Ride of the Valkyries

By Richard Wagner

Instantly recognizable, this work is taken from Wagner’s opera “The Valkyries,” his second opera in the Ring cycle. The “Ride” is a musical tone poem in which the Valkyries – warrior daughters of Wotan, king of the gods – ride through the air bringing back the souls of dead heroes to Valhalla, the home of the gods. The scenery is foreboding – towering, craggy mountains, a stormy thundering sky. All of this is brought to life in Wagner’s electrifying and dramatic orchestration.