Richard Strauss: Arabella

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Cambridge University Press, 1989 - Music - 162 pages
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This is the first comprehensive guide to Richard Strauss's Arabella. The opening chapters explore the literary background of the work, and examine the Strauss-Hofmannsthal collaboration. Arabella is seen as the culmination of specific ideas and techniques: an attempt to win something of the subtlety of the spoken theatre for the operatic stage and to find a balance between words and music. A full synopsis of the work provides an insight into the psychological motivation of the drama and an impression of the musical shape and substance of the opera. More detailed analytical comment considers Strauss's 'long-range' tonal procedures and his use of key and Motiv for characterisation, allusion and particular expressive purposes. Special features of this guide are a comentary on one of the Strauss Arabella sketchbooks and an investigation of a series of as yet unpublished letters from Strauss to Böhm, Krauss and Fanto.
  

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Contents

Stmuss and Hofmannsthal the collaborative background
1
Synopsis
17
The literary sources of the opera
37
The Arabella collaboration
48
The structure of the opera
63
Analysis technique and expression
75
The Act 3 sketchbook
91
Premiere and aftermath
97
An interpretative assessment
127
An additional quartet
136
The recordings
139
Notes
141
Select bibliography
153
Discography
156
Index
160
Copyright

Critical reactions
117

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (1989)

Kenneth Birkin is an internationally recognised Richard Strauss scholar, and is the author of Friedenberg and Daphne (1989), Arabella (1989) and British Music: Elgar and After (1997), and the editor of Stefan Zweig Joseph Gregor Correspondence 1921 1938 (1991). His work has appeared in many journals including Music and Letters, Opera Magazine, The Musical Times and Tempo. He has written and presented programmes for BBC Radio 3 and is the librettist of British composer John Joubert's three-act opera Jane Eyre.

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