Klingsor and Amfortas
Figure 1. Klingsor's motif (1) (no. 15 in the
) and the motif of Kundry's Laughter (2) (no. 11 in the Guide
he prelude to the second act is a short, fast introduction of sixty bars, which introduces
the domain of Klingsor. Therefore, naturally, the dominant idea is Klingsor's motif ; at the end of the prelude, Kundry is represented by the motif of
Laughter . Klingsor's motif may be regarded as a distant derivative of the Grundthema that opens the prelude to the
first act. Prelude to Act II - Knappertsbusch, Bayreuth
(ogg format, mono, duration 2 minutes)
he second act, including the prelude, is the only act in all of Wagner's music-dramas that
begins and ends in the same key. It is the black key of b minor, a key that was associated with magic in the Ring. This
choice of key for Klingsor's music may not be fortuitous; in fact, the key sequence and dramatic action of the first two sections of the act (up to the Kiss) parallel part of an opera by Meyerbeer.
Figure 2. Amfortas' suffering as it appears in the Act
1 Transformation Music.
he music of the second act may be characterised as a parody and distortion of the music of
the first act, reflecting the relationship between Klingsor's domain and that of the Grail. At the climax of this short prelude (bar 50),
there is a distorted reminiscence [Figure 3] of the motif of Suffering, as it appeared in the transformation music of Act 1 [Figure 2 - see also motif 4
in the Guide]. The music of Klingsor and Kundry is predominantly chromatic, and so are the themes associated with
suffering and desire, through which Klingsor and Kundry are related to Amfortas.