The Ballet Collaborations of Richard Strauss
Richard Strauss contributed music to several ballets during his career, collaborating with prominent dance artists of his time. His ballets include an unfinished Die Insel Kythere (The Island of Cythera), 1900), inspired by French Rococo paintings; Josephslegende (The Legend of Joseph, 1914), choreographed by Léonide Massine for the Ballets Russes; a 1923 Ballettsoirée with dances by Heinrich Kröller, showcasing the Vienna Ballet and including Strauss's arrangements of music by François Couperin; Schlagobers (Whipped Cream, 1924), a "Comic Viennese Ballet" choreographed by Kröller; and Verklungene Feste: Tanzvisionen aus Zwei Jahrhunderten (Faded Celebrations: Dance Visions from Two Centuries, 1941), premiered in Munich with meta-historical dances by the dancer-choreographer team Pia and Pino Mlakar. In The Ballet Collaborations of Richard Strauss, Heisler considers Strauss's ballet scores alongside story, mise-en-scène, and choreography, revealing Strauss's shift from a parodic conception of classical dance in the years leading up to World War I to a belated obsession with Romantic-era ballet in its aftermath. Heisler explores issues central to Strauss's relationship to modernism: his mining in Die Insel Kythere (1900) of the decorative aspects of dance, suggesting a shared sensibility with fin-de-siècle Jugendstil and a critique of Romanticism; the dynamics of collective creation and Strauss's penchant for parody in relation to Josephslegende (1914); his stance on interwar cultural politics through the 1923 Ballettsoirée and Schlagobers (1924); and Verklungene Feste (1941) as this composer's autumnal meditation on the conceit of music and dance as vehicles for transcendence. The Ballet Collaborations of Richard Strauss is a richly interdisciplinary study that promises to nuance the popular, critical, and academic reception of this ever-popular composer. Wayne Heisler Jr. is Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Historical and Cultural Studies in Music at The College of New Jersey.
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aesthetic Ariadne arrangements artistic ballerina ballet collaborations ballet-pantomime Ballets Russes Ballettsoirée baroque Beethoven’s Berlin Briefwechsel Carillon chapter character choreographic composer composer’s costumes critic culture dancers Decsey Dehmel Deutsches Theatermuseum Diaghilev’s Divertimento Don Juan example Feuillet’s figure Fokine Fokine’s François Couperin Gavotte German Gilliam Gregor Harry Graf Kessler Hofmannsthal and Kessler Hofmannsthal’s Hugo von Hofmannsthal Ibid Insel Kythere Joseph Joseph’s dance Josephslegende Jugendstil June kitsch Kolisch Kometentanz Krauss Kritiken Les Ombres errantes libretto Mahler mannsthal Massine Massine’s modern movement Mozart Munich Musik Nachlaß Heinrich Kröller neoclassicism Neue Nijinsky Nijinsky’s opera orchestral pantomime Paris parody performance Pino Mlakar Potiphar’s wife premiere Rameau Ravel rehearsal number Richard Strauss Rolland romantic ballet Rosenkavalier Round Dance Ruinen von Athen Sarabande scenario scene Scheerbart’s Schlagobers Schuh score shepherd boy’s sketches Specht Staatsoper stage Stravinsky Symphony tableau Tanz Tänzerin Tanzsuite theater theme tion Verklungene Feste Vienna Viennese Wedekind Werke Wiener Wiener Staatsoper