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Richard Strauss turned his genius to opera at the turn of the twentieth century, and this guide contains the texts and introductions to his first two masterpieces in what was, for him, a new genre. Despite obvious similarities – both operas consisting of one act, centred upon one female title role – the works are quite different in subject and treatment. Salome, based on Oscar Wilde’s notorious play, has a kaleidoscopic range of orchestral colour and a lurid climax. Elektra, derived from the myths of the ancient Greeks and the first collaboration between Strauss and Hofmannsthal, is a study in neurosis, ripe for Jungian comparative analysis. Contents: Richard Strauss and the Unveiling of ‘Salome’, Paul Banks; Salome: Libretto by Hedwig Lachmann; Salome: English translation by Tom Hammond; Hofmannsthal’s ‘Elektra’: from Drama to Libretto, Kenneth Segar; Elektra and the ‘Elektra Complex’, Christopher Wintle; Elektra: Libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal; Elektra: English translation by Anthony Hose; Strauss’s Orchestra in ‘Salome’ and ‘Elektra’, Jonathan Burton


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