R. Strauss, Opus 67, 1-3, Drei Lieder der Ophelia: Ophelia Set adrift in the Cross-Currents of Interdisciplinary Culture
'I want to argue that interdisciplinary approaches to analysing cultural texts allows us to challenge such orthodoxies and open up some surprising new perspectives on artists and works that have otherwise been dismissed as holding little critical interest. I demonstrate this through a detailed analysis of Strauss' 1918 composition Drei Lieder der Ophelia (Opus 67: 1- 3), which sets Ophelia's songs from act 4, scene 5 of Shakespeare's Hamlet. This composition has posed a considerable challenge for musicology, chiefly because its harmonic style sits imperfectly between Wagnerian chromaticism and the atonality of Schonberg's Modernism. However, as the interdisciplinary methodology outlined in the introduction of this issue argues, this type of analysis should be approached as the facilitation of a dialogue between two disciplinary terrains (Griffiths and Trevitt 4). In this case, the composition may be interpreted through the dialogue that occurs between its musical and literary texts, so while the task of the analysis may address its composer's place in the progress of Western music, it should also aim towards a better understanding of the place of Ophelia in European culture at the time of the composition."
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Cite as: Griffiths, Christian. ‘R. Strauss, Opus 67, 1-3, Drei Lieder der Ophelia: Ophelia Set adrift in the Cross-Currents of Interdisciplinary Culture.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 29, no. 1-2, 2014, doi: 10.20314/als.05ab08d5df.