Richard Wagner: Die Walküre (arranged by: Eberhard Kloke)

Richard Wagner Die Walküre
Die Walküre

Richard Wagner: Die Walküre (arranged by: Eberhard Kloke)

Year of composition:
Scored for:
for medium-sized orchestra
Richard Wagner
Eberhard Kloke (2018)
2 2 3 2 - 4 2 4 0 - timp, perc(2), hp, cel, str
Instrumentation details:
1st flute (+picc)
2nd flute (+picc
alto fl)
1st oboe (+c.a)
2nd oboe (+c.a
hph ad lib.)
1st clarinet in B, A
2nd clarinet in B, A (+bass cl(Bb)
3rd clarinet in B (+bass cl(Bb) ad lib.)
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon (+cbsn)
1st horn (+wagner tuba in B)
2nd horn (+wagner tuba in B)
3rd horn (+wagner tuba in F)
4th horn (+wagner tuba in F)
1st trumpet
2nd trumpet
1st tenor-bass trombone (+bass tpt in C ad lib.)
2nd tenor-bass trombone
3rd tenor-bass trombone (+cb.tbn ad lib.)
4th tenor-bass trombone (+Cimbasso
cb.tbn ad lib)
percussion (2 players
xylorimba ad lib., glockenspiel, triangel, cymbal, tamtam, snare druml, gran cassa)
violin I
violin II
double bass
stage music (cow horn, Donnermaschine)
More Less

Work introduction

This transcription is geared to the forces available in a mid-size orchestra. In the course of arranging the work, the Klangfarben of the orchestra were expanded and “modernised” by greater differentiation within the historically given spectrum and by introducing new instruments. I strove both to expand and condense the sound, especially since I of course kept the instruments typical of the Ring (Wagner tuba, bass trumpet, contrabass trombone, etc.); the newly introduced ones (alto flute, heckelphone, contrabass clarinet, contrabassoon and cimbasso, the latter as a link between tubas and trombones) become especially significant as additional dramatic-psychological sonic elements.

My central concerns when transcribing Wagner’s Walküre for 11 soloists (including doublings) and 60 players were therefore both to create a practical alternative for performance (while fundamentally adhering to Wagner’s score) and to find a new sonic directionality for the piece – and this, let it be emphasised, was not only aimed at reducing the intention and method of reducing Wagner’s orchestra to make the work practical for performance in mid-sized and small theatres. This transcription consists of a not negligible transformation of the sound and thus the sonic structure within the orchestra and in the balance between the stage and the orchestra.

It cannot be emphasised enough that Walküre was not conceived for a covered orchestral sound (Bayreuth’s “mystical abyss”) but for conventional opera houses with open orchestra pits. It seems to me that indirect sound, indirect emission have become obsolete since the invention of microphone techniques (and thus sonic media, as well as unlimited options of digital analysis, processing and storage).

Today, attentive listeners are most concerned with perceiving refined Klangfarben in the orchestra, achieved through greater differentiation in the orchestration and more closely considered balance between the stage and the orchestra, to make the drama manifest for people’s eyes and ears today.

Specifying the Fach of the voices was dispensed with since this arrangement of the work can also be performed by lighter voices, not only the traditional high-dramatic ones:

Cast of Walküre

Sieglinde: soprano
Brünnhilde: soprano
Fricka (Waltraute)*: mezzo-soprano
Siegmund: tenor
Wotan: bass-baritone
Hunding: bass
Six Valkyries:
Helmwige, Gerhilde: soprano
Waltraute (Fricka)*, Rossweiße: mezzo-soprano
Grimgerde, Schwertleite: alto
* These roles can be played by one performer, if necessary.
Orchestra: min. 57, max. 65 players

Eberhard Kloke

Translation by Grant Chorley

A brochure with detailed information on the arrangement and casting (overlaps and double-casting options) is available from Universal Edition: [email protected]

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