the online opera guide to Wagner’s aria WINTERSTÜRME WICHEN DEM WONNEMOND

Read Interesting facts and hear great YouTube Videos about the famous aria “WINTERSTÜRME WICHEN DEM WONNEMOND”.



If you want to hear more about the opera DIE WALKÜRE, click on the link to the opera portrait




The Aria – synopsis and background

Synopsis: Hunding comes home and wants to hear his story. Siegmund tells that one day when returned home, he found his mother killed, his home burned and his twin sister had disappeared. Later he learned that his sister was being forced into a marriage she did not want. Siegmund tried to defend her. Now Hunding recognizes Siegmund as an old enemy. Traditionally he grants Siegmund the right to stay for the night but challenges him to a duel for next morning. Sieglinde gives Hunding a sleeping drug and shows Siegmund a sword stuck in a tree. Wotan had pushed it the sword in the tree and declared that it will belong to the one who is strong enough to pull it out. Siegmund succeeds and calls the sword Nothung. . Siegmund and Sieglinde realize that they are siblings. The door of the house opens and the season has changed to spring, illuminated by the full moon at night.


The aria describes how a brother finds his sister. Siegmund sings ambiguously and yet clearly how the brother (Spring/Lenz) finds his sister (Love/Liebe) and “The young couple greets each other cheering, love and Spring are united”.
The scene of Siegfried’s procreation by the two siblings was shocking for the audience at that time. Wagner broke two taboos in this opera: The incest of sibling love and Sieglinde’s adultery.

“Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond” is an exceptional phenomenon in Wagner’s later work, since Wagner saw arias as an unsuitable means in the sense of the Gesamtkunstwerk. He also used melodious repetitions in this aria, which he normally avoided. Nevertheless, this piece is repeatedly used as an aria in recitals and is always enthusiastically welcomed by the audience.

How to describe this aria in musical terms ? With the appearance of the full moon and spring, the music suddenly changes. Accompanied by the sound of the harp the music gets soft and lyrical, and the tenor sings this famous melody. In an undulating 9/8 beat, this famous piece begins with the much-quoted rhyme, which poses difficult problems for many foreign-language musicians. A delicate clarinet cantilena soon sets in (durch Wald und Auen / o’er wood and meadow wafts his breathing), which is replaced by the oboe (aus sel’ger Vöglein Sange / in blithesome song of birds resounds his voice) and merges into the bass clarinet (seinem warmen Blut entblühen / from his ardent blood bloom out all joy-giving blossoms ) and is complemented by the bassoon (Mit zarter Waffen Zier / With gentle weapons’ charm he forces the world). This love song becomes more and more intense and finally culminates in “vereint sind Liebe und Lenz” “United are Love and Spring”.






Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond
in mildem Lichte leuchtet der Lenz
auf linden Lüften leicht und lieblich
Wunder webend er sich wiegt
durch Wald und Auen weht sein Atem
weit geöffnet lacht sein Aug’
aus sel’ger Vöglein Sange süß er tönt
holde Düfte haucht er aus
seinem warmen Blut entblühen wonnige Blumen
Keim und Spross entspringt seiner Kraft.

Mit zarter Waffen Zier bezwingt er die Welt
Winter und Sturm wichen der starken Wehr
wohl musste den tapfern Streichen
die strenge Türe auch weichen
die trotzig und starr uns trennte von ihm.

Zu seiner Schwester schwang er sich her
die Liebe lockte den Lenz
in unsrem Busen barg sie sich tief
nun lacht sie selig dem Licht.

Die bräutliche Schwester befreite der Bruder
zertrümmert liegt, was je sie getrennt
jauchzend grüßt sich das junge Paar
vereint sind Liebe und Lenz!



Winter storms gave way to the merry moon,
Springtime gleams in mild light;
On bland airs, gentle and lovely
He* sways by doing wonders;
Through woods and meadows blows his breath,
His eye laughs widely apart: –
He chimes from overjoyed bird’s sweet singing,
He exhales lovely fragrances;
Delightful flowers reflourish his warm blood,
Germ and sprout arise from his strength.
With tender weapon’s ornament he conquers the world;
Winter and storm gave way to the strong fight:
Even the rigid door
Which defiantly and rigidly seperated us from him
Had do give way to the brave strokes. –
He came here to his sister;
Love tempted springtime:
It** hided deeply in our bosom;
Now it smiles overjoyed at the light.
The brother unchained the bridal sister,
Whatever seperated them lies in ruins:
The young couple welcomes each other with jubilation:
Love and springtime are united!




Written for a Heldentenor


This Fach can only be mastered by a few tenors. The roles are reserved for experienced singers, as a young voice can quickly be damaged. The physical demands on the singer are immense. The duration of the opera is usually very long and the accompaniment by the orchestra is loud and dense. The number of outstanding representatives of this fach is small and the artists are sought-after and usually booked years in advance.







Let us start with the greatest Wagner tenor Lauritz Melchior.

Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond (1)  –  Melchior



Next you will hear Franz Völker who was one of the greatest Lohengrin and Siegmund of the century. Franz Völker (1899-1965) combined the voice power of a Heldentenor with a lyric singing culture.

Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond (2)  –  Völker



Placido Domingo also had Siegmund in his repertoire. This all-rounder has also surprised many sceptics with this beautiful Siegmund.

Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond (3)  –  Domingo



Finally a wonderful interpretation by Jonas Kaufmann. It is interesting how he himself sees this role: “Wagner operas are populated by heroes: Siegfried, Tristan, Lohengrin. Today we are no longer interested in the flawless of the hero’s image, but in the broken aspect. A Siegmund, the epitome of the warrior and warrior, is simply at the end when he appears in the Walküre in front of Hunding’s hut. When he then suddenly becomes so soft, languishes and tells of the women: wonderful. Wagner has always been interested in the human being in his hero figures. (Source: Die Zeit, 2013).

Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond (4)  –  Kaufmann




Peter Lutz, opera-inside, the online opera guide to the Aria “Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond” from the opera die Walküre





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