The New Student's Reference Work/Rheingold, Das

Rheingold (rīn′gōlt), Das. The prelude of Wagner's tetralogy of The Niebelungen Ring. First performance at Munich, Sept. 22, 1869, under the direction of Franz Wüllner, whose tact and ability successfully overcame the difficulties attending its first production. The poem, Das Rheingold, was not written until after Siegfried and Die Walküre had been dramatised. The music was completed in May of 1854. An exceptional number of instruments is required by the score. For instance, where ordinarily two or four horns would suffice, Wagner uses eight. The band of brass instruments is enlarged, with wonderful effects in sonority. At the close of The Rhinegold six harps are used in the rainbow scene. The full score was published in 1873.