Richard Strauss: Elektra

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Derrick Puffett
CUP Archive, 1989 - Biography & Autobiography - 179 pages
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The contributions to this handbook bring together a full-length study of Elektra in English. The volume examines the many facets of one of Richard Strauss's most complex operas. First, P. E. Easterling surveys the mythological background, while Karen Forsyth discusses Hofmannsthal's adaptation of his sources. The second part brings the music to the fore. Derrick Puffett offers an introductory essay and synopsis; Arnold Whittall considers the tonal and dramatic structure of the composition; Tethys Carpenter explores the musical language of the work in detail, with special focus given to part of the Klytaemnestra scene. The third part of the volume offers two contrasting critical essays: Carolyn Abbate provides an interpretation informed by her recent work on narrative, and Robin Holloway analyses Strauss's orchestration of the opera. The book also contains a discography and an appendix of excerpts from the Strauss-Hofmannsthal correspondence.
  

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Contents

Electras story
10
from Sophocles to Strauss
17
some preliminary thoughts
33
Synopsis
44
Dramatic structure and tonal organisation
55
The musical language of Elektra
74
music and language in Strausss opera
107
a critical interpretation
128
Notes
148
Bibliography
168
by Malcolm Walker
176
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