Nibelungen


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
Related to Nibelungen: Nibelungenlied, Nibelungen Saga

Nibelungen

(nē`bəlo͝ong'ən) or

Nibelungs,

in Germanic myth and literature, an evil family possessing a magic hoard of gold. The hoard is accursed. The Nibelungenlied (–lēt') [song of the Nibelungen] is a long Middle High German epic by a south German poet of the early 13th cent. It includes pagan legends and traditions but is patently the product of a Christian, courtly world. The story is set in Worms, capital of Burgundy, and at the court of Etzel (Attila the Hun). The warrior Siegfried, having won the Nibelung hoard, marries Kriemhild and captures the Icelandic Queen Brunhild for Kriemhild's brother King Gunther. Brunhild contrives Siegfried's death at the hands of Gunther's henchman Hagen, who takes the treasure and buries it in the Rhine. The rest of the poem recounts Kriemhild's vengeance. She marries Etzel and has a child by him. Lulled into security, Gunther accepts her invitation and visits her with his court, including Hagen. The poem ends with general slaughter and holocaust, which only Etzel and a few others survive. Although marred by stylistic flaws, the Nibelungenlied contains fine delineations of character, especially of Kriemhild, Siegfried, and Hagen. Its great strength lies in its acute depiction of the Germanic ideas of fate and loyalty to the chief. There are many English translations, e.g., by D. G. Mowatt (1962) and F. G. Ryder (1962). The Nibelungenlied has been the subject of many later treatments by German authors, including Friedrich Hebbel. The most noteworthy is undoubtedly the operatic tetralogy by Richard Wagner, Der Ring des Nibelungen [the ring of the Nibelungs], comprising the four operas Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung. The complete cycle was first produced in Bayreuth in 1876. It was based largely on Scandinavian legends from the Volsungasaga, on the Icelandic Poetic Edda, as well as on the Nibelungenlied.

Bibliography

See studies by A. E. Dickinson (1926), F. E. Winkler (1964), D. G. Mowatt and H. Sacker (1967), H. Bekker (1971), and W. McConnell (1984).

References in periodicals archive ?
Kultur is pleased to announce the Blu-ray release of Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, filmed at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus.
His music drama Der Ring der Nibelungen is such an overwhelming aesthetic experience--he was only slightly exaggerating when he claimed to have composed a Gesamtkunstwerk, a "total work of art'--that it has inevitably eclipsed the medieval saga on which it was based.
Our collection consists of the soft-pink Susan's Bliss, the white with blue vein English Cottage and the blue-and-yellow Nibelungen.
They have no opinion to offer on the significance of Leitmotiv in the Ring of the Nibelungen, can't begin to discuss the best forward line to have represented England since the war, and when you mention Marx they drag in the name of someone called Engels.
In order to investigate the connections Wagner saw between these two sets of women, four of his most significant works, Der Fliegende Hollander, Lohengrin, Der Ring des Nibelungen, and Parsifal, will be examined alongside three of the most prominent, influential, and exploited women in his life: Minna Wagner, Marhilde Wesendonck, and Cosima Wagner.
Christoph Schlingensief, filmmaker, talk-show host, theater director, and a specialist in the art of provocation, recently organized a "Wagner Rally 99-the Ring in Africa" in Namibia (Schlingensief's pseudo-exorcistic attempt to "set the Nibelungen Ring down in the sand and save ourselves" was sympathetically covered by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung).
But as far as open-minded viewers are concerned, They Looked Away constitutes a powerful refutation of the claims of those who assert that, like in Wagner's Nibelungen, everything that happened was bound to happen with iron necessity, and that there was no way to save even one human life.
As time went on, he began to admire not only the Nibelungen "king" -- Richard Wagner -- but also the new dictators: Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler.
Coming to Hutcheon's own exercise of ironizing Wagner's "Germanness" mainly on the basis of Herbert Wernicke's 1991 political production of Der Ring der Nibelungen cycle at Brussels and Chereau's "leftist" and Kupfer's "green" Rings at Bayreuth, it seems easy and perhaps politically correct to develop one's arguments from a patronizing and morally superior attitude, while some Asian nations are already blatantly attributing "NDC" status to what they consider the "newly decaying countries" of the West.
This is where Lohengrin, heroic knight of the swan, adventured, and where legends of the Nibelungen kings inspired Wagner's operatic tetralogy, The Ring.
NCM Fathom Events and the Metropolitan Opera will present Robert Lepage's new production of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen , as well as Wagner's Dream , a new documentary chronicling the creation of this ambitious new staging this May.
Contract notice: Nibelungen sciences worms, metzler-building; chemistry rooms.