"The Ride of the Valkyries"

'The Ride of the Valkyries' (Walkurenritt) is the opening of Act III of The Valkyries (Die Walkure), the third opera in Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle.  Composed in 1854, it is one of Wagner's most famous works and tells a mythic tale of mortals and gods battling for possession of a magical ring.  The characters and mythology are based on Scandinavian and German fables, and The Ride of the Valkyries portrays four Valkyries gathered on a mountain peak, bearing the dead bodies of men slain in battle toward Valhalla, O

din's hall for fallen warriors.  The Valkyries appear in Norse mythology with the power to decide who dies in battle.  They are depicted as warrior-like women, often shown flying or mounted on flying steeds.


The power of Wagner's music has resulted in it being widely used in popular culture, most famously in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979).