PDA

View Full Version : "Wild sex music" in Strauss's "Der Rosenkavalier"?


Elendil's Heir
06-08-2007, 12:04 AM
Just went to see the Cleveland Orchestra's performance. Technically well done, but dear God was it looooong. Four hours with two intermissions.

The program notes include this passage:

There's wild sex music in Der Rosenkavalier, in the prelude to Act One, which in music shows us exactly what Octavian [a 17-year-old male aristocrat] and the Marschallin [a married older woman] were doing, just before the curtain goes up and we find them cuddling in bed. "It's very clear in the music, what they did," says [conductor Franz] Welser-Most, "right down to anatomical details." Which I'm not going to analyze here, because Welser-Most is right to add that all of us "have fantasy enough." We all can listen, and imagine for ourselves.

With my tin ear, I didn't hear anything like this, and Google has failed me, alas. What the hell is he talking about?

lowbrass
06-08-2007, 03:41 AM
Just went to see the Cleveland Orchestra's performance. Technically well done, but dear God was it looooong. Four hours with two intermissions.

The program notes include this passage:

There's wild sex music in Der Rosenkavalier, in the prelude to Act One, which in music shows us exactly what Octavian [a 17-year-old male aristocrat] and the Marschallin [a married older woman] were doing, just before the curtain goes up and we find them cuddling in bed. "It's very clear in the music, what they did," says [conductor Franz] Welser-Most, "right down to anatomical details." Which I'm not going to analyze here, because Welser-Most is right to add that all of us "have fantasy enough." We all can listen, and imagine for ourselves.

With my tin ear, I didn't hear anything like this, and Google has failed me, alas. What the hell is he talking about?
I believe it's where there's a chromatic line that keeps going up and crescendoing (which I assume represents the build-up towards climax), and shortly after that the horns play repeated glisses upward: "whoop, whoop, whoop..." I heard that they supposedly repeat at the same rhythmic interval as a certain event that happens during sex. ;)

percussion
06-08-2007, 09:31 AM
Just went to see the Cleveland Orchestra's performance. Technically well done, but dear God was it looooong. Four hours with two intermissions.

The program notes include this passage:

There's wild sex music in Der Rosenkavalier, in the prelude to Act One, which in music shows us exactly what Octavian [a 17-year-old male aristocrat] and the Marschallin [a married older woman] were doing, just before the curtain goes up and we find them cuddling in bed. "It's very clear in the music, what they did," says [conductor Franz] Welser-Most, "right down to anatomical details." Which I'm not going to analyze here, because Welser-Most is right to add that all of us "have fantasy enough." We all can listen, and imagine for ourselves.

With my tin ear, I didn't hear anything like this, and Google has failed me, alas. What the hell is he talking about?


The Whoopy/Tchaikovsky like horn lick near the beginning of the prelude could be interpreted as mad bangings....maybe..

You are so lucky to get to see Cleveland play this... :mad:


Oh! on actually reading the thread i see that low brass has the same idea :) (we were so original with our user names..)

Ludovic
06-08-2007, 01:40 PM
Hey, Elendil's Heir shouldn't like music with percussion and low brass: that was the Evil Second Theme of Morgoth :mad:

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.