HALLOWEENguide: Richard Wagner’s “Rheingold” From Werner Herzog’s “Nosferatu” (The Arrival Scene)

by • September 30, 2010 • Movies, MusicComments (0)3756

Das Rheingold (“The Rhine Gold”) is the first of the four operas that comprise Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), by Richard Wagner. Das Rheingold was originally written as an introduction to the tripartite Ring; however, the cycle is generally regarded as composed of four individual operas. It received its premiere at the National Theatre in Munich on 22 September 1869.  The following is a short clip from Werner Herzog’s 1979 film, “Nosferatu The Vampire” where the music was used for Jonathan Harker’s arrival at the home of Dracula in Transylvania.  Here’s a brief set-up explaining the clip below:

Jonathan Harker is an estate agent in Wismar, Germany. His boss, Reinfeld, informs him that a nobleman named Count Dracula wishes to buy a property in Wismar, and assigns Harker to visit the count and complete the lucrative deal. Leaving his young wife Lucy behind in Wismar, Harker travels for four weeks to Transylvania, to the castle of Count Dracula.

NOTE: Skip to the 2:22 mark for the beginning of Wagner’s Rheingold during Harker’s arrival at Count Dracula’s castle.  The Mountains set against the E-flat major triadic-drone of the Rheingold make it one of the most magical moments in film.  It also helps if you have a gigantic stereo system.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkAI9kALWss[/youtube]

I fell in love with this Wagner piece because of the LEVI’S “Go Forth” campaign where it was used in one of their short films.  Watch the LEVI’S use of Wagner’s Rheingold here:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjNVhoWqSWY[/youtube]

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