Translating the text of Richard Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung is a monumental task that few have successfully undertaken. Here, however, Stewart Spencer has achieved a meticulous version which is both reliable and readable, yet which adheres closely to Wagner’s poetic intentions. The German text is given in parallel, and Spencer also contributes illuminating footnotes and an introductory essay.
Other specially commissioned essays discuss the Cycle’s musical structure, its philosophical implications, its medieval sources and Wagner’s own changing attitude to its meaning. An appendix of Wagner’s rejected versions, copious notes on the translation, a glossary of the names of characters in the Ring, an extensive bibliography, and reviews of ‘Ring Cycle’ CD- and video-recordings conclude the volume.
Armed with this essential complement to Wagner’s masterwork, the newcomer can approach it with confidence, while for those already in its thrall there are new ideas, up-to-date research and fresh insights.