April 22, 2020
The Instruments of the RING
Instrumentation in opera orchestras was never the same after the Ring cycle! The Ring orchestra numbers close to 90 players, and Wagner used every instrument to its absolute fullest capacity. There is glorious writing for the strings, but above all, Wagner took great steps forward with the brass.
The horn writing is truly virtuosic, and the massively scaled writing for trombones (such as in the "Ride of the Valkyries") makes for one of opera's most epic scores. From creating new instruments to modifying existing ones, Wagner was ahead of his time. Scroll down to hear some examples performed by the Lyric Opera Orchestra during our 2017 production of Die Walküre.