Rhinegold. Alberich’s Pursuit of the Nibelungen Ring.
RHEINGOLD (The Rhinegold) is the prelude to the music-drama of the “Ring of the Nibelung.” The first scene of the opera shows the depths of the river Rhine. The three daughters of the Rhine, Flosshilda, Woglinda and Wellgunda, are seen, the guardians of the Rheingold. After a little, Alberich, the gnome, rises from the water and watches the nymphs at play. Filled with admiration, he attempts to seize each in turn, but they mock him, and he ill forced to give tip the chase. Suddenly he sees the gold, and asks:
“What is it, ye gliders,
That yonder glows and gleams?”
The Maidens: “Where is, O rude one, thy home,
That of Rheingold thou hast not heard?
Naught wots the imp
Of the golden eye
That wondrously wakes and wanes –
Of the water’s winsome Wonderful star,
That lights the waves with its look?
Lo – how glad,
In its gleaming we glide.
Wouldst thou, brawny,
Bathe in its radiance,
So riot and revel with us.”
Opera by Richard Wagner “Rheingold.” Hans Makart, Artist
Source: Character sketches of romance, fiction and the drama by Rev. Ebenezer Cobham Brewer, 1892. A revised American edition of the readers handbook. Edited by Marion Harland.
The Rhinegold is an opera by Richard Wagner and, together with the following three music dramas The Valkyrie, Siegfried and Twilight of the Gods the complete works (the tetralogy) The Ring of the Nibelungs. The Ring of the Nibelungs is a “scenic festival in three days and an eve”. The Rheingold is the shortest of the four works (about 2 1/2 hours) and is listed without a break. In Rheingold describes the basic conflicts of Fallot, especially the controversy of power and love demonstrated. The Rhinemaidens are naive natural beings that possess a magical treasure and guard in the depth of the river – the Rhinegold.
But this treasure loses his innocent character and helps to endless power when its owner renounces love and forges a ring from the gold. The dwarf Alberich by the people of the Nibelungs succeeds precisely this (which is why: The Ring of the Nibelungs) after the Rhine maidens who spurned his love and desire Alberich steals the gold in immoderate anger. He can use as the magical powers of the ring, subjects overall Nibelungs people and forces it to work for him in the gold mines Nibelheim.