Parsifal

Motif 23: Waking

German name: Hohnmotiv


Soundbytes Waking (Martha Mödl; ogg format)
Musical example: Motif 20 - Waking

In act III this group of themes is associated with (in Newman's words) the tortured winter sleep of Kundry. But it first appears in act II (bar 145), when Klingsor conjures her from sleep. Lorenz seems to have associated it with Kundry's mockery of Klingsor and so called it the motif of mockery, Hohnmotiv. He notes that it is often heard (at least in act 2), in conjunction with the Ethical Question motif. Bauer comments that Lorenz's naming of the Kundry motives is eccentric.

Example (A) appears in the prelude to the third act, soon followed by (B) in conjunction with the Prophecy motif in diminution. The motif returns in the earlier (A) form as Gurnemanz massages the cold, stiff body of Kundry into life again.

The next time a variant of the motif appears is at Gurnemanz's Heiligster Tag, an dem ich heut' erwachen sollt! Then example (B) returns, while Parsifal recounts his wanderings with the Spear. Here the motif seems to take on a significance of spiritual, rather than physical, awakening.

References: von Wolzogen page 78, Newman ex.41A, ENO ex.37-38, Lorenz p.100, p.146, Bauer pp.74-75.

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