Written in 1908, three years after the “Salome” and in oneact Elektra has created new perspectives for musical language; catalysed the innovative ideas of Arnold Schoenberg and Alban Berg; created new genres, avoiding the structural stereotypes inherent to musical theatre. In Elektra, Richard Strauss uses the specific timbre of the Wagner tuba. The composer became acquainted with the tragedy written by Austrian poet and dramatist Hugo von Hofmannsthal took place in Berlin in 1906. Strauss perceived the representation of passions, dynamics and vibrant characters as a new creative challenge for himself.
The drama in Electra’s life stems from intrigue and a murder in the family and as a result she becomes obsessed with anger and a thirst for vengeance. Contrary to her, her sister Chrysothemis, chooses humility and grace. The aria “Ich kann nicht sitzen” is sung in the scene where Elektra is expecting the return of her brother Orestes, who will avenge on their mother Clytemnestra the death of her father, Agamemnon. But Chrysothemis convinces her that Orestes will not return from Mycenae, contrary what Elektra believes.