🧙 The Tolkien Forum 🧝

Welcome to our forum! Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox! Plus you won't see ads ;)

Tolkien as the Anti-Wagner

Bryheinnen

Registered User
Joined
Dec 24, 2001
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
Location
Ottawa, Ohio
I have long thought that the music from Wagner's Ring was among the only compositions sufficient as background for the grandeur of Tolkien's masterpiece ("Magic Fire Music" would have been perfect for the confrontation between the Nazgul and Gandalf at the gates of Mina Tirith, don't you agree?) I have often listened to the orchestral version of the Ring Cycle, and pieces from Holst's "Planets" while reading LOTR and found doing so made my appreciation of the books even greater.
I have also long thought that Tolkien was, in a way, the anti-Wagner, or more correctly Wagner as he SHOULD have been, stripped of malice (anti-semitism in particular gneral status as a miserable excuse of a human being other than as creator of his glorious music) and parochialism, the way Gandalf becomes what Saruman SHOULD have been.
Comments?
 

proudfoot

Registered User
Joined
Dec 22, 2001
Messages
32
Reaction score
0
Location
yorkshire
Tolkien's work clearly shares germanic roots with the Ring Cycle in the genre of epic sagas. It also shares the depth and grandeur of these myths.

Of course Wagner did not "write" the Ring Cycle as such - since it is based on real folkloric sagas from German and Scandinavian traditions. The german form of the story is the epic Nibelungenleid - Song of the Nibelungs. Curiously Wagner preferred the Scandinavian form of the legend for his work, the Volsungasaga. As an example of the differences, the Brunnhilde of the Nibelungenleid is a more active warrior maiden than the more passive Brubbhilde adopted by Wagner for his Operas.

As far as Tolkien being an "anti-Wagner", I think there is something to be said for this. Tolkien clearly felt that something major was missing from the handed-down mythology of Northern Europe. Perhaps this was the moral dimension of stuggle against evil and the corruption of power that are among the great themes in Tolkien's Ring.
 

Thread suggestions

Top