AuthorWarren, Jackson Eliot
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis document examines compositions by Johann Strauss Jr., related by title or compositional circumstance to Hungarians or Gypsies, for the presence of the style hongrois, or Hungarian style--an exotic style used by Western composers throughout the nineteenth century. This study defines the style hongrois through specific musical terms by amalgamating recent scholarship into a lexicon of musical elements and gestures. The compositions under consideration were composed between 1846 and 1896. The study provides background into the development of the style hongrois--including the migration of the Rom, the influence of the dominant Magyar culture within Hungary, the evolution of the verbunkos, and the style hongrois's early overlap with the Turkish style--and the social and political circumstances within Vienna and the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time. The origins of the Viennese dance tradition are traced, and it is revealed that both Joseph Lanner and Johann Strauss Sr. toured to Pest, the capital of Hungary, and composed in the style hongrois. Major works by Johann Strauss Jr. examined in this study include the Pesther Csárdás, op. 23; Éljen a Magyár!, Polka schnell, op. 332; Rosalinde's Csárdás from Die Fledermaus; selections from Der Zigeunerbaron; the Csárdás from Ritter Pásmán; and a new czardas composed for Die Fledermaus in 1896. The study reveals that Strauss used the style hongrois not as a foreign musical language, but as a set of gestures and forms which could be incorporated into his normal style. Nevertheless, Strauss's melodic ingenuity allowed for a fluent use of the style hongrois from the outset. He applied the style in various ways--superficially to existing dance forms, and in full imitations of the verbunk genre. These works were consistently greeted--both in Vienna and Hungary--with praise and acknowledgment of Strauss's success in imitating Gypsy-band music, to which he enjoyed ample exposure. This study--a close inspection of a small subset of Strauss's output--reveals a subtle yet sophisticated evolution in his compositional technique. It also traces the progression of his career--from upstart performer to the cultural symbol of an empire.
Degree ProgramGraduate College