This second season of Melodramas features two works composed by Richard Strauss: Das Schloss am meere (The Castle by the Sea) and Enoch Arden. The former is a short piece of a Gothic nature based on a poem by Johann Ludwig Uhland. The latter, a large-scale work, is based on a text by Alfred Tennyson and tells the ill-fated story of the love triangle made up of Enoch Arden, his wife Annie Lee and his friend Philip Ray.
Meticulously staged, this performance of Richard Strauss’s two melodramas emphasises the strong dramaturgical content of these works, which came about as a result of his collaboration with the actor Ernst von Possart. Das Schloss am Meere (The Castle by the Sea) is a Gothic melodrama, while Enoch Arden is a large-scale work with exalted sentimentality. In both, Strauss uses resources such as the leitmotif, which entails associating a musical motive with a particular character, object, idea or feeling.