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Title: Aspects of Richard Strauss's late aesthetic
Author: Tan, Emily X. X.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 3412
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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This study of Richard Strauss's late aesthetic develops the following general theses: 1. Strauss's late works fall within what Frederic Jameson calls the 'cultural dominant' of modernism. 2. Strauss's music finds intellectual meaning through the tradition of liberal humanism. 3. The musical work in the age of Strauss is both art and commodity. The term aesthetic denotes the category of material that is my primary concern-not uncritically, the musical work. I do not hold the aesthetic aspect of Strauss's music to be abstracted from its social, historical, or material properties but to be formed through them; and by engaging with Strauss's works through the idea of the aesthetic I aim to grasp something of their musical subjecthood without equating them directly with human subjectivity. Each chapter focuses on one of Strauss's later works: Daphne, Op. 81; Oboe Concerto, TrV 292; Metamorphosen, TrV 290; 'Beim Schlafengehn', TrV 296.c; 'Malven', TrV 297. It is not my aim to produce a comprehensive set of stylistic analyses or to distinguish a singular 'late aesthetic'. Rather, the repertoire under consideration has been chosen from different genres to demonstrate the complexity and variety of music at hand. I employ a combination of analytical and historical frames to consider Strauss's music via its relationship to the conditioning influences of its social and historical situation. This 'situation' is conceived both broadly (in the context of long-standing artistic and intellectual traditions) and particularly (the immediate circumstance of composition). The dissertation is presented in seven parts, with five chapters offering independent arguments through original analyses of Strauss's music. Of all the music examined in the course of the dissertation Metamorphosen is the only work to bring liberal humanism and musical modernism together in a progressive way and it has therefore been positioned centrally in the structure, which falls into three unofficial sections: Chapters 2 and 3 'bourgeois music', Chapter 4 'radical music', Chapters 5 and 6 'late music'.
Supervisor: Tunbridge, Laura Sponsor: Clarendon Fund ; Merton College ; Oxford
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available