Tuesday, June 30, 2015

TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 2015

"Among the artistic hierarchy, birds are probably
  the greatest musicians to inhabit our planet .. "
AUTHOR: Oliver Messiaen
"From the very beginning man has
  been imitating the music of birds. "

Ludwig HohlweinSalome 1910
Birgit Nilsson, Soprano as Salome
Georg Solti, Conductor
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Opera in Brief: Salome
Richard Strauss' third opera, Salomé, Op. 54 (opera
in one act), was composed to a German
libretto by the composer, based on
Hedwig Lachmann's German translation of the 1891
French play, Salomé, by Oscar Wilde
(his adaptation of Salome written in French).
From: The Virginia Opera
When the opera was premired
by the  Dresden Opera in 1905
Premiere of Salome in Dresden in 1905
it helped usher in an era of musical avant-garde
modernism; a new unconventional art form which
was both condemned and passionately lauded
to the extreme by audiences. The singers
engaged for the first performance were horrified
at the demands on them by the score
but the opera, which received 38 curtain calls,
was an immediate success and cemented
Strauss's musical reputation. It is considered
by many to be among the most important
musical works of the 20th century.
Salomé Dancing Before the Head of St. John the Baptist
Salomé Dancing Before the Head of St. John the Baptist
Gustav Mahler,
who attended the 1906 Austrian premiere
along with
Puccini, Zemlinsky, and Schoenberg,
Left to Right: Puccini, Zemlinsky, Schoenberg
praised the piece as
"one of the greatest masterworks of our time."
The story and text of Wilde's Salome (and
the Strauss opera), which features the
salacious "Dance of the Seven Veils"
Paul Antoine de la Boulaye (French, 1849-1926) :  Salomé (1909)
(played with extreme dissonance) and the attempted
Greer Grimsley on his part in Salome
From: The San Francisco Opera
followed by Salome's unprecedented
passionate post-mortem kiss for the prophet,
Takato Yamamoto
was very shocking, controversial, and broadly
rejected by many of the public at first because
of the "immorality" of its content and a tonal
sound that seemed to them depraved. It was
banned for years in the U.S. (where it had caused
a scandal at the Metropolitan Opera in 1907
The Met's First Salome Production
Olive Fremstad Singing Salome at the Met Premiere
and withdrawn after only
one performance) and elsewhere.
It took several decades for this opera to gain the
prestige and recognition it now enjoys.

More than 100 years later his music retains all
of its power to shock, and its glittering
Salomé, the opera, is known as much for its
revolutionary use of a large-scale orchestra,
pushing the boundaries of tonality
(foreshadowing Stravinsky's Rite of Spring
of 1912) and virtuosic singers (often a concert
-piece for dramatic sopranos because it has
one of the most demanding soprano roles with
respect to both vocal range and dramatic force)
as it is for its graphic depiction of this
deeply psychological and troubling tale.
According to Strauss, the formal structure of
Wilde's play was well-suited for musical
because adaptation. As Wilde himself
described it, Salomé contains choruses
which have recurring motifs making it
so like a piece of music when binding
them together as a ballad.
The leitmotif associated with Salome herself
in Richard Strauss's opera Salome.

(A leitmotif /ˌlaɪtmoʊˈtiːf/ is a
"Short, constantly recurring  musical phrase " [1] 
or motive associated with a particular person, place, or idea.)
Each of the principal roles are given parts
to sing in a musical style revealing
aspects of his or her character.
Vardges Sureniants: Salome, 1907
A flirtatious declamation style, sung by the young
Salome, is supported by a delicate orchestration
favoring high-pitched instruments: such as flutes,
violins , and celesta. Toward the end of the opera,
as the story comes to a climax, the orchestra
accompanies Salome's final monologue
with all its full range, dynamic, and timbral
capabilities. Jochanaan's (John the Baptist's)
music is devoutly tonal, generally favoring
flat key areas including A-flat major, the key Strauss
uses to symbolize religion (his system of "tonal
symbolism") and through which illustrates
Lokanaan's steadfast piety. Whole-tone scales, with
dissonant tritones at their structural core, create
disorienting feeling showcasing the
personality of the perverse Herod.

Strauss gives extended solo passages to unusual
instruments, and combines groups of instruments in
novel and evocative ways. An example of this is the
combination of two harps playing harmonics combined
with celesta, cymbals, and hushed woodwinds to depict
Herod's demented state after the conclusion of the
"Dance of the Seven Veils." The clarinet's opening
ascending motive or leitmotif (associated with Salome)
continually interweaves throughout the opera and it is
featured prominently in Salome's famous dance.
Maria Ewing, Soprano as Salome
(With English Subtitles)
Edward Downes, Conductor
Engel: Salome
Dance of the Seven Veils
Pablo Picasso: Dance of the Veils, 1907
King Herod begs Salome (his step-daughter) to dance
for him. Having been rejected by her twice before, he
provides incentive to her; the granting of any one
wish as long as she wants to dance for him. Piqued
by his generous offer and when satisfied he will
do as she wishes, she begins the seductive
"Dance of the Seven Veils"
Aleksandra Ekster: Costume Design for Dance of the Seven Veils
Chamber Theatre's 1917 Production of Salome by Oscar Wilde
where she slowly removes each
of the seven veils she is wearing until she lies
naked at her stepfather's feet (this is not
stated specifically but suggested).
Iman Maleki, Morteza Katouzian: Salome's Dance
Some of the original
performers were very
reluctant to handle the
material as written especially
the singer performing the role
of Salome, Marie Wittich

who was already a 37 year old woman,
with a somewhat matronly figure,
trying  to play a 16 year old. She
vehemently refused to perform the
(or to kiss the severed
head of John the Baptist )
Nicholas Roerich: Salome with the Head of St John the Baptist
saying in her often-quoted remark to Strauss,
"I will not do it; I'm a decent woman."
This created a situation where
A dancer had to stand in for her.
Salome (Wittich ) on left and Strauss on far right (Dresden, 1905)
"Closing Theme"
Salome's wish is to immediately ask for
the head of Jochanaan (John the Baptist)
to be delivered to her on a silver platter.
"Give me his head on a silver platter."
King Herod trys to persuade her to change
her mind by offering other things but
Salome  holds steadfast to her wish and
the King grants her it as promised.
Moments later, the king's guards return with
the Prophet's severed head delivered on a
silver platter as she requested.
Overjoyed, Salome grabs the head as if
Lokanaan were still alive and speaking
passionately to it proceeds to kiss his lips.
Lucien Levy-DhurmerSalome, 1896
Disgusted by Salome's actions, King
Herod orders his guards to execute her.
Closing Theme
Inge Borkh, Soprano as Salome
Inge Borkh
Fritz Reiner, Conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Ljuba Welitsch
as Salome


Closing Theme
Ljuba Welitsch, Soprano as Salome
Montserrat Caballe
as Salome
Role Debut,  1957
Montserrat Caballe as Salome
Closing Theme
Montserrat Caballe, Soprano as Salome
Silvio Varviso, Conductor

https : //www.youtube.com/watch v = hTpjbehUiHY?
Having composed the opera in German,
the version that it has become
widely known in, it has also has a
history of being presented in French.
The world's most famous proponent of
the role, soprano Mary Garden,
Salome di R.Strauss
Mary Garden
performed the opera singing it
in New York, Chicago, Milwaukee,
 Paris, and other cities.

In the 1930's soprano
Marjorie Lawrence
Final Scene
Marjorie Lawrence, Soprano as Salome

Marjorie Lawrence as Salome
sang the role in both French (for Paris)
and German (Hanes Metropolitan Opera,
New York) after Strauss made an alternate
version in French (the language of the
original Oscar Wilde play) in the 1930's.
by Oscar Wilde
The Salomé theme has been a prominent
theme in both literature and the visual arts
Romanesque Fresco: Müstair, Romanesque Frescoes in the St. Johann Monastery, c. 1160's
Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 835, f. 137
Psalter (Munich Golden Psalter)
England [Gloucester], 1st quarter of the 13th century
Salome Dancing for the Head of John the Baptist, 1323
Jean de Berry: The Dance of Salome-Petites Heures, ca.1375
Salome Carrying St. John the Baptist's Head to Herod,
14th Century
until the end of the Renaissance.
Herod Antipas with the Head of John the Baptist in Salome
Stained Glass, Saint Severin Church (Paris, France)
John The Baptist Window: Salome Dancing Before Herod
Chartres, Saint-Pierre Church
Photos de Vitraux: La Dance de Salomé
It was revived in the Nineteenth Century
by various authors, but when Oscar
Wilde wrote his version of Salomé, in
1894, it took the world by storm.
Georges Desvallières: Salome, 1905
Lotte Nicklass: Salome, 1915
Salome, 1923
Wilde was Influenced by JC Heywood's
dramatic poem "Salome," Mallarmé's poem
"Hérodiade,"and by descriptions of Gustave
Moreau's paintings in Joris-Karl Huysmans'
À Rebours, which portrayed Salome as
the epitome of female depravity.
Gustave Moreau: Salome Dancing Before Herod 
Salome Dancing, known as Salome Tattooed
Gustave Moreau: The Apparition
Moreau Salome
Gustave Moreau: Salome (detail)
Wilde wrote Salomé in French in 1891 but the
play was not produced for five years. In 1892
rehearsals for the play's first production were
planned, but halted when a British government
official in charge of theater censorship,
banned it because of an old law forbidding the
depiction of Biblical characters on stage.
Relief depicting the Life of John the Baptist
Amiens Cathedral, c.1531
In 1893 the play, written in French, was published
simultaneously in both France and England with
drawings by the artist Aubrey Beardsley,
whose unusual illustrations

have since become famous in their own
right.  Oscar Wilde's version of Salomé,
Oscar Wilde by Aubrey Beardsley Art Experience NYC www.artexperiencenyc.com/social_login/?utm_source=pinterest_medium=pins_content=pinterest_pins_campaign=pinterest_initial
Oscar Wilde drawn by Aubrey Beardsley
combined with the illustrations
by Aubrey Beardsley,
Aubrey Beardsley
and the discoveries being made ​​in
the Egyptian tombs all contributed
to the many trends attributed to
fashions, paintings, and the
photographic postcards at
the turn of the century.
in her "Dance of the Seven Veils"
and Oscar Wilde's close friend,
Sarah Bernhardt.
Wilde's version of the story has spawned several other
artistic works with the most famous being Richard
Strauss's opera. Strauss had seen Wilde's
play in Berlin, in November 1902, at
Max Reinhardt's
Max Reinhardt
'Little Theatre' with Gertrud Eysoldt
Lovis Corinth: Gertrud Eysoldt as Salome, 1903
in the title role and was so
taken with it he began
to immediately compose
his opera Salome in the summer
of 1903. Strauss saw the play
performed using Hedwig Lachmann's
German translation version
Hedwig Lachmann
and used it as the basis of his
composition, moving the center of interest
to Salome, away from Herod Antipas
James Tissot: Herod (Hérode)

(as in Wilde's version),
completing it in 1905 and premiering
the opera later the same year
The Strauss opera was not the
only operatic treatment from Wilde's
play as Antoine Mariotte wrote
Salomé in 1905. He was involved
in a debate with Strauss to prove
his music was written earlier than Strauss's
version. Mariotte's version premiered in 1908.
by Antoine Mariotte
Another musical retelling of the this story,
based on the 1877 novella Hérodias,
Gustave Flaubert
By Jules Massenet
Montserrat Caballé and
Josep Carreras, Vocalists
an opera in four acts by Jules Massenet
to a French libretto by Paul Milliet
(Georges Hartmann).
It was first performed
in Brussels on 19 December 1881 and
although it tells the story of John the Baptist,
strikingly less psychological and bloody
Emma Calve in Hérodiade
Emma Calve
The phenomenon of "Salomania" (a term coined by
newspaper reporters in the early twentiest
century to explain the outburst of
Salome interpretations)
Even products sold contained "Salomania."
started to be displayed through other styles
in the arts including popular music,
By Robert Stolz
By Irving Berlin
By William Loraine
By Archibald Joyce

film, and dance.
1923 Silent Movie
A&E Biography (1)
A&E Biography (2)
A&E Biography (3)
A&E Biography (4)
A&E Biography (5)
A&E Biography (6)
A&E Biography (7)
With Rita Hayworth
Rita Hayworth as Salome
1953 Trailer
Rita Hayworth
With Theda Bara

With Jessica Chastain and Al Pacino
Promo Video with Al Pacino
(Left) Jacques Carlu: Geneviève Vix as Salomé (1920)
The "Dance of the Seven Veils" (when using Strauss's
version of the music) was often detached from the
rest of his piece and performed separately as it was the
only section of this composition that was self-contained
with its own internal musical structure.
Loie Fuller
Georges de Feure: Loie Fuller
Loie Fuller performed a 1907 version of
Florent Schmitt's
Florent Schmitt, 1900
Tragedie of Salome
Loie Fuller
Tamara Karsavina
Tamara Karsavina  was an Anglo-Russian ballerina
whose partnership with Vaslav Nijinsky
Tamara Karsavina (1885-1978)
and Vaslav Nijinsky (1888-1950) in 
in Mikhail Fokine's
Mikhail Fokine
avant-garde ballets helped to revive
interest in ballet in western Europe.
Tamara Karsavina: Autochrome by Baron de Meyer, c.1908
(Portrait of Tamara Karsavina as Salome in the Ballet
"The Tragedy of Salome" by Florent Schmitt), 1914
La Tragédie de Salomé 28th June, 1913:
Tamara Karsavina as Salome at Drury Lane, London
Music by Florent Schmitt
Based on Aubrey Beardsley Illustrations
Costume by Sudeykin for Tamara Karsavina in Salomé
Maud Allan
Maud Allan (Canadian-born dancer)
Maud Allan
successfully toured Europe with her show
"The Vision of Salome" in it dancing
to an arrangement of Strauss's music by
Belgian musician and critic Marcel Remy.
R. Trinidad: Exotic Dancer Maud Allan Portrays Salome, c.1909
Alphonse Mucha: Salomé, 1897
Odilon Redon, Salome
Francis Luis Mora: Salome (1899) 

Robert HenriSalome, 1909
Gustave-Adolphe Mossa
Gustave Adolphe Mossa: Salome, 1908
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Salome with the Head of St John the Baptist
Lucas Cranach the ElderSalome, c.1530
Lucas Cranach: The Feast of Herod, 1533
Lucas Cranach: The Feast of Herod (detail), 1533
Andrea Solari : Salome Receives the Head of St. John the Baptist, 1506-7
Gian Francesco Barbieri (1591-1666): Salome
Caravaggio: Salome With The Head, 1607
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio: Salome with the Head of the Baptist c.1609
Masolino da Panicale: Salome before Herod, 1435
Erte: Salome
Barnardo Strozzi: Salome
Bernardino Luini: Salome with the Head of John the Baptist
Bernardo Martorell: Salome
Carlo Dolci: Salome with Head of St. John the Baptist
Domenico Ghirlandaio: Salome
Peter Paul Rubens: The Feast of Herodes and Salome
David Teniers Jr: Feast of Herod
Fra Filippo Lippi: Salome
Salome Dancing at the Feast of Herod 
(Details from the Fresco)
Paul Delaroche: Herodias and Salome Holding the
Head of John the Baptist in a Bronze Vase
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo: Salome
Girolamo Romanino
Onorio Marinari: Herodias and Salome with the Head of John the Baptist
Juan de Flandes: Herodias' Revenge, 1496
Jacinta Gil Roncales: Salome
Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen
Jan Adam Kruseman
Jean Jacques Henner: Salome
Josef Wenig: Salome, 1907
Lucas van Leyden
Juan Flamenco:
Decapitation of St. John Baptist
Prado, Madrid 15th Century
Maurycy Gottlieb
Maurycy Gottlieb: Salome's Dance
Quentin Massys: Salome
Rogier van der Weyden
Georges Antoine Rochegrosse: Salome
Tiziano Vecellio (Titian): Salome, c.1515
Tiziano Vecellio: Salome
Henri Regnault: Salomé, 1870
Federico Ribas: Salomé, 1918
Marcus Behmer: Salome
Henri Léopold Levy: Hérodiade, 1872 
Frank Schmitz: The Dance of Salome
Raphael Kirchner, 1916
Vania Zouravliov: Salome
Unknown Flemish: Salome
Benozzo Gozzoli: The Feast of Herod and the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist
Guidoccio Cozzarelli: Dance of Salome, 1516
Salome with the Head of John the Baptist
Egidio Manganelli
Salome with the Head of Johannes