Richard Strauss's violin writing in his early years from 1870 to 1898—The influence of the violin sonata
The dissertation focuses on the development of Strauss's writing for violin from the early chamber music works up to the violin sonata, a milestone in his development, which foreshadows his compositional style for the violin parts in his tone poems. Analysis of selected passages from the tone poems will demonstrate the relationship of those works to his earlier compositions.
Although Strauss's violin sonata is performed regularly and has received some attention from scholars, his earlier works are rarely heard and have not been studied in detail. His early writing for violin was classical, both musically and technically. These works follow in the footsteps of earlier composers, especially Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. The violin sonata, in contrast, is more progressive. In the sonata, Strauss reveals his unique musical language and anticipates the heroic style of his orchestral writing in the tone poems. He expanded the technical capability of the violin and used the instrument in more sophisticated ways in this work. In the tone poems, he exploits the instrument to its full capacity.
In addition to discussing the development of Strauss's violin writing from his early chamber music work to his tone poems, performance suggestions will be within the scope of this dissertation.