New York Public Library Digital Library Collections

[Home] [Book] [Expand] [Collapse] [Help]

Clear Search Expand Search


     Wagner: DIE WALKÜRE   [Includes RealAudio Selections]      Table of Contents      Wagner: GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG   [Includes RealAudio Selections]

The Mapleson Cylinders - Program Notes

- Libretti
- Wagner: SIEGFRIED


Wagner: SIEGFRIED

During the Mapleson seasons, Siegfried was performed six times--only once (the matinee of February 14, 1903) independently of a complete cycle. At one of the 1900-01 performances, Jean De Reszke sang his last young Siegfried--a role he had first undertaken at the Met on December 30, 1896 (the night Melba sang her unique--and uniquely disastrous--Brünnhilde). In 1896, Henry T. Finck in the Post noted that "Jean De Reszke loves his Siegfried as one loves a bride. For that character he sacrificed what neither Lohengrin nor Tristan made him give up--his moustache." In 1901, however, the moustache remained. At the single De Reszke performance, Mapleson recorded, and again in 1903 with Anthes and Nordica; the provenance of two of the Siegfried cylinders remains somewhat problematic, however.

Band 1

Act I: Forging Song: "Nothung! Nothung!" ... "Blase Balg! Blase die Gluth!"

Jean De Reszke (t), Siegfried

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra--

Walter Damrosch

March 19 (matinee), 1901

[Dated container; Glackens 117.]

Mime has failed to reconstruct Nothung, the sword of Siegfried's father, from the fragments left by Sieglinde, so Siegfried, though unskilled in the smith's trade, undertakes to do it himself. In this portion of the scene, he has shaved the fragments into a powder and is now pumping the bellows to intensify the fire that will melt the powder down. Jean De Reszke cuts the first stanza ("Wild im Walde wuchs ein Baum") of this "Forging Song," skipping to the second (musically, an "ornamented" version of the first). At the end, instead of continuing with Mime's "Er schmiedet das Schwert, und Fafner fällt er. ..." the orchestra comes to a stop on the D minor chord, evidently to provide an opportunity for applause.

[original]

SIEGFRIED

Nothung! Nothung!
Neidliches Schwert!
Was musstest du zerspringen?
Zu spreu nun schuf ich
die scharfe Pracht,
im Tigel brat' ich die Spähne!
Hoho! Hoho! Hohei!
Hohei! Hoiho!
Blase Balg!
Blase die Gluth!

* * *
Des Baumes Kohle,
wie brennt sie kühn;
wie glüht sie hell und hehr!
In springende Funken
sprühet sie auf:
hohei, hoho, hohei!
zerschmilzt mir des Stahles Spreu.
Hoho! Hoho! Hohei!
Hohei! Hoho!
Blase Balg!
Blase die Gluth!

[translation]

SIEGFRIED

Nothung! Nothung!
conquering sword!
Why were you sundered?
Into shreds I've turned
your shining blade,
in the pot I've melted the splinters!
Hoho! Hoho! Hohei!
Hohei! Hoiho!
Bellows, blow!
Brighten the glow!

* * *
The branches' charcoal,
how bravely it burns;
how fierce and fair it glows!
In scattering sparks
it springs in the air:
hohei, hoho, hohei!
and fuses the shattered steel.
Hoho! hoho! Hohei!
Hohei! hoho!
Bellows, blow!
Brighten the glow!

Band 2

Act I: Hammer Song excerpt: "[sein rothes Rieseln] röthete dich" ... "als Niblungenfürst fahr'ich [darnieder]"

Georg Anthes (t), Siegfried (?)

Albert Reiss (t), Mime (?)

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra--Alfred Hertz (?)

January 19, 1903 (?)

[A dated container and Glackens 121 both ascribe this cylinder to Jean De Reszke on March 19, 1901, but there are strong internal reasons for questioning that attribution. (1) This cylinder was recorded at a different mandrel speed from the preceding and following ones--not impossible, but unlikely given the proximity of the passages in question. (2) The aural perspective is strikingly different from Bands 1 and 3, and much clearer; Mapleson could hardly have recorded from different locations during the same scene. (3) The singer's voice and technique seem significantly different from De Reszke's in the adjacent bands. (4) The cylinder in Band 3 begins with a repetition of the measures during which Siegfried plunges the sword into the water, present in Band 2; if that brief passage on Band 3 was recorded on March 19, 1901 (i.e., at the same performance as the remainder of the band--and it seems to stretch the possibilities of coincidence that it was recorded on another occasion), then Band 2 cannot come from March 19, 1901 and cannot be Jean De Reszke, for he sang the opera only once during his single "Mapleson season."

The alternative possibilities are as follows:
3/1/01: Dippel, Von Hübbenet/Damrosch
3/4m/02: Dippel, Reiss/Damrosch
1/19/03: Anthes, Reiss/Hertz
2/14m/03: Burgstaller, Reiss/Hertz
2/24/03: Burgstaller, Reiss/Hertz
Because the cylinder sounds too good to have been recorded in 1901, and because the speed is not far from that of the Act III excerpts on Band 5, we have tentatively ascribed it to the performance of January 19, 1903.]

After remolding the molten metal into a new sword, Siegfried uses Mime's hammer to shape it. On this band, Siegfried's "Hammer Song" is abridged in much the same way as was the "Forging Song" in the preceding band, by skipping from the middle of the first stanza to the parallel spot in the second. (The performance on Band 4 is complete.) At the point where Siegfried plunges the sword into the water, Mapleson's recording level drops drastically, but Mime's next speech remains faintly audible (at least if followed with a score). Mapleson had a similar problem at the Tannhäuser performance on January 17, 1903 (see Side 9/Band 3). and the proximity of that date to January 19 might be regarded as favoring our ascription.

[original]

SIEGFRIED

[ Band 4 begins→ ]
Hoho! Hoho! Hohei!
Schmiede, mein Hammer,
ein hartes Schwert!
Hoho! Hahei!
Hoho! Hahei!
Einst färbte Blut
dein falbes Blau;
sein rothes Rieseln
[ Band 2 begins→ ] röthete dich:
kalt lachtest du da,
das warme lecktest du kuhl!
Heiaho! Haha! Haheiaha!
[ cut in Band 2 begins→ ] Nun hat die Gluth
dich roth geglüht,
deine weiche Härte
dem Hammer weicht:
zornig sprühst du mir Funken
dass ich dich Spröden gezähmt.
Heiaho! Heiaho!
Heiahohohohoho!
Hahei! Hahei! Hahei!

MIME
Er schafft sich ein scharfes Schwert,
Fafner zu fällen,
der Zwerge Feind,
ich braut ein Truggetrank,
Siegfried zu fangen,
dem Fafner fiel.
Gelingen muss mir die List;
lachen muss mir der Lohn!

SIEGFRIED
Hoho! Hoho! Hohei!
Schmiede, mein Hammer,
ein hartes Schwert!
Hoho! Hahei!
Hoho! Hahei!
Der frohen Funken [ ←Band 4 ends ]
wie freu' ich mich;
es ziert der Kühnen
des Zornes Kraft:
lustig lach'st du mich an,
stellst du auch grimm dich und gram!
Heiaho! Haha! Haheiaha! [ ←end of cut in Band 2 ]
Durch Gluth und Hammer
glückt es mir;
mit starken Schlägen
streckt' ich dich:
nun schwinde die rothe Scham,
werde kalt und hart, wie du kannst.
Heiaho! Heiaho!
Heiahohohohoho! ( He swings the blade and plunges it into a pail of water. )
Heiah! [ ←level drops on Band 2 ]

MIME
Den der Bruder schuf,
den schimmernden Reif,
in den es gezaubert
zwingende Kraft,
das helle Gold,
das zum Herrscher macht,
ihn hab ich gewonnen!
Ich walte sein!
Alberich selbst,
der einst mich band,
zur Zwergenfrone
zwing ich ihn nun;
als Niblungenfürst
fahr ich [ ←Band 2 ends ] danieder;
gehorchen soll mir
alles Heer!

[translation]

SIEGFRIED

Hoho! Hoho! Hohei!
Forge me, my hammer,
a hardy sword!
Hoho! Hahei!
Hoho! Hahei!
Once blood did stain
your steely blue;
its ruddy trickling
made you red;
then you laughed coldly,
you licked the warmth cool!
Heiaho! Haha! Haheiaha!
Now the fire's glow
has made you red,
your softened temper
yields to the hammer:
angrily you spray sparks
at me, who tamed your pride!
Heiaho! Heiaho!
Heiahohohohoho!
Hahei! Hahei! Hahei!

[Begin Page 62]

MIME
He makes himself a sharp sword,
to conquer Fafner,
the dwarves' enemy,
I've brewed a deadly drink,
to kill Siegfried
when he has felled Fafner.
My guile must win;
the prize must be mine!

SIEGFRIED
Hoho! Hoho! Hohei!
Forge me, my hammer,
a hardy sword!
Hoho! Hahei!
Hoho! Hahei!
The cheerful sparks,
how they cheer me;
the brave are adorned
by anger's strength:
merrily you laugh at me,
though you would look grim and grisly!
Heiaho! Haha! Haheiaha!
Heat and hammer
have made me lucky;
with strong blows
I stretched you:
now banish the ruddy shame,
become as cold and hard as you can.
Heiaho! Heiaho!
Heiahohohohoho! ( He swings the blade and plunges it into a pail of water. )
Heiah!

MIME
The gleaming ring
that my brother made,
in which is ensorceled
compelling strength,
the bright gold
that makes one a ruler--
I have won it!
I shall rule!
Alberich himself,
who once bound me,
I will now force
into dwarf's servitude;
as Nibelung prince
I will return underground;
the entire host
will obey me!

Band 3

Act I: Finale excerpts:

(a) "[Heiahohohoho]ho! Heiah!"

(b) "[No]thung! Neidliches Schwert"...to end of act

Jean De Reszke (t), Siegfried

Adolph Von Hübbenet (t), Mime

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra--

Walter Damrosch

March 19 (matinee), 1901

[Snake; Glackens 101.]

At the beginning of this band is repeated the passage in which Siegfried plunges the sword into a pail of water, also heard in Band 2. Mapleson then skips to the final pages of the act, in which Siegfried demonstrates the strength of his sword by splitting Mime's anvil in two.

[original]

SIEGFRIED

(a)
[Heiahohohoho]ho! Heiah!

SIEGFRIED
(b)
[Nothung! No]thung!
Neidliches Schwert!
Zum Leben weckt' ich dich wieder.
Todt lagst du
im Trümmern dort,
jetzt leuchtest du trotzig und hehr.

MIME
Hei! Mime, wie glückte dir das!

SIEGFRIED
Zeige den Schächern
nun deinen Schein!

MIME
Wer hätte wohl das gedacht!

SIEGFRIED
Schlage den Falschen,
fälle den Schelm!
Schau, Mime, du Schmied:
So schneidet Siegfried's Schwert! ( He strikes the anvil, which splits in two with a great noise. Mime, who has jumped on a stool in great delight, falls in terror to the ground. Siegfried holds the sword on high in exaltation. )

[translation]

SIEGFRIED

[Heiahohohoho]ho! Heiah!

SIEGFRIED
Nothung! Nothung!
Conquering sword!
I wake you again to life!
You lay there dead,
in splinters,
now you shine, scornful and bright.

MIME
Hey! Mime, how lucky you are!

SIEGFRIED
Show traitors
how you now shine!

MIME
Who would have guessed it!

SIEGFRIED
Strike the false,
cut down the knave!
Look, Mime, you smith!
That's how Siegfried's sword slices! ( He strikes the anvil, which splits in two with a great noise. Mime, who has jumped on a stool in great delight, falls in terror to the ground. Siegfried holds the sword on high in exaltation. )

Band 4

Act I: Hammer Song excerpt: "Hoho! Hoho! Hohei! Schmiede, mein Hammer"..."Der frohen Funken [wie freu' ich mich]"

Andreas Dippel (t), Siegfried (?)

Albert Reiss (t), Mime (?)

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra--

Walter Damrosch (?)

March 4 (matinee), 1902 (?)

[Glackens 91, undated: "Sounds like Jean. Much clearer than any other of his and audible almost, all the way through." Despite the lack of any documentation, this cylinder was issued by the IRCC, on both 78 and LP, with an ascription to Jean De Reszke and Von Hübbenet. Our dating and ascription are conjectural; there is no diplomatic evidence, and no matching speed elsewhere among the Siegfried recordings. If Band 2 is Anthes and 1901 is again ruled out on the basis of sound quality, the possibilities are: Dippel on March 4 (matinee), 1902, or Burgstaller on February 14 (matinee) or February 24, 1903 (all with Reiss as Mime and--except for the 1902 performance led by Damrosch--with Hertz conducting; see the list under Band 2). At the suggestion of John Stratton, we have adopted the Dippel ascription.]

See Band 2 for synopsis and text.

[Begin Page 63]

Band 5

Act III: Duet excerpts.

(a) "[froh und] heiter' ein Held!"..."mit allen Sinnen seh' [ich nur sie]"

(b) "Wie des Blutes Ströme sich zünden"... "lachend zu Grun[de geh'n!]"

(c) "[Leb' wohl, prangende] Götterpracht"...to end of opera

Lillian Nordica (s), Brünnhilde

Georg Anthes (t), Siegfried

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra--Alfred Hertz

January 19, 1903

[Glackens 21, 36.]

With the reforged Nothung, Siegfried has killed the dragon Fafner, acquired the Ring and the Tarnhelm, and done away with the scheming Mime. On the advice of the Forest Bird, he has set out in search of the sleeping Brünnhilde, and broken the spear of the Wanderer (Wotan in disguise), who sought to bar his way. The awakened Brünnhilde, though exultant at her return to consciousness, is at first distressed by Siegfried's ardor, and tries to persuade him to love her from a distance. Mapleson skips from Siegfried's first response to Brünnhilde's plea to a later passage; another cylinder, beginning with the Apotheosis from Faust (Side 1/Band 12), blends into the closing pages of this duet.

[original]

BRÜNNHILDE

(a)
[Ewig licht,
lachst du selig dann
aus mir dir entgegen,
froh und] heiter ein Held!
O Siegfried! Siegfried!
Leuchtender Spross!
Liebe dich,
und lasse von mir:
vernichte dein Eigen nicht!

SIEGFRIED
Dich lieb' ich:
o liebtest mich du!
Nicht hab' ich mehr mich:
o hätte ich Dich!
Ein herrlich Gewässer
wogt vor mir:
mit allen Sinnen
seh' [ich nur sie,
die wonnig wogende Welle.]

SIEGFRIED
(b)
Wie des Blutes Ströme sich zünden,
wie der Blicke Strahlen sich zehren;
wie die Arme brünstig sich pressen,
kehrt zurück
mein kühner Muth,
und das Fürchten, ach!
das ich nie gelernt,
das Fürchten, das du
mich kaum gelehrt:
das Fürchten--mich dünkt,
ich Dummer vergass es nun ganz!

BRÜNNHILDE
O kindischer Held!
O herrlicher Knabe!
Du hehrster Thaten
thöriger Hort!
Lachend muss ich dich lieben,
lachend will ich erblinden,
lachend lass' uns verderben,
lachend zu Grun[de geh'n!]

BRÜNNHILDE
(c)
[Leb' wohl, prangende]
Götterpracht!

SIEGFRIED
Heil der Sonne,
die uns bescheint!

BRÜNNHILDE
End' in Wonne,
du ewig Geschlecht!

SIEGFRIED
Heil dem Licht,
das der Nacht entaucht!

BRÜNNHILDE
Zerreisst ihr Nornen
das Runense;" Simultaneous singing begins

SIEGFRIED
Heil der Welt,
der Brünnhilde lebt!
Sie wacht, sie lebt,
sie lacht mir entgegen:
prangend strahlt
mir Brünnhilde's Stern!

BRÜNNHILDE
Götterdämm'rung,
dunkle herauf!
Nacht der Vernichtung,
neb'le herein!
Mir strahlt zur Stunde
Siegfrieds Stern: Simultaneous singing ends

SIEGFRIED
Sie ist mir ewig,
ist mir immer,
Erb' und Eigen,
ein und all'!

BRÜNNHILDE
Er ist mir ewig,
ist mir immer,
Erb' und Eigen,
ein und all'!

BOTH
Leuchtende Liebe,
lachender Tod! usw.

[translation]

BRÜNNHILDE

Ever bright!
may you happily smile
on your reflection in me,
a hero happy and blithe!
O Siegfried! Siegfried!
Laughing youth!
Love yourself,
and turn from me:
do not destroy what is yours!

SIEGFRIED
I love you:
oh, if only you loved me!
I have no more self:
oh, if only I had you!
A wondrous flood
rolls before me:
with all my senses.
I see only
the wondrous surging billows.

SIEGFRIED
As our blood's stream catches fire,
as the glow of our glances burns,
as our arms passionately entwine,
my bold courage
returns,
and the fear that, ah!
I never did learn,
that fear that you
hardly even taught me:
that fear--I think
that foolishly I have forgotten it again!

BRÜNNHILDE
O childish hero!
O glorious youth!
You foolish store
of wondrous deeds!
Laughing I must love you,
laughing welcome my blindness,
laughing let us lose ourselves,
laughing go down to death!

BRÜNNHILDE
Farewell, gleaming
godly pomp!

SIEGFRIED
Hail to the sun
that shines upon us!

BRÜNNHILDE
End in wonder,
you eternal race!

SIEGFRIED
Hail to the light
that vanquishes night!

BRÜNNHILDE
You Norns, rend
your rope of runes! Simultaneous singing begins

BRÜNNHILDE
Hail to the world,
where Brünnhilde lives!
She wakes, she lives,
she greets me with laughter:
gleaming, her star
shines upon me!

BRÜNNHILDE
Let twilight darken
around the gods!
Night of destruction,
enfold in mist!
Now Siegfried's star
shines on me! Simultaneous singing ends

SIEGFRIED
She is mine forever,
is mine always,
my wealth, my own,
one and all!

BRÜNNHILDE
He is mine forever,
is mine always,
my wealth, my own,
one and all!

BOTH
Illuminating love,
laughing death! etc.


     Wagner: DIE WALKÜRE   [Includes RealAudio Selections]      Table of Contents      Wagner: GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG   [Includes RealAudio Selections]