Motif 35: Distress of Monsalvat

German name: Ödethema (2)

Musical example: Motif 35 - Distress of Monsalvat
SoundbytesDistress (Ludwig Weber; ogg format)

This is a variant of Desolation #32. Both of these motives may be heard either as expansions of the Bells motif, or as derived from the first phrase of the Prophecy motif. Like the Desolation motif, it has a falling fifth and a falling tritone. It might be concluded that these motives form a group that share a common idea, that of the community of Monsalvat.

This motif is associated with the distress of the community. We hear it first in the strings, just before Gurnemanz asks Wie kam'st du heut' - woher? and it returns when he describes the sad state of affairs that prevails at Monsalvat.

Hans von Wolzogen called this motif "the shortened form of Desolation (Öde)" (hearing it as a diminution of Desolation). Albert Lavignac gave it the label "the second form of The Desert".

References: von Wolzogen ex.20, Lavignac p.466, Kufferath ex.42, ENO ex.49.

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