A superb new translation of one of the greatest nineteenth century poems: the libretto to Wagner’s Ring Cycle, in a Penguin Classics hardcover designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith
The scale and grandeur of Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelung has no precedent and no successor. It preoccupied Wagner for much of his adult life and revolutionized the nature of opera, the orchestra, the demands on singers and on the audience itself. The four operas—The Rhinegold, The Valkyrie, Siegfried, and Twilight of the Gods—are complete worlds, conjuring up extraordinary mythological landscapes through sound as much as staging. Wagner wrote the entire libretto before embarking on the music. Discarding the grand choruses and bravura duets central to most operas, he used the largest musical forces in the context often of only a handful of singers on stage.
The words were essential: he was telling a story and making an argument in a way that required absolute attention to what was said. The libretto for The Ring lies at the heart of nineteenth century culture. It is in itself a work of power and grandeur, and it had an incalculable effect on European and specifically German culture. John Deathridge’s superb new translation, with notes and a fascinating introduction, is essential for anyone who wishes to fully engage with one of the great musical experiences.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
About the Author
Richard Wagner (1813-83) redefined opera and had an overwhelming impact on German and western culture. His major works include Lohengrin, Tannhauser, Tristan and Isolde, Parzival and the four parts of The Ring of the Nibelung: The Rhinegold, The Valkyrie, Siegfried and Twilight of the Gods.
Now comes the new translation by John Deathridge, doyen of English-speaking Wagner scholars, with a grasp of his life and writings that may never have been equalled. [...] In that noble enterprise he seems to me to be entirely successful. [...] 'Awesome' is a word I detest, but how else can one describe that? Beautifully presented and authoritative, which can only [...] cast light on this inexhaustible masterwork. -- Michael Tanner * Spectator *
The Ring provides a meticulous study of the psychology of politics and power[...] Hugely illuminating [...] Deathridge's translation, flexibly and vividly conceived, shines a special light into the literary and psychological depths of the Ring. -- Benjamin Poore * Asymptote Journal *
For the past decade, Penguin has been producing handsome hardcover versions of their classics [...] both elegant and quirky in shocks of bright color * The New York Times *
Series: Penguin Clothbound Classics
Number Of Pages: 816
Published: 30th July 2018
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 20.3 x 14.0
Weight (kg): 0.93
Edition Number: 1