An Experience of Narratological Analysis: Evidence from the Sketches for the Symphonic Poem by Richard Strauss A Hero’s Life

Olga O. Moskvina


Based on the sketches for the symphonic poem A Hero’s Life, the article examines how Richard Strauss developed its concept.

The analysis of Strauss’ drafts identified four stages in his work on the composition. It was found that over the course of the four stages the original composition underwent significant changes. According to the composer’s original idea, the movement about the hero’s adversaries and critics (the development section of the poem) is followed directly by a love scene thus romanticising the symphonic action. According to Strauss, love was the Hero’s source of power and inspiration. However, the original plan of the composition changed: the love scene became part of the exposition section and preceded the battle, while the Hero found his ‘lifeblood’ in creativity. Strauss used quotes from his own works to deliver this message to the audience.

The analysis revealed the dynamics of changes in the development of the author's concept. The findings provide a new perspective on the relevance of compositional elements in the final version of A Hero’s Life.

Keywords: Richard Strauss, A Hero’s Life, symphonic poem, interpretation, narratology, narratological analysis, sketch, draft, concept

For citation: Moskvina O. O. An Experience of Narratological Analysis: Evidence from the Sketches for the Symphonic Poem by Richard Strauss A Hero’s Life [Electronic source]. In: Sovremennye problemy muzykoznaniya / Contemporary Musicology, 2021, no. 4, pp. 48–64. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.56620/2587-9731-2021-4-048-064



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Copyright (c) 2021 Olga O. Moskvina

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