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We’ve been doing the Ring Cycle here in New Jersey for the last few years. When we’re finished — this month — it will have been the first complete “Ring” in the state, ever.

But we’re not doing the full-blown original. Instead it’s a compression/arrangement, reduced in length, and scored for an orchestra of 18 instrumentalists. Last year was Siegfried, and due to an unfortunate snafu with the rental company, we didn’t get the parts until the second rehearsal. They were riddled with errors, but with only two rehearsals to go there wasn’t enough time to correct them. The performance was … lacking. Wrong notes, missing measures, mis-counted rests. The performance lurched along on the verge of total collapse.

I’d noticed a similar issue with Die Walküre the previous year, but we had a little more time. This year is Götterdämmerung and praise be to the gods whose twilight is approaching we will have had the parts for over a month. Taking advantage of this, I’ve had the Solti/Vienna recording cycling on my car CD player for the last few weeks, as well as following along with the full score at home while listening to Karajan/Berlin on the turntable. Sure enough, there are problems.

Here’s what I’ve found in the trumpet/flugelhorn part. It’s a preliminary once-over of wrong notes and rhythms. It’s possible — even likely — that missing or additional measures will be found once the full orchestra gets together, and I’ll report on those in an addendum.

All wrong notes and corrections are indicated as written — trumpet is in C; flugelhorn is in Bb, up a whole step from sounding pitch.


Act I

Scene 1

Measure 72, add an eighth rest and a quarter rest at the end of the bar
Measure 133, there’s an accelerando in the original leading up to rehearsal [28]
Measure 147, this is a bad one. Beat 3 should be a triplet Bb-A-G, and beat 4 an F
Measure 180, also bad. It should be quarter-note F, half-note Db

Scene 2

Measure 18, the fourth note is a sixteenth-note C, but it should be an eighth
Measure 274, beat 2 is a Bb, beat 3 is an Ab, beat 4 is a G

Scene 3

Measure 150, not technically a typo but the natural sign in front of the E in bar 149 might lead you to believe that it’s an Eb in 150. It’s an E natural.

Act II

Scene 1

Measure 55, second note should be F-flat/E-natural
Measure 73, assume a 2 1/2 bar diminuendo, followed by a crescendo in bar 76

Scene 3

Measure 31, the first note is an F natural.
Measure 32, the second note (the sixteenth) should be a D
Measure 33, Eb
Measure 36, I’m pretty sure the second note (the sixteenth) is an A natural

Scene 4

Measures 210-213 are each missing a beat, probably a quarter rest at the end

Scene 5

Measure 50, last note should be an eighth

Scene 6

Measure 144, should be a dotted half tied to an eighth.

Scene 7

Measures 46-48, slur across all three bars
Measure 59 should be all As
Measure 59 last quarter should have two slashes, indicating 16th notes instead of 8th notes.
Measure 77 and 78, the notes probably should be E, Eb, Gb
Measure 98 beat 4 to the end of the phrase, I’m going to suggest up an octave.

Scene 8

Measure 156 (rehearsal [49]) is sf diminuendo, not vice-versa
Measure 234, last note is A#
Measure 269, fermata at the end?
Measure 277, C#
Measure 428, the first note is a C#
Measure 518, I suspect the triplet/dotted-quarter/eighth Gs are actually supposed to be low Cs.
Measure 521 the last note is a half note tied over the bar

I came up with these notations just based on listening and practicing, then comparing to the full orchestral score as published by Dover (which is a reprint of the B. Schott’s Sohne 1877 edition).

In no way do I want to denigrate the work that went into this re-orchestration. It was obviously a labor of love, and obviously well-done. Hats off to the Birmingham Opera Company and Jonathan Dove. A proofreader might have been a good investment, or at least another edition after the bugs were worked out in rehearsals for the premiere.

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