Friday, October 11, 2013

Preview: To prepare for some serious Bruckner business, we need to consult Wagner's fiery demigod Loge


Donald McIntyre as Wotan summons Loge at the end of Die Walküre, with Pierre Boulez conducting, in this installment of Patrice Chéreau's (in)famous Bayreuth Ring production, designed by Richard Peduzzi, video-recorded in 1980.
WOTAN has set the now-sleeping BRÜNNHILDE down on the mountaintop. He turns slowly away, then turns round again with a sorrowful look. Then he strides with solemn decision to the middle of the stage, and directs the point of his spear toward a massive rock.

WOTAN: Loge, hear!
Come at my call!
As when first you were found,
a fiery glow,
asa when you escaped me,
a wandering flicker;
once you were bound:
be so again!
Arise! Come, wavering Loge;
surround the rock, ring it with flame!
[During the following, he strikes the rock three times with his spear.]
Loge! Loge! Appear!
[A flash of flame leaps from the rock, and gradually increases to an ever-brightening fiery glow. Flickering flames break out. Bright, shooting flames surround WOTAN. Wih his spear, he directs the sea of fire to encircle the rocks; it presently spreads toward the background, where it enloses the mountain in flames.]
Only the man
who braves my spear point
can pass through this sea of flame!
[He stretches out the spear as if casting a spell. Then he gazes sorrowfully back at BRÜNNHILDE, turns slowly to depart, and looks back once more before he disappears through the fire. The curtain falls.]
-- English singing translation by Andrew Porter,
used in the Goodall-English National Opera recording

[in English] Norman Bailey (b), Wotan; English National Opera Orchestra, Reginald Goodall, cond. EMI-Chandos, recorded live, Dec. 18, 20, and 23, 1975

by Ken

I know we haven't finished with Pagliacci yet, but I wasn't happy with the dubs I made of my LP of the 1970 Decca recording, and wound up ordering a CD edition that's coming from England. Meanwhile there's a project I wanted to get to while there's still time: another Bruckner symphony. But to do that properly, we first have to make the acquaintance of Wagner's demigod Loge. And I thought the best way to start would be to meet him in his final incarnation, as the Magic Fire with which the god Wotan, at the end of Die Walküre, surrounds the cherished daughter, Brünnhilde, whom he is abandoning to her fate. This is the final section of Wotan's Farewell, one of the most overwhelming expanses of music Wagner created -- I'm sorry we never got to the whole thing.

WAGNER: Die Walküre: Act III conclusion,
from Wotan, "Loge, hör! Lausche hieher!"

George London (b), Wotan; London Symphony Orchestra, Erich Leinsdorf, cond. RCA-Decca, recorded September 1961

Thomas Stewart (b), Wotan; Berlin Philharmonic, Herbert von Karajan, cond. DG, recorded Aug., Sept., and Dec. 1966

Albert Dohmen (b), Wotan; Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, Christian Thielemann, cond. Opus Arte, recorded live, July-Aug. 2008

Friedrich Schorr (b), Wotan; Berlin State Opera Orchestra, Leo Blech, cond. EMI, recorded June 17, 1927


We go back to Das Rheingold to meet Loge in chattier form.

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