The "Ride of the Valkyries" (German: Walkürenritt or Ritt der Walküren) refers to the beginning of act 3 of Die Walküre , the second of the four operas constituting Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen .
As a separate piece, the "Ride" is often heard in a purely instrumental version, which may be as short as three minutes. Together with the "Bridal Chorus" from Lohengrin , the "Ride of the Valkyries" is one of Wagner's best-known pieces.
The main theme of the "Ride", the leitmotif labelled Walkürenritt, was first written down by the composer on 23 July 1851. The preliminary draft for the "Ride" was composed in 1854 as part of the composition of the entire opera, which was fully orchestrated by the end of March 1856.
In the Walküre opera, the "Ride", which takes around eight minutes, begins in the prelude to the third act, building up successive layers of accompaniment until the curtain rises to reveal a mountain peak where four of the eight Valkyrie sisters of Brünnhilde have gathered in preparation for the transportation of fallen heroes to Valhalla. As they are joined by the other four, the familiar tune is carried by the orchestra, while, above it, the Valkyries greet each other and sing their battle-cry. Apart from the song of the Rhinemaidens in Das Rheingold , it is the only ensemble piece in the first three operas of Wagner's Ring cycle.
The complete opera Die Walküre was first performed on 26 June 1870 in the National Theatre Munich against the composer's intent. By January of the next year, Wagner was receiving requests for the "Ride" to be performed separately, but wrote that such a performance should be considered "an utter indiscretion" and forbade "any such thing".However, the piece was still printed and sold in Leipzig, and Wagner wrote a complaint to the publisher Schott. In the period up to the first performance of the complete Ring cycle, Wagner continued to receive requests for separate performances, his second wife Cosima noting "Unsavoury letters arrive for R. – requests for the Ride of the Valkyries and I don't know what else." Once the Ring had been performed in Bayreuth in 1876, Wagner lifted the embargo. He himself conducted it in London on 12 May 1877, repeating it as an encore.
Uses in film include the original score for The Birth of a Nation (1915),and What's Opera, Doc? (1957).
The "Ride" features in Apocalypse Now (1979),where the 1/9 Air Cavalry squadron plays it on helicopter-mounted loudspeakers during their assault on a Viet Cong-controlled village as psychological warfare and to motivate their own troops.
A cover version of the song titled "Classic Builds" (arranged by Natalie Holt) appears in the episode "Journey into Mystery of the 2021 Disney+ series Loki , which is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is chiefly known for his operas. Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Carl Maria von Weber and Giacomo Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionised opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk, by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama. He described this vision in a series of essays published between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised these ideas most fully in the first half of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen.
Der Ring des Nibelungen, WWV 86, is a cycle of four German-language epic music dramas composed by Richard Wagner. The works are based loosely on characters from Germanic heroic legend, namely Norse legendary sagas and the Nibelungenlied. The composer termed the cycle a "Bühnenfestspiel", structured in three days preceded by a Vorabend. It is often referred to as the Ring cycle, Wagner's Ring, or simply The Ring.
Das Rheingold, WWV 86A, is the first of the four music dramas that constitute Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen,. It was performed, as a single opera, at the National Theatre Munich on 22 September 1869, and received its first performance as part of the Ring cycle at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, on 13 August 1876.
Die Walküre, WWV 86B, is the second of the four music dramas that constitute Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen,. It was performed, as a single opera, at the National Theatre Munich on 26 June 1870, and received its first performance as part of the Ring cycle at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus on 14 August 1876.
What's Opera, Doc? is a 1957 American Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese. The short was released on July 6, 1957, and stars Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.
A leitmotif or leitmotiv is a "short, recurring musical phrase" associated with a particular person, place, or idea. It is closely related to the musical concepts of idée fixe or motto-theme. The spelling leitmotif is an anglicization of the German Leitmotiv, literally meaning "leading motif", or "guiding motif". A musical motif has been defined as a "short musical idea ... melodic, harmonic, or rhythmic, or all three", a salient recurring figure, musical fragment or succession of notes that has some special importance in or is characteristic of a composition: "the smallest structural unit possessing thematic identity."
The Bayreuth Festival is a music festival held annually in Bayreuth, Germany, at which performances of operas by the 19th-century German composer Richard Wagner are presented. Wagner himself conceived and promoted the idea of a special festival to showcase his own works, in particular his monumental cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen and Parsifal.
Cosima Wagner was the daughter of the Hungarian composer and pianist Franz Liszt and Franco-German romantic author Marie d'Agoult. She became the second wife of the German composer Richard Wagner, and with him founded the Bayreuth Festival as a showcase for his stage works; after his death she devoted the rest of her life to the promotion of his music and philosophy. Commentators have recognised Cosima as the principal inspiration for Wagner's later works, particularly Parsifal.
Dame Gwyneth Jones is a Welsh operatic dramatic soprano, widely regarded as one of the greatest Wagnerian sopranos in the second half of the 20th century.
Anna Bellschan von Mildenburg was an eminent Wagnerian soprano of Austrian nationality. Known as Anna Bahr-Mildenburg after her 1909 marriage, she had been a protégé of the composer/conductor Gustav Mahler during his musical directorship at the Hamburg State Opera. In 1898, Mahler took her to the Vienna State Opera, where she established herself as one of the great stars during his celebrated tenure there as music director.
The evolution of Richard Wagner's operatic tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen was a long and tortuous process, and the precise sequence of events which led the composer to embark upon such a vast undertaking is still unclear. The composition of the text took place between 1848 and 1853, when all four libretti were privately printed; but the closing scene of the final opera, Götterdämmerung, was revised a number of times between 1856 and 1872. The names of the last two Ring operas, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung, were probably not definitively settled until 1856.
The composition of the operatic tetralogy The Ring of the Nibelung occupied Richard Wagner for more than a quarter of a century. Conceived around 1848, the work was not finished until 1874, less than two years before the entire cycle was given its premiere at Bayreuth. Most of this time was devoted to the composition of the music, the text having been largely completed in about four years.
Peter Hofmann was a German tenor who had a successful performance career within the fields of opera, rock, pop, and musical theatre. He first rose to prominence as a heldentenor at the Bayreuth festival's Jahrhundertring in 1976, where he drew critical acclaim for his performance of Siegmund in Richard Wagner's Die Walküre. He was active as one of the world's leading Wagnerian tenors over the next decade, performing roles like Lohengrin, Parsifal, Siegfried, and Tristan at major opera houses and festivals internationally.
The Bayreuth canon consists of those operas by the German composer Richard Wagner (1813–1883) that have been performed at the Bayreuth Festival. The festival, which is dedicated to the staging of these works, was founded by Wagner in 1876 in the Bavarian town of Bayreuth, and has continued under the directorship of his family since his death. Although it was not originally held annually, it has taken place in July and August every year since the 75th anniversary season in 1951. Its venue is the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which was built for the first festival. Attendance at the festival is often thought of as a pilgrimage made by Wagner aficionados.
Heinrich Vogl was a German operatic heldentenor.
Friederike Grün was a German operatic soprano who had an active career during the latter half of the 19th century. Possessing a powerful voice with a wide vocal range, she sang a broad repertoire that encompassed Italian, French, and German opera. High points from her stage repertoire included the title heroine in Vincenzo Bellini's Norma, Agathe in Carl Maria von Weber's Der Freischütz, Leonore in Fidelio, Rachel in Fromental Halévy's La Juive, and Valentine in Giacomo Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots. She is best remembered today for portraying several roles in the first complete presentation of Richard Wagner's The Ring Cycle at the very first Bayreuth Festival in 1876.
Sebastian Weigle is a German horn player and conductor. He is known for conducting the works of Richard Wagner in Bayreuth and the Oper Frankfurt.
The Jahrhundertring was the production of Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle, Der Ring des Nibelungen, at the Bayreuth Festival in 1976, celebrating the centenary of both the festival and the first performance of the complete cycle. The festival was directed by Wolfgang Wagner and the production was created by the French team of conductor Pierre Boulez, stage director Patrice Chéreau, stage designer Richard Peduzzi, costume designer Jacques Schmidt and lighting designer André Diot. The cycle was shown first in 1976, then in the following years until 1980. It was filmed for television in 1979 and 1980. While the first performance caused "a near-riot" for its brash modernity, the staging established a standard, termed Regietheater, for later productions.
Bernhard Pollini, real name Baruch Pohl, was a German operatic tenor, and opera director.