried & Brunnhilde where the last Opera left off. He goes off in search of heroic adventure having exchanged trinkets with Brunnhilde. She gets the ring.

Meanwhile, Hagen (Alberich's son, who has been raised to try to secure the world domination that his father lusted after), Gunther (Ruler of the Gibichung race), & Gutrune (Gunther's sister) are in the Gibichung palace on the banks of the Rhine. Hagen hatches a plan to track down Siegfried, to get access to Brunnhilde, who he suggests Gunther should marry, thus getting access to the ring, the tarnhelm, and the treasure.

Siegfried sails past the palace, and they invite him ashore. Hagen gives Siegfried a potion that will make him forget Brunnhilde, thus using the Tarnhelm, he can breach the flames on the mountain disguised as Gunther, and bring her to the palace to marry Gunther, and secure the fortune. In exchange for this, Siegfried will marry Gutrune, with whom he's become infatuated.

The plan works, but Siegfried grabs the ring from Brunnhilde's finger whilst disguised as Gunther. Brunnhilde is stunned when siegfried reveals himself at the palace, but doesn't recognise her.

To cut a very long story short, Hagen kills Siegfried on a hunting trip, and when his body is brought back to the palace, Gunther is killed in a fight with Hagen, Brunnhilde orders a huge pyre built for Siegfried, and once lit, rides her horse into it, telling two ravens to tell Loge to use his fire to burn down Valhalla, since she believes all this trouble is the fault of Wotan.

As the fire purifies the ring of its' curse the Rhine overflows, and the Rhine maidens swim into the extinguished pyre to recover the ring. As they do so, they drag Hagen into the river to drown him. The last thing the Gibichungs see before the Opera ends, is the glow in the distance of Valhalla burning, bringing an end to the saga: The Twilight of The Gods.

15 CDs, and over 16 hours. Epic, and brilliant...

What Are You Listening To? - Tiggi - 02-09-2010

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As briefly as possible:

Tristan is the orphan nephew of Cornish king Marke, and kills Irish emissary Morold, and sends his severed head back to Dublin. He's injured in the altercation, and travels to Ireland in disguise to be healed by Irish princess Isolde.

He escorts Isolde to Cornwall to marry Marke, and Isolde recognises Tristan as the murderer of her betrothed Morold. Her lady-in-waiting Brangane swaps the poison that Isolde intends to use to kill Tristan & herself for a love potion.

Tristan & Isolde fall in love, and are discovered whilst spending a night together on Marke's estate. Tristan kills his betrayer, and is injured again. He flees to his castle in Brittany where he is gravely ill, and awaits Isolde's arrival to heal him once again. As she arrives, he dies, as do numerous others in the ensuing fighting when Marke's party also arrive.

Isolde convinces herself that he's not dead, and collapses on his body in eternal bliss.

Star-crossed lovers, indeed...

What Are You Listening To? - Thraak - 05-09-2010


Surprisingly good classical work from the ex Deep Purple keyboardist.

What Are You Listening To? - Iota - 22-09-2010

Erik Satie - Gnossiennes V - Modéré played by Aldo Ciccolini

What Are You Listening To? - Tiggi - 24-10-2010

Beethoven - Fidelio

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Listened on the outgoing flight.

Don't really know the story very well, and with no libretto, this was just a case of listening & enjoying...

What Are You Listening To? - Music Head - 30-11-2010

Been jammin' some classical today for a change.

Some Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty
some Stravinsky - Firebird - gotta confess I was hearing Isao Tomita in that one.

don't listen to as much classical as I should.
It's all good.

Don't listen to it unless I'm doing something else that keeps me from being under the headphones.
Re-arranging my hideaway (room) which I have retaken for the winter. The wife gets it the rest of the year.
The rest of the year, weather permitting, I pretty much live outside.
But for now, I'm back in the saddle.

What Are You Listening To? - Thraak - 02-12-2010


This is utterly incredible stuff. Steve Reich is an inspirational wizard.