Elektra (opera)

Elektra (opera)

:"See Mourning Becomes Electra for a reference to the 1967 opera, based on the 1931 Eugene O'Neill play."

"Elektra" is a one-act opera by Richard Strauss, to a German-language libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal adapted from his drama of 1903—the first of many such collaborations between composer and librettist. It was first performed at the Dresden State Opera on January 25, 1909, and remains a part of the standard operatic repertoire.

Roles

ynopsis

The plot of "Elektra" is based upon the great Greek tragedy of the same name by the tragedian Sophocles. The unrelenting gloom and horror that permeate the original play produce, in the hands of Hofmannsthal and Strauss, a drama whose sole theme is revenge. Klytemnästra (Clytemnestra), helped by her paramour Aegisth (Aegistheus), has secured the murder of her husband, Agamemnon, and now is afraid that her guilt will be discovered by her children, Elektra (Electra), Chrysothemis, and their banished brother Orest (Orestes). Elektra, who is the personification of the passionate lust for vengeance, tries to persuade her timid sister to kill Klytemnästra and Aegisth. Before the plan is carried out, Orest, who had been reported as dead, arrives and, upon being told the truth by Elektra, determines upon revenge for his father's death. He kills Klytemnästra and Aegisth; Elektra, in an ecstatic dance of triumph, falls dead in front of her horror-stricken attendants.

tyle and instrumentation

Musically, "Elektra" deploys dissonance, chromaticism and extremely fluid tonality in a way which recalls but moves beyond the same composer's Salome of 1905, and which represents Strauss's furthest advances in modernism, from which he later retreated. The bitonal or extended Elektra chord is a well known dissonance from the opera while harmonic parallelism is also prominent modernist technique [DeLone et al, eds., "Aspects of Twentieth-Century Music" p.333, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall ISBN 0-13-049346-5.] .

To support the overwhelming emotional content of the opera, Strauss uses a very large and in some ways unusual orchestra, with the following instrumentation:

*woodwind
** 1 piccolo
** 3 flutes (third flute doubling a second piccolo)
** 3 oboes (third oboe doubling English horn)
** 1 Heckelphone
** 1 clarinet in E-flat
** 4 clarinets in B-flat and A
** 2 basset horns
** 1 bass clarinet
** 3 bassoons
** 1 contrabassoon
*Brass
** 8 horns (horns 5-8 doubling 2 B flat tenor and 2 F bass Wagner tubas)
** 6 trumpets
** 1 bass trumpet
** 2 tenor trombones
** 1 bass trombone
** 1 contrabass trombone
**1 contrabass tuba
* percussion
** 6-8 timpani (handled by two players)
** glockenspiel
** triangle
** tambourine
** snare drum
** cymbals
** castanets
** bass drum (with switch)
** tamtam
** celesta (ad libitum)
*Other
** 2 harps and
** an unorthodox strings grouping, viz.
*** violins 1, 2, 3, and 4 (violin 4 doubles viola 1)
*** violas 2 and 3
*** violoncellos 1 and 2, and
*** double bass.

Motives and chords

The characters in "Elektra" are famously characterized in the music through motives or chords including the Elektra chord. Klytamnestra, in contrast to Agamemnon's clearly diatonic minor triad motif, is characterized by a bitonal six note collection most often represented as a pair of two minor chords a tritone apart, typically on B and F, rather than simultaneouslyLawrence Kramer, "Fin-de-siècle Fantasies: "Elektra", Degeneration and Sexual Science", "Cambridge Opera Journal", Vol. 5, No. 2,July 1993, pp. 141-165.] .

Agamemnon is depicted through a triadic motive:

Criticism

Despite the much admired "orchestral virtuosity" and "musical structure" Kramer criticizes the portrayal of Elektra, as with Salome, as misogynist, comparing it to the portrayal of women in Otto Weininger's "Sex and Character".

References

ources

* [http://www.amadeusonline.net/almanacco.php?Start=0&Giorno=25&Mese=01&Anno=1909&Giornata=&Testo=&Parola=Stringa Amadeus Almanac]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Elektra (ópera) — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Para otros usos, véase Elektra Natchios Afiche para una representación de Elektra en 1920 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Elektra (Opéra) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Elektra. Elektra (opus 58) est un opéra en un acte de Richard Strauss. Le livret a été écrit par Hugo von Hofmannsthal : c est le premier livret d une série de six, fruits de la collaboration fructueuse… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Elektra (opera) — Elektra (opéra) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Elektra. Elektra (opus 58) est un opéra en un acte de Richard Strauss. Le livret a été écrit par Hugo von Hofmannsthal : c est le premier livret d une série de six, fruits de la collaboration …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Elektra (opéra) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Elektra. Elektra Genre Opéra Nb. d actes 1 acte Musique Richard Strauss Livret …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Elektra (Richard Strauss) — Elektra (opéra) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Elektra. Elektra (opus 58) est un opéra en un acte de Richard Strauss. Le livret a été écrit par Hugo von Hofmannsthal : c est le premier livret d une série de six, fruits de la collaboration …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Elektra (Strauss) — Elektra (opéra) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Elektra. Elektra (opus 58) est un opéra en un acte de Richard Strauss. Le livret a été écrit par Hugo von Hofmannsthal : c est le premier livret d une série de six, fruits de la collaboration …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Elektra (moteur de rendu) — Opera Pour les articles homonymes, voir Opéra. Opera …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Elektra (moteur de rendu HTML) — Opera Pour les articles homonymes, voir Opéra. Opera …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Opera (logiciel) — Opera Pour les articles homonymes, voir Opéra. Opera …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Opera (navigateur) — Opera Pour les articles homonymes, voir Opéra. Opera …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”