The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1980) offers ample reason why the complete score to Strauss's Salome is worthy of study. "It is virtuoso display of the creation of atmospheric colour by instrumental means." There are, of course, other reasons — it is enough to say that since opening night (December 9, 1905) it has ranked among the basic works of 20th-century music. Salome (after the Oscar Wilde play) was Richard Strauss's first great operatic success, and like many of his works, caused controversy. The problem was that Strauss succeeded too well in capturing what fin-de-siècle decadence was seen in Wilde — succeeded via an "instrumental inventiveness that is breathtaking" (Grove). The orchestral virtuosity is vividly apparent in the parts for percussion and for certain less commonly used instruments — heckelphone (here first introduced), xylophone, contrabassoon — which found their raison de'étre in Salome. There can be no question that this edition presents the definitive score. It reprints Strauss's own copy, obtained on loan from the vaults of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester — a large-sized, limited, numbered edition signed by the publisher and very likely the one Strauss used on the conducting podium. For this edition the cast and instrumentation information has been translated into English; with clear notes, wide margins, and durable binding, this inexpensive reprint will serve many years on the podium, music stand, or library shelf, enabling musicians and listeners to discover its beauties (including Salome's famous "Dance of the Seven Veils") for themselves. It is the authoritative way to experience, in the words of one critic, "the most febrile opera or music-drama ever written."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Good, gently used copy of Salome. Just what I needed. Fast response. Thanks
This is a full orchestral score of this innovative opera, with which Richard Strauss shocked the opera world and surprised the avantgarde music scene in 1905. Even after almost a century, the provocative and wildly exciting music sounds as voluptuous, as colourful and as ruthless as hardly any other opera written since. Like with other publications by Dover, the printing is excellent. This is a copy of the first edition from 1905, which explains why it is so cheap. Other available editions of this score are either at a smaller size, or four times more expensive.
It would seem, from all I've read and heard, that Richard Strauss seldom edited those of his works that had successful premières; consequently one can't then go wrong with these Dover reprints of the first-edition scores of his best operas and symphonic poems. Certainly this score (especially in this beautiful reprint on fine paper, well-bound, good-sized such as to allow its ready use on the conductor's podium - which I've personally witnessed as happening - as well as on the table or in the lap of somebody merely listening to a recording!) has most richly earned its mandatory place in ANY music-library of substance as well as being most worthy of possession by all musicians and Straussians!
One of the other reviewers of this edition (which indeed costs about a fifth or less of what the official Fürstner / Boosey & Hawkes score goes for - at one point it was a tenth!) mentioned its moral aspects. Suffice it to say that those who see it as a terrible,...
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