The companion volume to the Ring libretto translations by Rudolph Sabor provides a guide through the labyrinth of the Ring, clarifying its literary and musical idiom and significance. It offers essays, surveys and summaries - designed to inform, enlighten, and occassionally, provoke.
A biography of Richard Wagner's colourful life precedes an essay on the myriad mythological sources that inspired the opera cycle. How the Ring came about, and what it can be taken to mean, are considered in the essay 'The Genesis of the Ring'. Wagner's complex use of the leitmotif - his musical 'labels' of people, emotions, events - is clarified, and Sabor introduces the reader to both the characters and the story of the Ring. A history of 120 years of performances, at Bayreuth and elsewhere, is copiously illustrated. Appendices include a full bibliography, discography, videography, and a short listing of Wagner's orchestral forces. The volume concludes with a list of all the leitmotifs in the Ring.
Four other books are available in this series, which each have a translation and commentary to one of the four operas in the Ring cycle. The books can be enjoyed individually or as a series; either way they will equip the Wagner enthusiast with a fund of information to make the Ring journey more rewarding.