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Do the texts in Richard Strauss Don Juan and Bernard Shaws Pygmalion seem to present a straightforward contrast between male figures of authority and passive women Both Richard Strauss and Bernard Shaw adapt from popular myth and legend in their work Don Juan 1888-1889 and Pygmalion 1912 Like the original their male characters have position of dominance over the female characters But Strauss and Shaw also weave a twist into their adaptations to allow the women certain strength to rise above the hero and affect his life Strauss works from Nikolaus Lenaus poem Don Juan He creates musical structures to hold themes that interact to tell a story in a modified sonata form He uses the concept of masculine music through strong brass especially the horn and feminine music through high pitch violins oboe and clarinet His characters come alive as contrasting musical elements play and minds envision Don Juan pursuing and discarding women until he meets one that totally captivates him Don Juan enters in all his male vigour and confidence like a gush of wind 1-40 Strauss achieved that through loud and bold melody in lively tempo driving rhythm the complex accompaniment of the full orchestra in a very dense texture The wide range of notes gives the effect of a rapid opening of sound to encompass and overwhelm the senses They give the impression of a whirlwind and suggest a complex but confident and dominant character who pulsates with life purpose and activities Theme As strong bold melody is repeated in varied styles and leads us through the whole sonata to tell the story of Don Juan In comparison Theme B 41-65 uses the feminine sounds of the oboe flute and violin Its feminine traits are further accentuated by thinner texture higher pitch and soft and gentle melody in slower tempo and rhythm The quick downward staccato of the violin in high pitch gives the impression of
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