Personalities | Hugo von Hofmannsthal | Turn of the Century | Opera

1874–1929, Austrian

Hofmannsthal was a precocious talent. His first published poem appeared when he was just 16 and he rapidly made the acquaintance of some of the leading literary figures of the day. Most important was a paternalistic relationship with the German poet Stefan George (1868–1933). Hofmannsthal’s youthful ability led to a creative crisis in his mid-twenties from which he emerged with a renewed belief in the value of drama. He believed in the reformatory power of writing; this principle lay behind his foundation of the Salzburg Festival. It was with his long relationship with Richard Strauss that Hofmannsthal’s contribution to opera was made. An initial approach made by the writer with a scenario for a ballet was rejected, but Strauss suggested a few years later that Hofmannsthal make a libretto from his adaptation of Sophocles’ Electra. The partnership produced Der Rosenkavalier, Ariadne auf Naxos, Die Frau ohne Schatten, Die ägyptische Helena and Arabella. Hofmannsthal also collaborated with Edgard Varèse (1885–1965) on Oedipus und die Sphinx (1909–13).

Introduction | Turn of the Century | Opera
Personalities | Engelbert Humperdinck | Turn of the Century | Opera


An extensive music information resource, bringing together the talents and expertise of a wide range of editors and musicologists, including Stanley Sadie, Charles Wilson, Paul Du Noyer, Tony Byworth, Bob Allen, Howard Mandel, Cliff Douse, William Schafer, John Wilson...


Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Flame Tree has been making encyclopaedias and guides about music for over 20 years. Now Flame Tree Pro brings together a huge canon of carefully curated information on genres, styles, artists and instruments. It's a perfect tool for study, and entertaining too, a great companion to our music books.

Rock, A Life Story

Rock, A Life Story

The ultimate story of a life of rock music, from the 1950s to the present day.

David Bowie

David Bowie

Fantastic new, unofficial biography covers his life, music, art and movies, with a sweep of incredible photographs.