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The Ring of the Nibelung (Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung)

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  401 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Richard Wagner's vast Der Ring des Nibelungen cycle comprises four full-length operas (Das Rheingold, Die Walkure, Siegfried and Gotterdammerung) and is arguably the most extraordinary achievement in the history of opera. His own libretto to the operas, translated by Andrew Porter, is an intricate system of metric patterns, imaginative metaphors and alliteration,
Paperback, 340 pages
Published August 17th 1977 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1910)
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The Saga of the Volsungs by AnonymousThe Nibelungenlied by UnknownThe Prose Edda by Snorri SturlusonThe Poetic Edda by UnknownThe Legend of Sigurd & Gudrún by J.R.R. Tolkien
Nibelungen-Volsung Tradition
6th out of 72 books — 8 voters
The Prose Edda by Snorri SturlusonRunemarks by Joanne HarrisThe Poetic Edda by AnonymousEaters of the Dead by Michael CrichtonOdd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman
Norse Mythology
76th out of 156 books — 291 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 949)
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David Withun
Jun 20, 2016 David Withun rated it really liked it
Shelves: arts
I read followed along in this translation of the libretto while watching video of Robert Lepage's 2010-2012 production of the four operas of the Ring cycle at the Metropolitan Opera. It was, to be brief, a tremendous experience. The operas themselves are a remarkable achievement -- in terms of music, story, and, in Lepage's version, visual affect as well. To confine my comments here to only this particular translation: I am quite impressed. The on-screen translation provided on the Met's website ...more
Haymes gives a very good introduction, more a study of Wagner's source material and introduces the reader to the books which Wagner had in his possession. Then he gives the German texts with facing English translation of both Der Nibelungen Mythus and Siegfried's Tod, both accompanied by a short introduction. Essential reading for anyone interested in the evolution of Wagner's Nibelungen drama.

Warning! This is a review of Wagner's Ring in 1848: New Translations of the Nibelung Myth and Siegfried
John Bonilla
Feb 20, 2016 John Bonilla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, classical, 2016
Me encantó, me fascinó.

Al inicio cuesta un poco agarrar el hilo de la historia y más por la mentalidad de que es una ópera es difícil de leer, pero en realidad no, me gustó como Wagner plasmó los escenarios, los eventos.

Un poco corto para mi gusto pero estuvo bien y más porque ya tenía el conocimiento de muchos personajes que salen en la historia (por los caballeros del zodiaco) y me ayudó mucho a comprender esta mitología y que me agradara más lo nórdico.

Al final quedé satisfecho, que es raro q
Jesús Cardeña Morales
Me ha gustado mucho. Y eso que había oído críticas muy diversas sobre esta obra: que si era muy buena, que si era muy mala...; a mí me ha encantado. Es la historia de una vida contada de forma mitológica. Se nota de las fuentes que ha bebido Wagner: Juan sin miedo, La bella durmiente y diversos mitos.
Me ha hecho gracia el ir dándome cuenta de lo mucho que Tolkien se basó en esta obra para El Señor de los Anillos (por no decir que la copió entera)
El personaje de Sigfrido no me ha gustado. Es el a
Jan 17, 2012 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
what beautiful illustrations!
Mar 13, 2012 Lucas rated it it was amazing
Siegfried is my favorite mythical hero. His might and near invulnerability put him among the ranks of heroes such as Achilles and Count Orlando, but it is what sets him apart from them that makes him my favorite. Fafnir touched on it when he observed that Siegfried has a childish soul. He's a pure warrior who lives on his terms and enjoys life. You won't find him sulking in a tent in the middle of a war, and rather than being overly concerned with glory, he is hardly even aware of his own greatn ...more
Robert Sheppard



J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" is one of the most beloved fantasy epics of
James Klagge
Feb 06, 2012 James Klagge rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, plays
This is basically the libretto for Wagner's 4-opera Ring Cycle. I read it b/c I realized I knew nothing of the story line. I've never heard the music or the operas themselves. Apparently this is a case where the composer/writer saw the music as an integral part of telling the story, so I'm sure I've missed some of the force. But the recordings of the operas apparently run about 15 hours, so I'm not sure if I'll do that. The story line is interesting and odd in places. It includes a sword stuck i ...more
Jun 05, 2016 Alicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
El mundo de los hombres queda sin dominadores; pero el hombre debe buscar por sí lo la senda de su destino, alumbrado por una luz divina, no la del poderío y la riqueza, sino la del amor. Sólo el amor traerá la dicha y la eternidad a la raza liberada a través del holocausto de 1os héroes y de los dioses inmortales.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 26, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drama, music, fiction
Yes, I know, Wagner was a racist SOB. But he also was a genius, and this is one of his greatest works with glorious music--my favorite of his in fact. Dragons, Valkyries and Dwarfs! All good. And yes, recordings come with liner notes, and video with subtitles--even some opera companies now have subtitles projected over the proscenium arch. But yes, I do think it's very, very useful as an opera lover to have a translation like this--to read over before a performance perhaps and get subtleties tha ...more
Jan 03, 2012 Greg rated it it was amazing
Wagner's epic is simply outstanding. I have never seen the work performed, although like most I've heard some components of The Ride of the Valkyries in movies and other pop culture. Knowing very little of the work itself, I was blown away by the scope and compelling nature of the story.

The drama takes it's material from Norse mythology, in an age of gods, dwarfs, giants and heroes. The plot is similar to Tolkien's trilogy, although having read some popular critique I'm not sure the linkages are
May 26, 2015 Joelsie rated it it was amazing
A clear reading of the text with a super translation. Andrew Porter did a brilliant job - he just died, and I re-read his translation of Die Walkure and it was really great.
James Taylor
Jan 24, 2015 James Taylor rated it it was amazing
A beautiful opera complimented by a fantastic libretto.
Barnaby Thieme
May 07, 2009 Barnaby Thieme rated it it was amazing
Shelves: music, opera
I don't expect Porter's translation of Wagner's libretto will be surpassed or even matched any time soon. It makes following along with recordings extremely easy, rendered as it is in a "singable" meter matching the scansion of the original. It is a highly readable vernacular English, lyrical and at times matching the marked consonance of Wagner's text.

Re-reading this fine translation is a delightful preamble to my current in-depth study of Wagner, in preparation for seeing the full cycle in Se
Patrick Gibson
Jun 16, 2016 Patrick Gibson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: coffee-table
Jan 19, 2009 Nikki rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mythology
Mesmerizing!!! I read this play in two afternoons. I could barely put it down. It's an assigned reading in my Approaches to Myth course, but something I've been interested in. My initial intrigue was based on previously hearing it was the original "Ring" story, preceding Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings." I haven't had a chance yet to dissect the play and analyze the themes that appear in it, but my completely unedited, initial response to this book was that it was simply great mythic storytelling!! ...more
Krizz Dragneel
Apr 06, 2014 Krizz Dragneel rated it it was amazing
Is Wagner
Oct 27, 2013 Ellen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
I initially picked this book up to read the English text of the operas that I loved to listen to, but I soon became mesmerized with the poetic language that is so gracefully translated. This is a must for poetry lovers, Wagnerians, and mythology fanatics alike. This translation made the music come to life and I got a chance to see the story full on. This is for people who love a good battle between good and evil. Don't let this "modern" Greek tragedy slip away into the Rhine!
Ed Correa
Dec 19, 2015 Ed Correa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Una de las historias épicas y mitológicas que más ha servido de referencia a nuevas obras y mitos a través de los años. La versión de Wagner es extraordinaria y simple al mismo tiempo. Un clásico, sin duda. Era un pendiente imperdonable y ahora una joya en mi lista de leídos. Recomendadísimo.
Feb 09, 2010 Flora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up at the library because I love Rackham's art and am about to see Die Walkure this weekend. Lovely tale that never disappoints Ring lovers. This particular edition is wonderful--old style of print and full page illustrations in color. What a lucky find!
Apr 26, 2012 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read any other versions of the Ring, but I have to say it's a pretty good one. Maybe in five years I'll say "that was shit compared to _____", but for now it's a good way to start.
Oct 19, 2008 Marieu rated it it was amazing
A magnificent tale of dragons, heroes, battles, love, passion... but also heroines, women play such an important part to this tale. Its ancient environment is a jewel to never loose.
Mar 14, 2013 Hugo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: opera
La obra de Wagner en cuatro partes traducidas de manera sencilla. Me gusto ir con el comic de Roy Thompson de la mano de esta novela, su adaptacion es bastante fiel.
Oct 09, 2011 Christi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
My first foray into opera is this libretto and I'm wowed. This epic has so many layers and, after reading it, I can't wait to view/listen to it.
John Foldan
Apr 21, 2013 John Foldan rated it really liked it
An inspiring approach to Wagner's great work, especially for those of us who have little German. Gets to the essence of the work.
Jul 30, 2009 Douglas rated it it was amazing
Excellent translation. A must have for english speaking Wagnerians.
Oct 21, 2009 Michelle rated it it was ok
Norse Mythology, uhh.
Had to read for a class.
Les Wilson
Nov 10, 2013 Les Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The art work is fantastic!
Tomek marked it as to-read
Jul 20, 2016
Aaron Langford
Aaron Langford marked it as to-read
Jul 16, 2016
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Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, conductor, theatre director and essayist, primarily known for his operas (or "music dramas", as they were later called). Unlike most other great opera composers, Wagner wrote both the scenario and libretto for his works.
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Other Books in the Series

Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung (5 books)
  • Das Rheingold
  • The Valkyrie
  • Siegfried
  • The Twilight of the Gods

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