Author Topic: R Strauss's place in musical history  (Read 11356 times)

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Online Brian

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Re: R Strauss's place in musical history
« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2007, 04:40:11 PM »
Seems to me he invented the Hollywood style of music.
Unfortunately, most of its subsequent practitioners had nowhere near the level of talent or genius or good ideas required to bring it off.

I'd really have found it fun if the composer of Eine Alpensinfonie had written film scores. (IMDB lists him as a composer for a single 30-minute German documentary in the '30s.) After all, with his lush orchestrations, talented use of motifs and brief little theme-melodies, and terrific scene-setting, he'd be a natural.

Offline quintett op.57

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Re: R Strauss's place in musical history
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2007, 08:07:27 AM »
In other words, Strauss was just totally awesome, a truly timeless phenomen who, while reflecting elements of his times, just happened in a dimension of his own, in a region we vaguely circumscribe with words such as "genius", a man who could handle musical structures more eloquently and tellingly than most people can handle words. Somebody to whom "speaking" in music came so naturally that he was able to express himself as well in delicate miniatures of vocal and chamber music as in operas and orchestral works of unparalleled epic proportions.
Strauss was absolutely not interested in the way music had to evolve. He composed what he wanted to. He was not influenced by the passing years.
But his music is not coming out of nothing.
A part of it, as we've said, he's absolutely not new in style.
But, as a fan of symphonic music, I assume most of his tone poems are a logical continuation of Berlioz and Liszt styles, including a fabulous mastery and a systematic use of some of their most modern processes.

Offline quintett op.57

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Re: R Strauss's place in musical history
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2007, 08:27:09 AM »
The harmonies used all seem quite Romantic to me and most of them were written in the late 19th century anyway weren't they?
I agree with this.
I don't think he's invented many harmonical tricks. But he uses them in a way that is completely new.
Surprising and dissonant technics he uses where in fact invented before him (I mentioned Liszt & Berlioz. I think it's obvious but I would had guys like Haydn, for the way he sometimes cut into a melody to insert another one which has apparently nothing to do with the rest, and Biber, for his use of polytonality).
But I find modern (at least new) the way he uses them in tone poems : It comes very often and he uses them together, the result being highly complex compositions.

Sean

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Re: R Strauss's place in musical history
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2007, 12:48:18 PM »
His eighth opera Intermezzo with its radical recitative-melody is one of the most little appreciated innovative works of the entire century, certainly as interesting a piece as Pierrot for instance...

Offline knight66

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Re: R Strauss's place in musical history
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2007, 12:50:35 AM »
I was digging through my collection and came up with a disc I had not listened to in a long time. Richard Strauss, Macbeth, Rosenkavalier waltzes and, the item I want to ask about....Notturno.

As I listened I was struck by how the musical language reminded me of Schoenberg's Gurrelieder and of some of Berg. I assumed it was a later work. It is not at all like his other 'songs'. This is a full blown 19 minute somber orchestral song. When I had a look through the booklet I discover it is one of his Op44 songs written in 1899, so not late at all.

It often sounds like a missing movement from Gurrelieder. That was written in 1899/1901, but not performed until at least 10 years later, as the full orchestration was not complete until then.

To my untutored ears, I cannot recall any piece from Strauss in quite this style. It is a long way from say Elektra, but it has that fluidity of harmonic structure and sound that I associate with the other two composers. As Berg was only born in 1885, Strauss was clearly not influenced in this piece by either composer, yet their music sounds to have continued along the ideas in the music. However none of the reading I have done, or the googling has brought me close to an explanation of whether Strauss influenced the second Viennese school, or whether they and Strauss were drinking at some common well.

The Mahler that most resembles these pieces is his 9th symphony and that post dates the material I have mentioned. They are all post Wagner and I have it clear that were developing some of his ideas. However, can anyone explain to me how Strauss seems to be coming up with music resembling Schoenberg when they would not be aware of one another's pieces; as they were being written at more or less the same time?

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Sean

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Re: R Strauss's place in musical history
« Reply #25 on: July 13, 2007, 02:23:34 AM »
Strauss is at the twilight of Western art, his long life encompassing all the Second Viennese School's notoriety and misguidedness.

His position is summed up by Capriccio the final opera in his cycle of 15, ending with its question of the primacy of words or music unanswered- instead there's just a call to dinner: live life not art. The subject matter, being about art itself, is hermetic, not relating to anything useful in the world outside itself; the work represents the end of art and any usefulness it ever had, with the music's character itself very faded, autumnal and valedictory- it angelically neutralizes and negates his own work, and all art...

This is from my hapless thread http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,2056.0.html

M forever

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Re: R Strauss's place in musical history
« Reply #26 on: July 13, 2007, 02:30:28 AM »
I think you already answered the question yourself. I would say a lot of that was "in the air" and "in the water", at least for those who were artistically sensitive enough to filter it out. Which Strauss did just like Mahler, Schönberg, or Berg or other contemporary composers, all through their very own and very personal filters. The results are sometimes wildly different, sometimes surprisingly similar or at least parallel. I think an important source for that well was definitely Tristan und Isolde, not necessarily only in the sense of compositional techniques that can be analyzed and pointed out, but also "athmospherically" and "esthetically".
 

Sean

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Re: R Strauss's place in musical history
« Reply #27 on: July 13, 2007, 02:33:01 AM »
Tristan and Cosi were the most important works for Strauss.

M forever

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Re: R Strauss's place in musical history
« Reply #28 on: July 13, 2007, 02:33:54 AM »
Did he tell you that?

Offline BachQ

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Re: R Strauss's place in musical history
« Reply #29 on: July 13, 2007, 02:34:59 AM »
Did he tell you that?

He sent out a memo .........

Offline knight66

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Re: R Strauss's place in musical history
« Reply #30 on: July 13, 2007, 05:43:30 AM »
OK, thanks. I had wondered if there was some guru sitting in the background about whom I knew nothing. Am I right in remembering that the academic circles in Vienna were hostile to the development of the music of the Second Viennese School?

Schoenberg started up The Viennese Society for Private Musical Performances in 1918 and Berg, his pupil, published the aims of the society...Part of aim number 3 was to withdraw the concerts from the corruption of official musical life.

Did they start up this salon/school in rejection of the Establishment, or because they were excluded from it? Another aim was to repeatedly perform the same works and Schoenberg, and others, produced a number of arrangements of major pieces, scaled down for study and for ease of performance by a smaller number of musicians. I was also wondering whether he concentrated on recent works only, such as Das Lied von der Erde, or whether he was mining further back to carry out what I think of as analysis by transcription.

I have not read of any connection with either Strauss or his music to the Society.

Mike


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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Haffner

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Re: R Strauss's place in musical history
« Reply #31 on: July 20, 2007, 04:07:12 AM »
OK, thanks. I had wondered if there was some guru sitting in the background about whom I knew nothing
Mike







Always a great idea, keeping up with the otherwise invisible gurus, right :D?


karlhenning

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Re: R Strauss's place in musical history
« Reply #32 on: July 20, 2007, 04:17:31 AM »
Good morning, Andy!

Haffner

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Re: R Strauss's place in musical history
« Reply #33 on: July 20, 2007, 04:47:25 AM »



Always a great idea, keeping up with the otherwise invisible gurus, right :D?






Best morning blessings, Karl.



Offline johnshade

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Re: R Strauss's place in musical history
« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2007, 06:56:47 AM »


Even if you are not a fan of ballet, this is a newly released and very entertaining DVD with a simplified version of the original chorography. This visualization of the Joseph story gives one a greater appreciation of Strauss's music.
The sun's a thief, and with her great attraction robs the vast sea, the moon's an arrant thief, and her pale fire she snatches from the sun  (Shakespeare)