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Interpreting Richard Strauss's Der Krämerspiegel from the perspectives of the performers and the audience.

Description: The purpose of this document is to examine Richard Strauss's 1918 song cycle Der Krämerspiegel in order to discern compositional intent and to address problems performers may face in communicating the work to a contemporary audience. Examining the existing literature, it is never clearly stated why Strauss composed such an anomalous song cycle that defied aesthetic and generic norms of the day. The premise taken in this study is that Strauss, who was litigiously forced to write the work in order to fulfill a contract with the publisher Bote & Bock, composed certain difficulties into the cycle to make it less marketable and thus less profitable for the firm. Furthermore, he commissioned a text that lampooned the publishing industry in general and certain firms and individuals in particular. Following a brief history of Strauss's involvement with the publishing industry, general considerations for interpretation are examined. The individual songs are then explored, keeping in mind the text's word play and parody, Strauss's use of self-quotation, and the challenges performers and audiences face when confronting Krämerspiegel. Finally, the individual songs are explored, and suggestions for preparation and performance of Krämerspiegel are given suggesting a more operatic understanding of the piece, especially given the cycle's relationship to Strauss's opera Der Rosenkavalier.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Hurst, Michael Shane
Partner: UNT Libraries