( Originally Published 1899 )
THE prelude opens with the motiv of the Tempest with gusts of wind, and rain pattering on the strings. At the 17th bar it is intensified by four more double basses. The flutes, oboes, clarinets, cor anglais, horns, and bassoons join in at the 37th bar, and at the 63d bar comes the big brass with the Incantation of the Thunder. The storm dies away as the curtain rises, showing a large hut built around an enormous ash-tree whose branches pierce the roof and whose knotted roots straggle over the ground. To the right is the hearth, behind which is a room to which steps lead up. The entrance to the hut faces us at the back. To the left is the door of the sleeping chamber to which steps also lead. Between it and us is a table with a broad wooden seat attached to the wall behind it, and wooden stools in front.
The outside door opens and a man staggers in. The six descending notes of the Tempest, by a change of rhythm, become Siegmund's Fatigue, on the cellos. Seeing no one, he totters to the hearth and casts himself down beside it on a bearskin. Whoever owns the place, here he must rest ; and the bass strings repeat his exhaustion. Sieglinde thinks her husband has returned, and enters from the room on the right. The sight of a stranger surprises her. She approaches and bends over the half-sleeping man. The violins speak her Compassion. He calls for water. She takes a drinking-horn and goes out of the house, presently returning and handing it to him, when he drinks greedily. Compassion is repeated in her absence. As he returns the horn, he gazes at her with interest. Five 'cello parts and the double bass give Flight and Love in explanation of the feelings of the fugitive. He thanks her and asks who she is. The woman and the house are Hunding's, let the stranger borrow the roof till the master's return ! He says Hunding will not grieve to harbour a wounded and unarmed guest. She asks where are his hurts. He springs up with fire. His wounds are not worth mentioning ; if only his weapons had served him, he would not have fled ! With his sword in splinters, and pursued by the storm and foes, he came here, but now he is better. She fills the horn with mead ; it will refresh him. (Compassion, on clarinets and, then, horns.) Let her sip it first ! Then he takes a long draught and hands back the horn, while they gaze at one another with increasing interest. He says she has met a hapless man ; may sorrow be far from her ! He springs up to depart. Why so soon ? Because misfortune always follows him ; he will not bring it upon her ! Then wildly she cries to him to stay, for he cannot bring sorrow where it already dwells. Softly and sadly the double basses twice give the Race of the Wälsungs, each time followed by Compassion on violas and violins, as they search each other's faces. At length he says, " I said I was Wehwalt ; I will await Hunding." Here the motiv of the latter is partly announced on the horns and strings. The Race of the Wälsungs and Compassion fill the long pause as they gaze at each other until Sieglinde goes to the door, as she hears Hunding taking his horse to the stable to his full motiv on the bassoon and bass strings. She opens the door, and Hunding halts on the threshold on seeing a stranger. His motiv sounds powerfully on the tubas and strings. Sieglinde answers his inquiring look with an ex-planation ; and he also makes the guest welcome. He takes off his arms and hands them to his wife with a request for the meal. She hangs them on the ash, and sets the table. Hunding scrutinizes the guest, and is struck by his likeness to Sieglinde. He asks him whence he came, and receives answer. They sit at the table. Hunding tells his own name ; what shall he call his guest ? His wife is anxious to know, as Hunding remarks, and as she acknowledges without embarrassment. The 'cellos repeat softly the Race of the Wälsungs. Then he begins his tale. Friedmund, he cannot be called ; Frohwalt would that he were ; but to Wehwalt only he answers. Wolfe was his father, and he had a twin sister. Once when he and his father returned from hunting they found their hut in ashes, the mother dead, and the sister gone ; — the work of the Neidings, from whom father and son had to flee, and live for years like outlaws in the woods.
Yes, Hunding confesses, he has heard of Wehwalt the Wolfing ! Sieglinde wants to know where his father is now.
The hunt grew hotter till one day he found his father's fallen wolfskin and never saw him more. (Here, Walhalla, on the trombones, pianissmo, tells us who and where his father is.) Now all are against him ; none welcomes his wooing ; what the world finds right he thinks wrong, and vice versa; and so he came to call himself Wehwalt.
Hunding says the Norns (horns and bassoons) cannot love Wehwalt ; and Sieglinde, to Compassion (strings), says none but cowards would fear an unarmed man. How did he lose his weapons ?
A hapless maid called to him for help ; she was to be forced to marry a man she hated. He defeated her brethren, but other kinsmen came, slew her, and overcame him by force of numbers. (The Tempest returns on the strings.) Now Sieglinde knows why Friedmund is not his name ! The horns, bassoons, and strings then announce the Heroism of the Wälsungs.
Hunding rises. He went to help his kinsmen to a deed of vengeance; and now, on his return, he finds the foe a guest ! Till the dawn the Wolfing is safe, but at sunrise he must fight and pay the debt for the dead ! Sieglinde tries to interpose, but he fiercely orders her to bed, after preparing the night-drink.
Thoughtfully and reluctantly she obeys, taking spices from the cupboard, with Compassion, repeated on clarinets and then violins. At the top of the step she turns to take a last look at Siegmund, giving a meaning glance at a certain spot in the trunk of the ash ; when the bass trumpet blares with the Sword, which is repeated by the oboe.
Hunding notices her delay and imperiously waves her away ; she goes in and shuts the door as the cor anglais again gives her meaning in the Sword.
Hunding, to his menacing motiv on the tubas, then takes down his weapons and repeats his challenge for the morrow. Let the Wolfing see to himself! Then he too retires and bolts the door after him.
It is now dark night ; the fugitive sits down near the expiring fire and broods. His father promised him a sword in his need, and he is weaponless in the house of a foe; a woman also warms his heart. " Walse, where is thy sword?" The dying embers suddenly leap up and illuminate the hilt of a sword buried in the ash-bole, while the trumpet responds with the Sword. What is that glittering there ? Is it a gleam of her face left behind ? The fire dies down as he returns to his brooding.
The entrance of Sieglinde in night-robes startles and de-lights him. She has drugged Hunding's posset, and he is heavily sleeping while she comes to help the guest to a sword for his defence. At the time of her hated wedding, a grey-haired stranger (the horns cry Walhalla), in a blue cloak and hat with broad brim covering one of his eyes, strode into the hall to the terror of all the wassailers. She alone was unafraid, but rather drawn towards him. He raised his Sword (horns) and drove it into the stem of the ash up to the hilt, saying it should belong to him who could draw it forth. Since then, though many have tried, none have succeeded. (Sword, trumpet.) She has a pre-monition that her guest is the man who shall gain it and bring her comfort for all her sufferings !
He embraces her with fire. Whatever he hoped for and lacked, he finds in her! Suddenly, to a gust of wind on harp arpeggios, the outer door swings open and reveals the forest flooded with moonlight. "Who went out?" asks Sieglinde. "No one went," he replies, "but one has come. Spring smiles in the hall." Six harp parts enrich the orchestra as he draws her down beside him on the couch and sings his passionate Hymn to Spring. It is pre-faced by a prominent 'cello passage, muted as well as the other strings. Sieglinde tenderly responds ; she has found her heart's longing. Delight mingled with Love, Freïa, and Spring breathes on all the strings. They fancy they have seen each other's faces in dreams ; each has a haunting memory of the other. His eyes have the glance of the old grey-beard (Wälhalla twice on the horns) ; can he really be Wehwalt? No, not since he has found her! Friedmund does not befit him either; let her give him a name! His father was Walse with a glance like her own. She knows now who drove the sword into the tree. Siegmund is the name by which she will love him ! Siegmund be it ! He springs up and grasps the Sword (twice repeated and developed on the bass trumpet) that Walse promised him in his sorest need, calling it Nothung, and wrenches it out with a mighty effort, while we hear the Race of the Wâlsungs (trombone) combined with the Spring (strings), Norns (bass trumpet), the Heroism of the Wälsungs (1st and 2d trumpet), the Sword (3d trumpet), the Treaty, and the Renunciation of Love.
Siegmund the Walsung shows the sword as a bride-gift to his love. Let her follow him afar to the house of the Spring and be guarded by Nothung ! She responds in a passionate embrace as the curtain falls to a musical web of Love, Spring, Flight, and Bondage.
ACT II. —A variant of the Sword on the trumpets opens the prelude. It is followed by Flight (violins), which leads into the Shout of the Walkyries (flutes, oboes, clarinets, violins), Delight, and finally the Ride of the Walkyries on full orchestra.
The curtain rises on a rocky region. From a ravine behind, the rock rises to a ridge and then slopes down again to the foreground. Wotan, armed for war, carrying his spear, orders Brünnhilde, the Walkyrie, who is also fully armed, to assist the Wâlsung in his fight against Hunding. She springs up the rock, uttering her stirring Shout of the Walkyries. At the ridge, she halts and calls back to Wotan to look out for himself, Fricka is coming. Just see how she swings her golden whip, and listen to the bleating of her pair of rams ! She is evidently in a rage; and Brünnhilde wishes Wotan joy of the coming interview, as she disappears repeating her Shout.
To the motiv of Bondage, Fricka alights from her chariot and leaves the rams on the ridge. She stalks down to her husband. Where has he been hiding himself ? She wants his support. Hunding has called to her, the guardian of marriage ties, for vengeance, and he shall have it Hunding's motiv and Love, both on the strings, accompany her demand. Wotan says that the fault of Siegmund and Sieglinde was done by the spell of the Spring, which the 'cello tenderly recalls. He holds the marriage vow unholy when not sanctified by love. But Fricka's indignation burns. Shall a brother and sister mate? Shall godhead be shamed for a couple of twins, the fruit of Wotan's own falsehood ? His infidelities are always outraging Fricka. It was bad enough when he brought the Walkyries for her to rear, though she put up with that. He vainly tries to explain that a hero is needed for work the gods cannot do. (Treaty, strings; and Treaty with the Giants, bassoons and strings.) She insists that he recall the Sword (trumpet) he gave. He refuses. Siegmund won it for himself! Yes, but whose craft warned him where it was ? Wotan is furious. His Rage breaks forth on the bassoon and bass-clarinet. Fricka insists on her rights over Siegmund's fate, and Wotan gloomily promises not to shelter him.
The Walkyrie must not interfere, either ! He says the Walkyrie is a free agent. No, no ! She is Wotan's will, and must be bound ! Wotan vainly struggles. Brünnhilde's Shout, bringing back the Ride, is heard on the ridge as the oath is wrung from his unwilling lips. The Treaty is solemnly sealed by the trombone. The strings are eloquent with the wife's exultation. As Briinnhilde sees Fricka, she ceases, and quietly leads her horse to a cave. Fricka tells her as she passes triumphantly to her chariot that her father has some orders for her.
Wotan is sitting in deep dejection on a rocky seat. The Curse of the Ring on the trombone, and the muttering of Wotan's Rage on the bassoon, bass-clarinet, and 'cellos, reveal his thoughts. Brünnhilde approaches him sympathetically, surmising Fricka's victory. To her affectionate question, he breaks into despairing complaints. She falls on her knees, and caresses and tries to comfort him. She reminds him that she is Wotan's will ; let him confide in her ! He begins to tell her everything ; the 'cellos utter Love, when he speaks of his strayings; and the memory of Loge's deceit makes them mutter with his Rage. The bassoon with the Ring, the trombone with Walhalla, and the violas with the Treaty with the Giants, aid him with various points in his story. Love's Regret, the Power of the Ring, and the Norns also appear. Wotan, among other things, tells her of her own origin. After Erda had warned him, he sought her again for knowledge. He laid the Wala under the spell of Love, and she bore him Brünnhilde and her eight sisters. He reared them to aid him in escaping what Erda unfolded. There was fear of the fate of Walhalla. The Walkyries' task was to bring thither all heroes who fell in battle, for its garrison. But there is another dread. The 'cellos sound the Nibelung's Work of Destruction while Wotan explains that his heroes will keep him safe against the dark elves so long as Alberich does not gain the Ring, which still is in the possession of Fafner, for the Treaty (trombones and tubas) holds back Wotan's hand.
(The strings express the Distress of the Gods.) 'What was needed was a hero free from bargains and runes, — a free agent. Siegmund was the intended saviour, and now Fricka's will must prevail ! Now he knows what Erda meant when she said, " When the dark foe of love sows for a son the end of the Gods will begin." Here the 'cello explains the prophecy with the " Nibelung's Work of Destruction," even if Wotan did not go on to state that Alberich had lately bought a woman with gold and the inheritor of hatred would soon be born. That son Wotan now curses with the gift of his own shadowy godhead : let him have it for his hunger and hate !
But what is Brünnhilde to do ? She is to do Fricka's will ! Brünnhilde is rebellious and pleads for Siegmund whom Wotan loves ; but he threatens her with his wrath if she disobeys. Her work is to slay Siegmund ! And he departs in tempestuous anger, while she sadly gathers up her arms. She never saw Wotan so upset ! Her Ride, on the bass trumpets, calls her to work, but her heart is heavy and so are her weapons. The Race of the Wälsungs wails on the 'cellos and double basses. Must she desert them ? Wotan's Rage answers her on the strings, and then the Distress of the Gods sighs on the bass strings muted as she turns and sees Siegmund and Sieglinde coming up from the ravine. She goes into the cave where her horse is stabled.
Siegmund is trying to restrain Sieglinde's hasty Flight (strings) from the pursuing Hunding. She is wild with fear. He speaks of his Love and Delight. She is calmed for a moment, but soon starts from his embrace. She was a wife without loving and can only be a shame and a reproach. The Heroism of the Wälsungs on bass trumpet and trombones, and repeated on the horns, oboes, and bassoons, tells of his determination to wash out that shame in blood. The bass trumpet encourages his trust in Nothung, his Sword. But, Pursuit (on the horns and 'cellos, at her words, "Rings her tont wuthend Getos"), and Hunding's menacing rhythm on the drum immediately answer. His horn is heard, and his hounds in full cry (strings).
Sieglinde starts up and listens. Hark ! they are coming She loses all control of herself, and finally sinks fainting into Siegmund's arms. (The cor anglais and bassoon sound Love and Flight.) He sits down and lays her head on his lap as she lies on the ground.
Brünnhilde issues from the cave. She stands with spear and shield in one hand and leans with the other on her horse's neck, as she contemplates Siegmund, who tenderly kisses Sieglinde's brow. Fate utters its decree on the tubas, and Death calls on trumpets and trombones as she pauses. Then she announces her mission ; in her he be-holds Death ! She will take him to Wal-father in Walhalla. (The brass here is indescribably rich, soft, and solemn.) Who else is there ? The fallen heroes, who will welcome him. Is Walse there ? He is ! Will a woman be there also? Many maidens ; and Wotan's daughter will pour the mead for him ! (Soft suggestions of the Ride on wood and brass, and of Spring on harps.) That 's all well enough, but will Sieglinde be there ? She will not !
He tenderly kisses Sieglinde's brow and tells Brünnhilde to greet Walhalla (trombones), and Wotan, and the heroes, and the maidens for him. He will not go !
Go he must ! He has gazed on the Walkyrie ; by Hunding he shall fall ! Not so ! he who sent him his Sword (trumpet) protects him.
However, he learns that its spell has been broken by the giver, and bows in grief over Sieglinde. They are deserted. Well then, better Hella than Walhalla ! Brünnhilde tries to shake his resolution, but he reproaches her for her unwomanly hardness. She offers to care for Sieglinde ; but he will slay her rather than leave her to another's tender mercies. He then learns that Sieglinde bears two lives within her. Well, Nothung shall take both mother and child, and the trumpets are loud with the Sword.
Besides the motive already mentioned in this dialogue, we have Freia, Love, Flight, Wotan's Rage and Love's Regret ; and now, as Siegmund raises the sword to slay the swooning woman, we hear a suggestion of Siegfried Guardian of the Sword on the bassoons.
Brünnhilde is moved at such fortitude, and stays his hand. Death is changed from the minor to the major and combined with Flight. She cries, " Siegmund lobe mit ihr." She will help him ! But hark to the horns ! Pursuit ('cellos and basses) is at hand. She will be at his side in the fight ! Then the Ride hurries her away.
The scene grows dark and storm-clouds wrap the ridge in heavy folds. Fate, Wotan's Rage, and Love make their presence known. Then Siegmund bends over the still unconscious Sieglinde and takes a tender farewell. Hun-ding's motiv and the cry of his hounds (double bass), and his horn (an ox-horn in C behind the scenes), now sound in the distance. He lays her gently down and goes up the ridge to meet the challenge of the ox-horn, trusting in his Sword (trumpets and trombone). He is lost to sight in the storm cloud.
Sieglinde begins to wander in her dreams. She is in the burning hut with her mother and calls to her father and brother for help. Love and Freia on the muted violas, pianissimo, weave into her dream, which is disturbed by Fate (bassoon), savage Hunding (horns), and Pursuit ('cellos).
Suddenly a flash of lightning with thunder awakes her. The ox-horn sounds quite close on the obscured ridge, and Hunding is heard calling fiercely to Wehwalt to stand and fight; where is he hiding? Fricka will destroy him !
Sieglinde is frantic with fear. Siegmund cries that he and his Sword (bass trumpet) are here, and a flash of lightning shows the two fighting on the ridge. The Ride tells who is coming. Sieglinde calls to them to slay her instead of one another, and is rushing towards them when she is halted and turned aside, dazed by a brilliant light in the midst of which Brünnhilde is seen floating in the air above Siegmund, encouraging him and covering him with her shield. Then a red light breaks out opposite, and Wotan appears over Hunding. At his command, the Sword (fortissimo on all the trumpets) shivers into splinters against his outstretched spear, while all the tubas deafeningly pro-claim the Treaty as Hunding plunges his weapon into Siegmund's breast. Sieglinde totters and falls with a shriek. Thick darkness returns. Bondage wails, the horns and bassoons recall the Heroism of the Wâlsungs, the tubas mournfully murmur Fate, and the violas tremble with Wotan's Rage. Brünnhilde has hastened to Sieglinde and lifted her on the saddle before her. The wild Ride carries her away, and Fate is repeated again and again by the trombones, while the clouds part and show Hunding with-drawing his sword from Siegmund's breast. Wotan cries, " Hence, fellow, kneel before Fricka, tell her that Wotan's spear has wreaked her vengeance. Hence ! hence! " The bass strings bring back the Treaty as he waves his arm contemptuously and Hunding falls dead. His fall is heard along the bass strings, which then tremble again with Wotan's Rage. Woe to Brünnhilde ! Fearful shall be her punishment if Wotan's horse does not fail him ! In thunder and lightning he disappears. The Distress of the Gods is eloquently told by the orchestra, and the curtain falls.
ACT III. — The prelude is merely a fully-developed tone-picture of the wild Ride of the Walkyries.
The curtain rises upon a rocky eminence. On the right is the edge of a fir wood. On the left is the entrance to a cave that forms a natural hall ; above it the rock attains its highest point. The prospect is open at the back, where the rocks fall precipitously. Clouds sweep across the scene. Four of the Walkyries, Gerhilde, Ortlinde, Waltraute, and Schwertleite, in full armour, are on the look-out above the cavern. They welcome their sisters, Helmwige, Siegrune, Grimgerde, and Rossweisse, who successively arrive with slain warriors at their saddle-bows. Their savage Shout and the Ride compose the orchestral web. They stable their chargers in the wood and wonder at Brünnhilde's absence. " Is it not time to go to Walhall ? " asks Rossweisse (to horns and trombones). At last she is seen approaching at breathless speed on the staggering Grane, bringing a woman instead of a man. To the wood she steers, and the Distress of the Gods comes with her on the bass strings. The Ride ends, and she enters supporting Sieglinde.
To her sisters' astonished questions, she explains that War-father is hot at her heels. Pursuit nears on the bass strings. She asks them to keep watch for him, and, as Ortlinde and Waltraute spring up the rock and report that a tempest is swiftly approaching from the north, the bassoons are added to the strings in Pursuit. She tells them what she has done, and they reprove their daring sister, who claims their help for Sieglinde. To the renewed Distress of the Gods (bass strings), Waltraute warns them of Wotan's approach. Grane is exhausted, so Brünnhilde begs for the loan of a horse ; but they dare not oppose their father. Sieglinde now rouses herself, and begs Brünnhilde not to run into danger for her. Would that she had died with Siegmund ! She prays the Walkyrie to slay her. However, when she learns that she has a child to save, she begs them all to shelter her. The storm is coming nearer and nearer, and they must hasten. But whither ? Siegrune then suggests that to the east is a wood with a den in which Fafner guards the Nibelung's hoard. (The Dragon roars for a dozen bars in subdued tones on the horns, bass-clarinets, and bassoons.) Thither Wotan never strays ! The tempestuous approach of the latter is now distinctly noticeable, and decides them to select that dismal region as a refuge. Brünnhilde points out the way, and encourages Sieglinde to endure all trials, for she shall bear "the noblest hero of the world." The horns join her in prophecying, " Siegfried Guardian of the Sword." She hands to Sieglinde the fragments of the shattered Sword (cor anglais, bassoon, and horns) and tells her to guard them well. He who shall again wield it she now names " Siegfried."
Sieglinde cries, " O hehrstes Wunder, herrliche Maid," the notes of which, with flutes, oboes, and clarinets, form the Redemption by Love. She takes a grateful farewell, and hastens away as the black clouds settle over the height, the Tempest and Bondage increase, the thunder and lightning roar and flash, and Wotan's voice cries, "Stay, Brünnhilde ! " She is terrified and hides among her sisters, who try to Conceal her from Wotan's view as he strides out of the wood. Where is she ? Do they dare to shield her ? They plead for her, and Wotan's Rage menaces them also. She who knew him better than anyone, who was the working of his will, has failed him ! Does she hear? Is she a coward that she does not answer his summons ?
Then she leaves her sisters and approaches him submissively. She is here for her fate ! He says she has brought it on herself. She was his will, his wish-maid, his lot-chooser, and his hero-prompter. Now her Walkyrie ways are ended !
Brünnhilde is overwhelmed. Will he thrust her from him ?
No more will she be sent on hero-quests, nor serve the mead, nor come for his kiss ! She is banished from his sight ; their bond is broken ! And the deep brass impresses the solemnity of the Treaty, and the Walkyries wail with compassion.
Will he not leave her anything ? No! She shall lie alone in shelterless sleep on the height till she falls to the share of a man ! (The Treaty is repeated on the bassoons and horns, and Wotan's Rage blazes up afresh on the strings at this sentence.)
Her sisters plead for her. They share in such shame ! But Wotan is inflexible. She shall sit and spin at the hearth of a man ! The Treaty on bassoons and bass strings notes her doom, while Wotan's Rage burns hotly all through the orchestra. He warns the Walkyries to beware lest he include them also; and with terror-stricken cries they depart to the wood, and are soon seen in wild flight on their horses, to the Ride. Then the storm abates, twilight falls, and night follows gradually.
Brünnhilde is on her knees at Wotan's feet. At length she raises her head and begins to plead for herself. Will he have no pity on his chosen child ? It is true that she disobeyed his command, but she obeyed his original will ! She knew of his love for the Walsung, and when she saw the latter, her heart was touched at his fortitude. It was her father's own love that rose in her heart and moved her to help, instead of slay him ! (Her words, " Liebe mir ins Herz gelegt," bring in the Announcement of a New L¼ on flutes, horns, and bassoons, dolce.) Will Wotan shame himself in shaming his will, Brûnnhilde ?
Yes ! he is implacable. She followed the prompting of love, now she shall follow the man whom love she must ; — and her prayers are useless. Their dialogue is illustrated by Love's Regret, the Curse of the Ring, Fate, the Treaty, Love, Heroism of the Wälsungs, and Siegfried Guardian of the Sword. She reminds him that Sieglinde lives, and has the Sword (trumpet), but he puts her words aside. She asks what she must suffer. He will seal her in deep sleep and he who wakes her shall have her for wife ! His " In festen Schlaf," brings Eternal Sleep on flute, cor anglais, bassoon, clarinet, and bass-clarinet. Her protest introduces Brünnhilde's Sleep on the violins. Then she begs that she may be fenced about with terror so that none but a hero may gain her. Let him ring the rock with fire ! The Treaty and Brünnhilde's Sleep bring in the Flames' Spell. Wotan is greatly moved. He takes her in his arms, and "Leb wohl, du kuhnes, herrliches Kind!" (strings, horns, and bassoons) commence Wotan's Song of Farewell. Fate and Renunciation of Love are heard. With a kiss he deprives her of her godhead. She sinks into his arms to Eternal Sleep, and he carries her to the rock and lays her down, covering her with her helmet and shield, while the orchestra repeats his Farewell with soft interweavings of the spell of Sleep.
Then he turns and points his spear at a mass of rock, while the trombones solemnly and loudly announce the Treaty. He summons Loge, whose chromatic figures on the strings respond. Loge must appear in flame as Wotan first found him, and ring the rock ! The trombones repeat the Treaty, and the Flames' Spell leaps on the strings. As the flames leap up, harps and Glockenspiel add their tones to the harmonies of the supernatural. The two fire motive serve as the web upon which all others are embroidered henceforward till the close. Eternal Sleep next appears in arpeggios and is followed by Brünnhilde's Sleep.
With his spear, Wotan traces the circle for Loge to maintain. His last words, " Whoso dreads my spear will never pierce the flames ! " prophetically reproduce Siegfried Guardian of the Sword. It is repeated by the instruments that lead to a repetition of Wotan's Farewell. He then turns to gaze for the last time at Brünnhilde, who is wrapped in Sleep and Flames, and the bass-trumpets, tubas, and trombones faintly recall Fate like distant thunder. He turns to depart, and the instruments are dying away in perfect calm as the curtain falls.