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Siegfried's Rhine-Journey


With 'Siegfried’s Rhine Journey' from Götterdämmerung, we have a transcription based on that originally made by the great Canadian pianist, Glenn Gould. A great admirer of Wagner, Gould could not resist transcribing some of the German master’s grandest episodes to piano, using some recording studio trickery—or, as he called it, 'constructive cheating'—to enable him to encompass some of the rich textures beyond the reach of a mere two hands at the keyboard, over-dubbing himself to create in effect a four-hand transcription. The baleful opening expresses the evil properties of the cursed ring; then, as dawn rises, we hear some of Wagner’s most ecstatic music to be found outside Tristan, expressing the love between Siegfried and Brünnhilde at the opera’s start (Williams here includes part of their love duet omitted by Gould in his transcription), made all the more poignant by Siegfried’s disastrous and unwitting betrayal of Brünnhilde before the opera’s end. The piece ends with the triumphant sound of Siegfried’s horn call as he rides off to the Rhine accompanied by some joyous musical gamboling, with just a hint of sombre apprehension before the excerpt’s triumphal final cadence.

from notes by Daniel Jaffé © 2014


Wagner: Wagner without words
Studio Master: SIGCD388Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 7 on SIGCD388 CD1 [13'22] Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD388 disc 1 track 7

Recording date
16 March 2014
Recording venue
Wyastone Recording Studio, Monmouth, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Judith Sherman
Recording engineer
Andrew Mellor & Mike Hatch
Hyperion usage
  1. Wagner: Wagner without words (SIGCD388)
    Disc 1 Track 7
    Release date: September 2014
    Download only
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