We’ve sampled visual delights in Bavaria through photos, so now let’s turn to delights for our ears.
A pivotal scene in my erotic novel, Bavarian Beauty, includes music from Richard Wagner’s four operas comprising Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung, or Ring Cycle). The four operas are Das Rheingold (The Rhine Gold), Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods).
The most recognizable music from the operas might be “The Ride of the Valkyries.”
Maybe you recognize this tune from “What’s Opera, Doc?” starring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd (in a Warner Bros. Cartoons short directed by Chuck Jonze in 1957):
I can’t help but smile when Elmer chants “Kill the wabbit!” (it happens later in the cartoon from this clip). It reminds me of the other cartoon, where Bugs and Daffy Duck go back and forth: “It’s wabbit season!” “Duck season!” Classic, just classic.
Ahem. Moving on…
What’s a valkyrie? Wikipeda says:
“In Norse mythology, a valkyrie (from Old Norse valkyrja ‘chooser of the slain’) is one of a host of female figures who choose those who may die in battle and those who may live. Selecting among half of those who die in battle (the other half go to the goddess Freyja’s afterlife field Fólkvangr), the valkyries bring their chosen to the afterlife hall of the slain, Valhalla, ruled over by the god Odin.”
A character in my novel — Gretchen — is described as a valkyrie by the narrator, Simon. He does this in a scene that’s a sort of battle — not with swords, but between the two characters. More like a battle of wills. And a battle takes place within Simon himself, too.
The last opera in The Ring Cycle is Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods), which sounds like it could also be the title of a righteous rock album (and it might already be one). But I digress.
Wikipedia offers a background about the title:
“The title is a translation into German of the Old Norse phrase Ragnarök, which in Norse mythology refers to a prophesied war among various beings and gods that ultimately results in the burning, immersion in water, and renewal of the world.”
This isn’t what literally happens in my novel, but Simon (the main character) does go through a burning (of sorts, more like a stinging) and a renewal.
A taste of the music in Götterdämmerung:
This was “Siegfried’s Funeral March,” and, again, it’s not a literal occurrence in my novel, since nobody dies (spoiler alert). But there is a death, of sorts, and Gretchen serves as the valkyrie as she takes Simon to Valhalla. All symbolic, that is. And Simon takes her to Valhalla, too — it certainly isn’t one-sided.
But that’s enough peeking under the hood for symbolism in the novel. I hope you enjoy the music from these clips!