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Die Frau ohne Schatten

By Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Richard Strauss- An Analysis of Text, Music and their Relationship


Sherill Hahn Pantle

Many of Strauss's and Hofmannsthal's biographers have censured the collaboration in which these two men engaged. The Hofmannsthal scholars express the belief that Strauss's sensual settings inundate the libretti, while the Strauss biographers tend to blame the poet for the composer's loss of pre-eminence in the musical avant-garde. The assumption that the poet or the composer would have produced better works had he not collaborated with the other stands behind criticisms of this nature. This study avoids such prejudicial methodology by basing its conclusions upon an exhaustive analysis of one opera and by confining its discussion to the soluble question of whether or not Strauss was successful in fulfilling Hofmannsthal's desires for the libretto of that opera.