"The Ride of the Valkyries" refers to the beginning of act 3 of Die Walküre, the second of the four operas constituting Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. As a separate piece, the "Ride" is often heard in a purely instrumental version, as in this edition by William Ryden. Together with the "Bridal Chorus" from Lohengrin, the "Ride of the Valkyries" is one of Wagner's best-known pieces. The main theme of the Ride, the leitmotif labelled Walkürenritt, was first written down by the composer on 23 July 1851. The preliminary draft for the "Ride" was composed in 1854 as part of the composition of the entire opera, which was fully orchestrated by the end of March 1856.