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Fliegt heim ihr Raben

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Richard Wagner




Götterdammerung Synopsis


Götterdammerung Libretto


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Christa Ludwig: Wagner - Götterdämmerung, 'Fliegt heim, ihr Raben'

Singer: Christa Ludwig

Christa Ludwig (born 16 March 1928) is a retired German lyric mezzo-soprano, distinguished for her performances of opera, Lieder, oratorio, and other major religious works like masses and passions, and solos contained in symphonic literature. Her career spanned from the late 1940s until the early 1990s. She is widely recognised as one of the most significant and distinguished singers of the 20th century. Ludwig made her American debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Dorabella in Così fan tutte in 1959. That same year, she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro and subsequently sang 121 performances in 15 different roles with the company until 1993. At the Metropolitan Opera, where she quickly became one of the audience's favourites, her repertoire included The Dyer's Wife in the Met's first-ever performances of Die Frau ohne Schatten, the title role and later the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier, Klytemnestra in Elektra, Ortrud in Lohengrin, Brangäne inTristan und Isolde, Fricka in both Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, Waltraute in Götterdämmerung, Kundry in Parsifal, the title role in Fidelio, Didon in Les Troyens, Charlotte in Werther, and Amneris in Aida. She first appeared at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 1969 as Amneris in Aida. As Ludwig's voice matured, she expanded her repertoire from lyric and spinto mezzo-roles to dramatic roles. Her vast repertory eventually grew to encompass Princess Eboli in Don Carlo which she sang at La Scala in Milan, in Salzburg and in Vienna, the title-role in Carmen, Ulrica (Un ballo in maschera), Monteverdi's Octavia (L'incoronazione di Poppea), Dido (Les Troyens), Kundry (Parsifal), Klytemnestra (Elektra) and contemporary roles by von Einem and Orff. She also ventured briefly into the spinto and dramatic soprano repertory with performances of Verdi's Lady Macbeth (Macbeth), Strauss's Dyer's Wife (Die Frau ohne Schatten), the Marschallin (Der Rosenkavalier) and Beethoven's Leonore (Fidelio). In addition to her opera performances, Ludwig regularly gave recitals of Lieder (together with the German pianist Sebastian Peschko and on occasion, Leonard Bernstein) and as a soloist with orchestras. Her performances of Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Wolf, Mahler and Strauss are much admired. She also sang Bach and performed and recorded most of his major vocal works.

Lyrics & English Translation

Fly home, you ravens!
Recount to your master
what you have heard here by the Rhine!
by Brünnhilde's rock:
direct Loge, who still
blazes there, to Valhalla;
for the end of the gods
is nigh.
Thus do I throw this torch
at Valhalla's vaulting towers.

Grane, my steed,
Do you too know, my friend,
where I am leading you?
Radiant in the fire,
there lies your lord,
Siegfried, my blessed hero.
Are you neighing for joy
to follow your friend?
Do the laughing flames
lure you to him?
Feel my bosom too,
how it burns;
a bright fire
fastens on my heart
to embrace him,
enfolded in his arms,
to be one with him
in the intensity of love!
Heiajoho! Grane!
Greet your master!
Siegfried! Siegfried! See!
Your wife joyfully greets you!

(She has jumped on to the horse and with one bound leaps into the burning pyre. The flames immediately crackle and flare up high, so that the fire fills the whole space in front of the hall and seems to seize on this too. Terrified, the men and women press to the extreme foreground.)
(When the entire stage appears to be completely filled with flame, the glare suddenly dies down, soon leaving only a cloud of smoke which drifts towards the background and lies on the horizon like a dark pall of cloud. At the same time the Rhine greatly overflows its banks, and its waters inundate the area of the fire. The three Rhinemaidens swim past on the waves and appear above the pyre. Hagen, who since the incident of the ring has been watching Brünnhilde's behaviour with growing anxiety, is filled with the utmost terror at the sight of the Rhinemaidens. He hastily throws aside his spear, shield and helmet and plunges, as if insane, into the flood.)

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Fliegt heim, ihr Raben!
Raunt es eurem Herren,
was hier am Rhein ihr gehört!
An Brünnhildes Felsen
fahrt vorbei! -
Der dort noch lodert,
weiset Loge nach Walhall!
Denn der Götter Ende
dämmert nun auf.
So - werf' ich den Brand
in Walhalls prangende Burg.

Grane, mein Roß!
Sei mir gegrüßt!
Weißt du auch, mein Freund,
wohin ich dich führe?
Im Feuer leuchtend,
liegt dort dein Herr,
Siegfried, mein seliger Held.
Dem Freunde zu folgen,
wiehers't du freudig?
Lockt dich zu ihm
die lachende Lohe?
Fühl' meine Brust auch,
wie sie entbrennt;
helles Feuer
das Herz mir erfaßt,
ihn zu umschlingen,
umschlossen von ihm,
in mächtigster Minne
vermählt ihm zu sein!
Heiajaho! Grane!
Grüss' deinen Herren!
Siegfried! Siegfried! Sieh!
Selig grüßt dich dein Weib!

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