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A compelling translation of Wagner�s Ring.
on 18 November 2001
There are many different approaches to translating Wagner's Ring Cycle. Some are meant to be sung, whilst many are intended simply as cribs to the meaning. This translation is unusual in attempting to reproduce as closely as is possible in English the alliterative verse used by Wagner in his operatic epic. The verse form he used is clearly explained in the introduction, as are the principals followed in producing this English version. This translation provides a refutation of the widely held belief that Wagner's libretti are poor literature. It is true that he was not a great poet, but his achievement in compressing the vast story he wanted to tell into the vivid and dramatic scenes of the Ring Cycle is stunning, even before a note of music is added. There are extensive footnotes to the text, showing where there are divergent readings, and making frequent references to critical writings on Wagner. There is also a long, though incomplete, list of the main leitmotifs (with numbers in the text pointing out their occurrences throughout the Cycle), plus a discussion of the stage history of the work, with photographs of a number of influential past productions. All in all this is a great book for anyone who wants to get to know the Ring Cycle better.