Richard Strauss: The Origin, Dissemination and Reception of his Mozart Renaissance

Holden, Raymond. 1995. Richard Strauss: The Origin, Dissemination and Reception of his Mozart Renaissance. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

Richard Strauss holds an important place in the history of performance. Of the major musical figures active during the second half of the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth centuries, his endeavours as a Mozartian are of particular importance. Strauss' special interest in the works of Mozart was seminal to both his performance and compositional aesthetics. As a result of this affinity, Strauss consciously set out to initiate a Mozart renaissance that embodied a precise set of principles and reforms.

It was these principles and reforms, described as literalist, rather than those of artists such as Gustav Mahler, who edited Mozart's works both musically and dramatically, that found further expression in the readings of, amongst others, Otto Klemperer, George Szell, Sir John Pritchard and Wolfgang Sawallisch. It is the aim of this dissertation to investigate Strauss' activities as a Mozartian and to assess his influence on subsequent generations of Mozart conductors.

Accordingly, the dissertation is divided into an Introduction, five chapters, a Conclusion and thirteen appendices. These consider both the nature and ramifications of Strauss' reforms and performance aesthetic. Within this framework, the breadth of his renaissance; his choice of edition, cuts and revisions; his use of tempo, as a means of structural delineation; his activities with respect to the recitative, and his realization of sonata form are discussed.

Sources for this dissertation include: Strauss' own marked scores of Mozart's works, not previously considered; his recordings of Mozart; conversations and interviews between the present author and leading musical figures; unpublished extracts from his diaries, in the form of performance dates; articles written by Strauss on the performance of Classical music and, more particularly, that of Mozart; reviews from the period; recordings of later generations of Mozartians, some of which are not in the public domain, and, for the first time in print, the marked scores of Sir John Pritchard.

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Thesis (Doctoral)

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Richard Strauss, Mozart Renaissance, Klemperer, Szell, Pritchard, Sawallisch



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Date Deposited:

07 Jul 2020 11:08

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 14:34


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