4
Elektra: Summary of Tonal Structure

Hofmannsthal Elektra made a profound impression on Strauss when he saw it in the autumn of 1905. We recall from Chapter 2 how the impact of the work was strong enough to reverse his original desire not to compose another tragic opera directly after Salome. Strauss instinctively realized that the play-in both structure and dramaturgy -- contained all the necessary elements for a powerful opera. The broad symphonic implications inherent in Hofmannsthal's arch structure were readily apparent to the composer, and Strauss's tonal plan for the work responds directly to these implications. The terse introduction with the serving maids sets the atmosphere, while Elektra's opening establishes the expository material: she recalls her father's murder and foresees the ultimate atonement. Her inner rage is sharply developed in a revealing exchange with her mother, Klytämnestra, and, in a quasi-recapitulation, Elektra's premonitions are fulfilled.

But before we examine the composer's tonal plan for Elektra it is first essential to understand some important aspects of his tonal thinking, especially the associative role of keys in his music. Extra-musical associations with keys, whether in a tone poem or an opera, comprise a central element in Strauss's formal thinking when composing.1 In a sketch for Symphonia Domestica [Tr. 10, fol. 3], for example, he writes above the staff: 'The mother's worries: will the child represent the father (F major) or (B major) the mother?'

____________________
1
Adorno also observed this technique in Strauss, although he viewed it negatively, believing that it undermined any strong autonomous sense of form: 'Not infrequently what results is harmonizing and modulating which in terms of the form is planless and which can only be controlled extra-musically through tonal symbolism.' See Theodor Adorno, "Richard Strauss. Born June 11, 1864", trans. Samuel and Shierry Weber, Perspectives of New Music, 4 ( 1965), 30.

-67-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Richard Strauss's Elektra
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Editor's Preface vii
  • Author's Preface ix
  • Contents xv
  • List of Illustrations xvii
  • Abbreviations xviii
  • 1 - Context and Critical Reception 1
  • 2 - From Play to LIbretto 18
  • 3 - Elektra Chronology 49
  • 4 - Elektra: Summary of Tonal Structure 67
  • 5 - The Annotated Elektra LIbretto: Strauss's Preliminary Musical Thought 107
  • 6 - The Elektra Sketches 164
  • 7 - The Final Scene: Genesis and Structure 206
  • Appendix I: Elektra Chronicle 236
  • Appendix II: Sketchbook Inventories 242
  • Works Cited 257
  • Index 263
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 265

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.