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From what I can see, there aren't any concerts this weekend or next. This gives us time to explore some topics and go a little deeper with them.

First up, the major triad that opens Wagner's Das Rheingold. The horns stretch this chord over a slow arpeggio. This major arpeggio represents the beginning of all nature motifs.

Nature is the basis from which The Ring Cycle arises and ultimately returns to. Wagner paints this picture for us clearly as the nature theme creeps out of the darkness.

As the strings enter, their theme is still based on the major triad. This is the definitive version of the nature motif.

When the strings begin to move at double speed, we have the motif of The River Rhine. The river flows with more and more energy until the Rhinemaidens enter with their short lived celebration of nature.

Later in the story, the Earth Goddess, Erda, arises to warn Wotan of the god's doom. Her theme is the slow brass arpeggio but this time it is a minor triad. Erda is a new manifestation of nature and has a slightly different motif.

As Erda cautions Wotan the motif inverts and becomes a downward minor arpeggio representing the gods decaying back into nature. We can hear this occur in the orchestra at the 3:50 mark in the clip below.

Wagner has taken two basic musical forms, the major and minor triad, and out them he creates an entire world that rises and declines.

There are several other nature motifs in The Ring Cycle like those of The Rhinegold, The World Ash Tree, and The Forest Murmurs but we can't get that in depth yet.

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Comments
2

Wow!!!!

i have never heard this before and it's insidious nature is just overwhelming

especially at the beginning!!

Dec. 29, 2011

Glad you were overwhelmed!

Dec. 30, 2011

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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