Influence

Winters, Ben (2020). Influence. In: Kristiansen, Morten and Jones, Joseph E. eds. Richard Strauss in Context. Composers in Context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 311–319.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108379939.036

URL: http://doi.org/10.1017/9781108379939.036

Abstract

This chapter brings Strauss’s music into constructive dialogue with Hollywood film, via the persona of Erich Korngold. It examines Korngold’s historical connection with Strauss through the former composer’s operas and concert works, before exploring the ways in which Strauss can be heard in the film scores by Korngold and his contemporaries in the 1930s and 40s. The use of one particular Straussian harmonic trait – third-related triadic sequences (of both octatonic and hexatonic variety) – is highlighted in Korngold’s scores and traced in more recent film, including in the output of John Williams. Williams’s use of what Frank Lehman calls "chromatically modulating cadential resolutions" can also be found in Strauss and Korngold. The chapter concludes by suggesting that hearing Strauss in Korngold and Williams is just one way of constructing a Straussian Text, one that reveals the power of seeking to encounter Strauss’s music in varied and surprising contexts.

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