Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
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Nice music...The Ride of the Valkyries - Wagner is one of my favorite pieces although I am capable of snoozing through other Wagner works. I assume this was some type of recreational event where people get to ride on track.
For your cultural edification...
The Ride of the Valkyries (German: Walkürenritt), is the popular term for the beginning of Act III of Die Walküre by Richard Wagner. The main theme of the ride, the leitmotif labelled Walkürenritt was first written down by the composer on 23 July 1851. The preliminary draft for the Ride was composed in 1854 as part of the composition of the entire opera which was fully orchestrated by the end of the first quarter of 1856. Together with the Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin, the Ride of the Valkyries is one of Wagner's best-known pieces. It stands out in part because of its references in popular culture, where it is used to represent stereotypical Grand Opera.
In the opera-house, the Ride, which takes around eight minutes, begins in the prelude to the Act, building up successive layers of accompaniment until the curtain rises to reveal a mountain peak where four of the eight Valkyrie sisters of Brünnhilde have gathered in preparation for the transportation of fallen heroes to Valhalla. As they are joined by the other four, the familiar tune is carried by the orchestra, while, above it, the Valkyries greet each other and sing their battle-cry. Apart from the song of the Rhinemaidens in Das Rheingold, it is the only ensemble piece in the first three operas of Wagner's Ring cycle. Outside the opera-house, it is usually heard in a purely instrumental version, which may be as short as three minutes.