An Introduction and Notes to

Richard Wagner's


Part 3: The Valkyrie

By Larry Brown

Lipscomb University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

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Mythological background:

In the Icelandic Volsunga Saga, Siegmund (who is not Odin's son in the original) obtains his sword from the tree, mates with his sister "Signy" but unknowingly (she's in disguise), and kills her cruel husband, but in the end she dies with her husband in a fire. By another wife, Siegmund has "Sigurd." Siegmund is killed in battle when Odin smashes his sword (but not as punishment for incest). Sigurd is brought up at the court of Denmark, with Regin (Fafner's brother) as ward (leading to the story of the dragon slayer).

See more details of the original myths in the notes to Siegfried.

Overview of the major themes of the four music-dramas:

VALKYRIE (Die Walküre)

Act One

Act Two

Act Three

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Versione italiana
Versione italiana

Copyright 1999 by Larry A. Brown