Arts

Youth and the end of an epoch Premium

04 January 2017 | by Robert Thicknesse

 

Richard Strauss’ best-known work looks like the popular idea of what opera is: an anguished soprano drifts around a drawing room in a big frock while the massive orchestra heaves and cascades around her in tones of impossible voluptuousness. What is she on about? Does it matter?

This most popular of twentieth-century operas is wholly nineteenth-century in spirit – and originally set in the eighteenth. It tries to be many things – comedy, romance, posh operetta – and features in Baron Ochs a plot-motivator who spoils the show whenever he appears; it seduces you with music of self-conscious loveliness, massed strings swooping about with abandoned languor – and makes you feel a bit naff for loving it. And of course this was all a bit suspect when it was written in 1910, with traditional opera flapping in its death throes.





Subscribe now and enjoy access to all parts of the tablet website, Including its 175 year archive...
Subscribe


Article List


TABLET WORLD…
Latest Issue

Digital/PDF Version

PDF version (iPad-friendly)

Previous Issues
Latest Tweet
Most Read Articles

German bishops abandon controversial Missal translation09 October 2017 by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

German bishops abandon controversial Missal translation09 October 2017 by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

Change Catholic teaching to make death penalty 'inadmissible', says Pope12 October 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Change Catholic teaching to make death penalty 'inadmissible', says Pope12 October 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Pro Francis theologians start petition in support of Pope following 'filial correction' 18 October 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Pro Francis theologians start petition in support of Pope following 'filial correction' 18 October 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Martin Luther’s new religion: Luther’s teaching on justification by faith alone demanded a complete reshaping of ChristianityPremium11 October 2017 by Richard Rex

Changing minds and hearts: the basic moral test of a society and its laws is the treatment of human life at its most vulnerablePremium18 October 2017 by John Wilson

Royal escape: historian and uncle to Princes William and Harry, Charles SpencerPremium11 October 2017 by Joanna Moorhead

Martin Luther’s new religion: Luther’s teaching on justification by faith alone demanded a complete reshaping of ChristianityPremium11 October 2017 by Richard Rex

Changing minds and hearts: the basic moral test of a society and its laws is the treatment of human life at its most vulnerablePremium18 October 2017 by John Wilson

Royal escape: historian and uncle to Princes William and Harry, Charles SpencerPremium11 October 2017 by Joanna Moorhead

Share Us
Tablet Subscription

Manage my subcription here

Manage
Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter

Sign Up
Top