Elektra (opera)

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Elektra is a German opera by Richard Strauss. The libretto was written by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. It was first performed in Dresden, Germany in 1909.

Elektra is part of the standard operatic repertoire. There are a several recordings of it, and it is regularly performed.

The story of Elektra is a very sombre one -- a Teutonic adaptation of the ancient Greek dramatist Sophoclesí great tragedy. Clytemnestra, helped by her paramour Aegistheus, has secured the murder of her husband, Agamemnon, and now is afraid that her guilt will be discovered by her children, Elektra, Chrysothemis, and their banished brother Orestes. Elektra, who is the personification of the passionate lust for vengeance, tries to persuade her timid sister to kill Clytemnestra and Aegistheus. Before the plan is carried out, Orestes, whose death had been proclaimed, arrives and, when he is told the truth by Elektra, he decides to take revenge for his motherís offence. He kills Clytemnestra and Aegistheus, and Elektra, in ecstatic dance of joy, falls dead in front of her horror-stricken attendants.

In "Elektra," the unrelenting gloom and horror that permeate the original play are clearly the features which chiefly attracted the composer. It is a drama whose sole theme is revenge, a drama without any love interest, or any light relief -- only an hour and three-quarters of black hate.

Richard Strauss was born in Munich in 1864, where his father was a royal chamber musician. He drew attention to himself at an early age by composing a serenade for thirteen wind instruments. He died in 1949.

There are a number of Strausses who have earned a reputation in the field of music. The composer of "Elektra" has no connection whatsoever with the Strauss family of waltz composers. Major works by Richard Strauss include: ∑ Don JuanTill EulenspiegelAlso Sprach Zarathustrade:Elektra (Strauss) es:Elektra it:Elettra (Strauss)

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