Motif 25: Caresses
German name: Kosemelodie
[Cosima Wagner's diary entry for 16 February 1876]
After lunch he shows me his latest album leaf, "an attempt to be American", and says it is the chorus the women will sing to Parzival:Komm, schöner Knabe!
The example shows one of the themes associated with the Flower (or Magic) Maidens. It accompanies the seductive
|Above: A Bayreuth postcard showing Parsifal with the flowermaidens.|
Although the Flower Maidens are magical creatures of Klingsor, they are of natural origin. Wolzogen expressed it as follows:
All this happens like a cheerful, laughing
child's play and entirely without the character of intentionally seductive sensuality. It is the grace of nature in its full power, intoxicating as if playing, which
exercises the enchantment of an extremely agreeable surprise upon the ignorant captives of its miracles.
Wagner's joke about "an attempt to be American," refers to the piece he was working on when this inspiration arrived: the Centennial March which had been commissioned from him by the State of Philadelphia.
References: von Wolzogen ex.15-3 and page 59, Lorenz pp.114-5, Lavignac pp.460-1, Kufferath ex.33, Newman ex.19, ENO ex.18, Bauer pp.80-81.