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Brass Orchestral Repertoire

Preparatory Listening for
Rheingold and Walküre

Very brief descriptions of the moments portrayed in the music are included with the links below. I strongly encourage you to familiarize yourselves with the entire story line for these two operas. There are many excellent resources. For an easily accessible synopsis of the libretto, click here.

The following pages may also be of interest:


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("R4" = rehearsal number 4, etc.)

(Beg. - R4)

The Rhine River as dawn unfolds. Hear the many different layers of current.

Scene 2, Valhalla
(R15b - R18)

Valhalla, the castle in all its majesty. This is the very first use of the Wagner Tuben in the orchestra.

Entrance into Valhalla
(bef. R76a - end)

The giant Fafner murders his brother Fasolt over the gold. After an ominous curse motif, a rainbow bridge appears, and the gods enter into Valhalla.

End of the opera.

All mp3 files on this website are provided for current and prospective Indiana University students and intended exclusively for their educational benefit.



("R4" = rehearsal number 4, etc.)

Act I

Opening (Beg. - R4)

A storm. Note the Donner (Thunder) motifs.

Scene 2 (R15-19)

Wehwalt ("Woesome", later to be rechristened "Siegmund") has found refuge in the home of his very enemy, Hunding, whose wife Sieglinde - sensing an attraction to the stranger - encourages Wehwalt to stay.  Hunding appears.

Scene 3a (R27-32)

Hunding grants Wehwalt asylum for the night, promising to fight him to the death tomorrow. Alone now, Wehwalt yearns for the sword that his father promised him in the time of his greatest need.

Scene 3b (R54 - end)

Sieglinde, having rejoined him during Hunding's sleep, tells Wehwalt of the sword in the tree and rechristens him "Siegmund" ("Victorious"). Siegmund summons all of his strength and pulls the sword from the tree. Siegmund and Sieglinde then flee Hunding's hut, seeking a life together.

End of Act I

Act II

Opening (Beg. - R4)

Represents Siegmund and Sieglinde fleeing from Hunding. The "Ride" motif here implies that Brunnhilde is following their flight.

Scene 4 (R60-65)

Brunnhilde appears to Siegmund and informs of his pending death, promising him all the glories of Valhalla. Siegmund asks if he will be accompanied there by Sieglinde. Learning that will not be, he bluntly informs her that he is not going.

Scene 5 (R79 - end)

Hunding approaches, promising to kill Siegmund. As Siegmund plunges with his sword toward Hunding, Wotan magically appears, and Siegmund's sword breaks upon his fabled spear, leaving him exposed for the deadly thrust of Hunding's spear. Wotan's fierce reprimand causes Hunding to drop dead. Brunnhilde hastily gathers the broken sword and the unconscious Sieglinde, and flees as Wotan vents his wrath at her disobeying his orders.

End of Act II


Opening (Beg. - R8)

"Ride of the Valkyries" Represents Brunnhilde's flight to the Valkyrie rock with Sieglinde. The other Valkyries observe her from afar and spur her on.

Magic Fire music (R63 - end)

Wotan, punishing Brunnhilde for disobeying him, casts her into a magic sleep and summons Loge - the god of fire - to encircle her with a ring of fire, from which only a brave, pure-of-heart hero will be able to save her.fs

End of opera

All mp3 files on this website are provided for current and prospective Indiana University students and intended exclusively for their educational benefit.


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