Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Adams, Stephen. R. Murray Schafer. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1983.

In this treatment of the life and work of Schafer, several examples of borrowing are discussed. Son of Heldenleben (1968) is based on Strauss's Ein Heldenleben, and it demonstrates Schafer's ambivalence toward the Romantic era. Strauss's first theme serves as a cantus firmus in extreme augmentation for most of the piece, and other borrowed themes are presented in a rush at the end of the work. Written for orchestra and tape, Schafer's piece praises and belittles Strauss simultaneously, a conflict which is audible. Besides the direct quotations, two tone rows are derived from Strauss. Adieu, Robert Schumann (1976) is an example of collage, as it uses quotations from several of Schumann's works, including Kreisleriana and Carnaval. Written for a contralto, who plays the role of Clara Schumann, and orchestra, the work takes place in the last days before Schumann's death in a mental institution. It exemplifies Schafer's ability to blend old and new styles to create something distinctly his own.

Works: Schafer: Son of Heldenleben (110-17), Adieu, Robert Schumann (158-60).

Sources: Richard Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, Robert Schumann: Kreisleriana, Carnaval.

Index Classifications: 1900s

Contributed by: Jessica Sternfeld

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