SalomeOp. Strauss dedicated the opera to his friend Sir Edgar Speyer. The opera is famous at the time of its premiere, infamous for its "Dance of the Seven Veils". The final scene is frequently heard as a concert-piece for dramatic soprano s. Strauss saw the play in Lachmann's version and immediately set to work on an opera. The play's formal structure was well-suited to musical adaptation. Strauss composed the opera to a German libretto, and that is the version that has become widely known.
InStrauss made an alternate version in French the language of the original Oscar Wilde playwhich was used by Mary Gardenthe world's most famous proponent of the role, when she sang the opera in New York, Chicago, Milwaukee, Paris, and other cities.
The combination of the Christian biblical theme, the erotic and the murderous, which so attracted Wilde to the tale, shocked opera audiences from its first appearance.
Some of the original performers were very reluctant to handle the material as written and the Salome, Marie Wittich"refused to perform the 'Dance of the Seven Veils'", thus creating a situation where a dancer stood in for her. Gustav Mahler could not gain the consent of the Vienna censor to have it performed; therefore it was not given at the Vienna State Opera until Salome was banned in London by the Lord Chamberlain 's office until When it was given its premiere performance at Covent Garden in London under Thomas Beecham on 8 Decemberit was modified, much to Beecham's annoyance and later amusement.
The United States premiere took place at a special performance by the Metropolitan Opera with Olive Fremstad in the title role with the dance performed by Bianca Froehlich on 22 January These patrons entreated the visiting Edward Elgar to lead the objections to the work, but he refused point-blank, stating that Strauss was "the greatest genius of the age".
Today, Salome is a well-established part of the operatic repertoire; there are numerous recordings. It has a typical duration of minutes. A great terrace in the Palace of Herod, set above the banqueting hall. Some soldiers are leaning over the balcony. To the right there is a gigantic staircase, to the left, at the back, an old cistern surrounded by a wall of green bronze. The moon is shining very brightly. Narraboth gazes from a terrace in Herod's palace into the banquet hall at the beautiful Princess Salome; he is in love with her, and apotheosizes her, much to the disgusted fearfulness of the Page of Herodias.
The voice of the Prophet Jochanaan is heard from his prison in the palace cistern; Herod fears him and has ordered that no one should contact him, including Jerusalem's High Priest. Tired of the feast and its guests, Salome flees to the terrace.
When she hears Jochanaan cursing her mother HerodiasSalome's curiosity is piqued. The palace guards will not honor her petulant orders to fetch Jochanaan for her, so she teasingly works on Narraboth to bring Jochanaan before her. Despite the orders he has received from Herod, Narraboth finally gives in after she promises to smile at him.Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Richard Wagner Editor. This full-length study of Salome is the first in English since Lawrence Gilman's introductory guide of The handbook presents an informative collection of historical, critical and analytical studies of one of Strauss's most familiar operas.
Classic essays by Mario Praz and Richard Ellmann cover the literary background. How Strauss adopted Wilde's play for his libretto This full-length study of Salome is the first in English since Lawrence Gilman's introductory guide of How Strauss adopted Wilde's play for his libretto is discussed by Roland Tenschert in a fascinating essay which has been updated by Derrick Puffett.
In three central analytical chapters, Derrick Puffett considers Salome in relation to Wagnerian music drama, Tethys Carpenter examines its tonal and dramatic structure, and Craig Ayrey analyses the final monologue.
The last part of the book moves from analysis to criticism, with a review by John Williamson of the opera's critical reception and an interpretative essay by Robin Holloway. The book also contains a synopsis, bibliography, and discography; Strauss's little-known scenario for the 'Dance of the Seven Veils' is reprinted as an appendix. Get A Copy. Paperbackpages.
Published October 19th by Cambridge University Press first published More Details Original Title. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Richard Strauss, Salomeplease sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Richard Strauss, Salome.A musical motif has been defined as a "short musical idea In particular, such a motif should be "clearly identified so as to retain its identity if modified on subsequent appearances" whether such modification be in terms of rhythmharmonyorchestration or accompaniment.
It may also be "combined with other leitmotifs to suggest a new dramatic condition" or development. Although usually a short melodyit can also be a chord progression or even a simple rhythm.
Leitmotifs can help to bind a work together into a coherent whole, and also enable the composer to relate a story without the use of words, or to add an extra level to an already present story. By association, the word has also been used to mean any sort of recurring theme, whether or not subject to developmental transformation in literatureor metaphorically the life of a fictional character or a real person.
Salome (opera) explained
It is sometimes also used in discussion of other musical genres, such as instrumental pieces, cinema, and video game musicsometimes interchangeably with the more general category of theme.
The use of characteristic, short, recurring motives in orchestral music can be traced back to the early seventeenth century, such as L'Orfeo by Monteverdi. Their use, however, is not extensive or systematic.
The power of the technique was exploited early in the nineteenth century by composers of Romantic opera, such as Carl Maria von Weberwhere recurring themes or ideas were sometimes used in association with specific characters e. Motives also figured occasionally in purely instrumental music of the Romantic period. This purely instrumental, programmatic work subtitled Episode in the Life of an Artist features a recurring melody representing the object of the artist's obsessive affection and depicting her presence in various real and imagined situations.
Though perhaps not corresponding to the strict definition of leitmotiv, several of Verdi 's operas feature similar thematic tunes, often introduced in the overtures or preludes, and recurring to mark the presence of a character or to invoke a particular sentiment. In La forza del destinothe opening theme of the overture recurs whenever Leonora feels guilt or fear. In Il Trovatorethe theme of the first aria by Azucena is repeated whenever she invokes the horror of how her mother was burnt alive and the devastating revenge she attempted then.
In Don Carlothere are at least three leitmotivs that recur regularly across the five acts: the first is associated with the poverty and suffering from war, the second is associated with prayers around the tomb of Carlos V, and the third is introduced as a duet between Don Carlo and the Marquis of Posa, thereafter accentuating sentiments of sincere friendship and loyalty.
Richard Wagner is the earliest composer most specifically associated with the concept of leitmotif. His cycle of four operas, Der Ring des Nibelungen the music for which was written between anduses hundreds of leitmotifs, often related to specific characters, things, or situations.
While some of these leitmotifs occur in only one of the operas, many recur throughout the entire cycle.Salome ópera análisis (parte 1)
Some controversy surrounded the use of the word in Wagner's own circle: Wagner never authorised the use of the word leitmotivusing words such as "Grundthema" basic ideaor simply "Motiv".SalomeOp. The opera is famous at the time of its premiere, infamous for its "Dance of the Seven Veils".
Strauss saw the play in Lachmann's version and immediately set to work on an opera. The play's formal structure was well-suited to musical adaptation. Strauss composed the opera in German, and that is the version that has become widely known. It has a long history, however, of being presented also in French, which was the language in which perhaps the world's most famous proponent of the role, Mary Garden, sang the opera in New York, Chicago, Milwaukee, Paris, and other cities.
InStrauss made an alternate version in French, the language of the original Oscar Wilde play. Some of the original performers were very reluctant to handle the material as written and the Salome, Marie Wittich, "refused to perform the 'Dance of the Seven Veils'", thus creating a situation where a dancer stood in for her.
In New York, the premiere took place on 22 January after which, under pressure from wealthy patrons, "further performances were cancelled.
A great terrace in the Palace of Herod, set above the banqueting hall. Some soldiers are leaning over the balcony. To the right there is a gigantic staircase, to the left, at the back, an old cistern surrounded by a wall of green bronze. The moon is shining very brightly.
The voice of the Prophet Jochanaan is heard from his prison in the palace cistern; Herod fears him and has ordered that no one should contact him, including Jerusalem's High Priest.
Tired of the feast and its guests, Salome flees to the terrace. When she hears Jochanaan cursing her mother HerodiasSalome's curiosity is piqued. The palace guards will not honor her petulant orders to fetch Jochanaan for her, so she teasingly works on Narraboth to bring Jochanaan before her.
Despite the orders he has received from Herod, Narraboth finally gives in after she promises to smile at him. Jochanaan emerges from the cistern and shouts prophecies regarding Herod and Herodias that no one understands, except Salome when the Prophet refers to her mother.
Upon seeing Jochanaan, Salome is filled with an overwhelming desire for him, praising his white skin and asking to touch it, but he rejects her. She then praises his black hair, again asking to touch it, but is rejected once more. She finally begs for a kiss from Jochanaan's lips, and Narraboth, who cannot bear to hear this, kills himself.
As Jochanaan is returned to the well, he preaches salvation through the Messiah. Herod enters, followed by his wife and court.
He slips in Narraboth's blood and starts hallucinating. He hears the beating of wings. Despite Herodias' objections, Herod stares lustfully at Salome, who rejects him. Jochanaan harasses Herodias from the well, calling her incestuous marriage to Herod sinful.
She demands that Herod silence him. Herod refuses, and she mocks his fear. Five Jews argue concerning the nature of God. Herod asks for Salome to eat with him, drink with him; indolently, she twice refuses, saying she is not hungry or thirsty. He promises to reward her with her heart's desire — even if it were one half of his kingdom.Help bring the most talented stars, the most creative sets and the most talked about costumes to San Diego. Be a partner to something special.
Consider making a donation to San Diego Opera. He'd already been told of its potential as an opera subject, but the Reinhardt production convinced him and he immediately began setting this German translation by Hedwig Lachmann. Strauss took about a year to lay out the work in 'short score', then began the orchestration, completing it in June, During this time he also completed his Sinfonia Domesticaadditionally updating and expanding Hector Berlioz' treatise on orchestration.
One cannot help but notice the artistic motif of the dangerously sexual femme fatale in Austrian arts and culture at the time, and Strauss's clever appropriation of it. But what a visual artist could render on paper was quite different from what producers of a theatrical work could get away with on a public stage. Church and state censors blocked it in Vienna, ignoring the desire of Gustav Mahler to have it produced at the Staatsoper.
Mahler was at first non-committal about Salome but when Strauss came to Vienna to play and sing the score from the piano, Mahler's wife relates: "Strauss played and sang incomparably well. Mahler was overwhelmed. We came to the dance - it was missing.
Richard Strauss, Salome
When the composer played the opera for his aged musician-father, he complained about the 'restlessness' of the music, comparing it to having insects crawling around underneath one's clothes. This wasn't atypical of the reactions of Strauss's contemporaries. The rehearsal period for the opera's premiere at Dresden under conductor Ernst von Schuch was difficult, to say the least. Singers rebelled, especially Marie Wittich in the title role who was appalled by what she was required to do on stage by the producers: "I'm a decent woman!
But the work finally reached the stage on December 9,and the audience responded by giving the artists thirty-eight curtain calls. The critics were less kind, in fact condemnatory. Despite problems with censors and critics, however, Breslau, Graz and some fifty other German and Austrian opera houses staged the work within the next couple of years.
The Metropolitan Opera tried to stage it in but J. Morgan's daughter, who saw a dress rehearsal of Salome on a Sunday afternoon, described such a cacophonous battery of offensive sounds and purple imagery that the performances were scrapped.
For performances in Berlin the Kaiser insisted that the Star of Bethlehem be painted on a backdrop for the final scene, a bizarre addition to the scenario that was featured at the opera house for three decades of performances! By the early s Oscar Wilde was a very well known literary figure in the UK, but he sought fame abroad and traveled to Paris in After a lengthy discussion with friends about the depictions in history and art of the story of John the Baptist and Salome unnamed from the Bible, he wrote the play quickly, in French.
Although in the published version the playwright acknowledged Alfred Lord Douglas, his lover, as the French translator, it was Wilde himself who completed the task, so disappointed was he by Douglas's schoolboy French.
This caused quite a rift in their relationship for a time, but did not harm it irrevocably. That, of course, was to happen later at the hands of the Marquess of Queensbury, Douglas's father, who publicly denounced Wilde as a "somdomite" [sic] and which led to Wilde's devastating two-year imprisonment and exile to Paris.
Even after all they'd been through Douglas and Wilde attempted reconciliation, but it only lasted a few months after which Wilde died in poverty. Wilde recognized that in the original Biblical account the 'damsel' from the story who dances for her stepfather Herod Antipas is tantalizingly out of reach of our imaginations: "This has made it necessary for the centuries to heap up dreams and visions at her feet so as to convert her into the cardinal flower of the perverse garden.
Huysman describes two paintings by Gustave Moreau in his work, and captures the essence of Wilde's eventual creation: "In this picture she was truly a whore, obedient to a temperament which is that of a cruel and passionate woman. She lived again, more polished and more barbaric, more hateful and more exquisite. Arousing the languorous sense of man more vigorously, she bewitched and subjugated his will more surely, with charms as of some great venereal flower which had burgeoned in a sacrilegious seedbed and had grown to maturity in a hotbed of impiety.
Hedwig Lachmann's translation of Wilde's play from French into German was used for Max Reinhardt's production of it at the Kleines Theater in Berlin, a show that ran for performances.
There were other German translations of the play but this one, some scholars say, even improves on the Wilde original and it was the translation that Strauss used in crafting his own libretto. As with every German opera written after Richard Wagner, the leitmotif is an important technique used in Richard Strauss's Salome.
One could consider Salome as a kind of "tone poem" for the stage, and if you are familiar with Strauss's Til EulenspiegelDon JuanAlso Sprach Zarathustra or Don Quixote you will understand that pictorial representation was crucial in the composer's attempt to communicate atmosphere, story and character. In order to achieve the necessary effects, he calls for an orchestra of players! This often necessitates an approved orchestral reduction as very few orchestra pits in the world can handle that many players.
The easiest pictorial effects to hear in Salome are those that quite specifically attach themselves to an image in the text. For instance when Salome refers to John the Baptist's Jokanaan hair, comparing it to the cedars of Lebanon which give refuge to lions, the brass instruments roar.But when it came, there was certainly a lot of it, and it must have cheered all concerned with the performance.
The entire music-drama is a challenge — the score is a difficult but highly effective combination of a wide range of keys, extended tonality, chromaticism, odd modulations, periods of tonal ambiguity, and more. While the work runs for less than two hours, the plot is rather complex. The story takes place around 30 A. The action is set on a terrace that includes the cistern in which Herod is holding John the Baptist Jochanaan. A page of Herodias warns Narraboth that it is dangerous to stare at Salome, and is the first to fear that something terrible is about to take place.
The guards refuse her request to bring the prophet up to her, but she works her wiles on Narraboth until he relents, and the ragged holy man is brought before her. Salome recoils in fear at the sight of Jochanaan, but her fear turns to fascination with the prophet who refuses to look at her, and she begins to beg to touch his hair, his skin, his mouth.
Narraboth, overwhelmed with fear and despair, stabs himself to death without Salome even bothering to notice, so enraptured is she with begging the holy man for a kiss. Jochanaan tells her to save herself by seeking the Messiah, before he disappears back into the depths of the cistern. Herod, followed by Herodias, emerges from the palace in search of the missing Salome. He joins the others who have feared that something terrible is about to happen.
Herodias derisively dismisses his rantings, and insists that he return to the banquet with her. He calms at the sight of Salome, and attempts to lure her with offers of food and wine.
Greatly agitated by the chaos, Herod begs Salome to dance for him, as it will soothe his nerves. She refuses until he promises her anything she desires. Salome seizes the opportunity and says she will dance only if Herod swears to keep his word. Repeatedly, Salome demands that he keep his promise, until he collapses in despair, waving an executioner toward the cistern.
Gustav Mahler was refused permission to produce the opera in Vienna, and it was not heard there until It was resisted in London untiland was heard once at the Metropolitan Opera in early before additional performances were immediately cancelled. It was not heard there again until Yet within a couple of years of its premiere, it was performed in over fifty theaters in Germany and elsewhere, and today is well established as a musical masterpiece.
There were possibly three brief, inconsequential slips in the orchestra, as the instrumentalists thundered or whispered the accompaniment by turns, with all sections giving of their best. Even in periods of tremendous volume, every slap of a tambourine, strumming of the harp or click of castanets rang out clearly.
The tremendous climaxes were delivered with an overwhelming impressiveness, as were the delicate, hauntingly exotic quivering of strings.Complete viewing and analyzing Salomebeginning just before "Salome's Dance" score: p. In particular, note the use of the various Salome leitmotifs and the shifting key centers C vs. C-sharp toward the end of Salome's aria and the close of the opera.
Following the work, study Strauss's ElektraOp. To that end, do the following: Learn the history of Strauss's Elektraand especially the background of its libretto. Learn the plot of Elektraand especially who its primary characters Elektra, Clytemnestra, Chrysothemis, Aegisthus, and Orestes are, their motivations, etc.
Watch as much of the opera as you can. In particular, know the opening, Elektra's aria, "Allein Finally, study Strauss's Der RosenkavalierOp. To that end, do the following: Learn the history of Strauss's Der Rosenkavalierand especially the relationship between Strauss and his librettist. In particular, know the opening Act I, scene 1 through about scorethe Act II "Presentation of the rose" begins, c. Score to the end. In particular, you should do the following: Give a very brief overview of the history of these three works and their place s in Strauss's oeuvre, Discuss Strauss's changing musical language in each of these operas noting such factors as his use of leitmotives, tonality, etc.
Discuss any other topics that you think relevant to these works. The minimum length for this assignment is words you may write more without penaltyand the due date is 31 March Grading of this item will count for the participation grade of two cancelled classes.