“CONTRASTS OF OPULENT EXOTICISM AND CHAMBER MUSIC INTIMACY”: FIRST EDITION OF STRAUSS’S DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN
STRAUSS, Richard. Die Frau Ohne Schatten. Oper in Drei Akten von Hugo Hofmannsthal. Musik von Richard Strauss. Op. 65. Berlin: Adolf Fürstner, 1919. Quarto, original stiff paper wrappers, uncut. Housed in a custom cloth clamshell box. $1900.
First edition, piano-vocal score.
“The interruption of war prolonged the genesis of Die Frau to a point where Strauss called it his ‘child of sorrow.’ The libretto is Hofmannsthal’s most symbolic and intellectual creation, a mixture of fairy tale, magic and Freudian psychology. Strauss, as devil’s advocate on behalf of the audience, steered his librettist away from some of his more oblique ideas… he recognized that it was Hofmannsthal’s finest achievement and some think that it is also Strauss’s. There are good reasons to hold this opinion. No work of his, not even Don Quixote, is more memorably scored, a large orchestra being used with a Mahlerian virtuosity in contrasts of opulent exoticism and chamber music intimacy” (New Grove 18: 230). Strauss “produced a blockbuster of a score, over three and a half hours long, boasting a huge orchestra and the most inventive musical characterization in all Strauss’s operas” (Boyden, 419). Issued in the same year as the full score.
Interior fine; fragile paper wrappers with light restoration to edges, tape repair to verso of front cover. A lovely, extremely good copy.