Richard Strauss

Biography

Born: Jun 11, 1864; Germany   Died: Sep 8, 1949; Germany   Period: 20th Century
Though the long career of Richard Strauss spanned one of the most chaotic periods in political, social, and cultural history of the world, the composer retained his essentially Romantic aesthetic even into the age of television, jet engines, and atom bombs. Born in Munich in 1864, Strauss was the son of Franz Joseph Strauss, the principal hornist in the Munich Court Orchestra. Strauss demonstrated musical aptitude at an early age, and extensive Read more training in piano, violin, theory, harmony, and orchestration equipped him to produce music of extraordinary polish and maturity by the time he reached adulthood. His primary teachers had been his father, who was a musical conservative, and Ludwig Thuille, a Munich School composer and family friend. Strauss' Serenade for 13 Winds, Op. 7 (1881), written when he was 17, led conductor Hans von Bülow to pronounce him "by far the most striking personality since Brahms." Bülow was able to give Strauss his first commission and an assistant conductor position. Through new friendships, Strauss learned to admire the writings of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche and the music of Wagner and Liszt. He embarked on a long career of conducting and composing, which take him all over Europe and the U.S.

From the beginning of Strauss' career as a composer, it was evident that the orchestra was his natural medium. With the composition of the "symphonic fantasy" Aus Italien in 1886, Strauss embarked on a series of works that represents both one of the pivotal phases of his career and a body of music of central importance in the late German Romantic repertoire. Though he did not invent the tone poem per se, he brought it to its pinnacle. In such works as Don Juan (1888-1889), Ein Heldenleben (1897-1898), and Also sprach Zarathustra (1895-1896) -- whose first minute or so, thanks to its use in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, is the composer's most readily recognizable music -- Strauss displayed his abundant gift for exploiting the coloristic possibilities of the orchestra as a dramatic device like few composers ever had (or have since).

With the arrival of the twentieth century, after becoming conductor at Berlin's Hofoper, Strauss' interest turned more fully to opera, resulting in a body of unforgettable works that have long been fixtures of the repertoire: Salome (1903-1905), Elektra (1906-1908), and Der Rosenkavalier (1909-1910) are just a few of his best-known efforts for the stage. In 1919, Strauss became co-director of the Vienna Staatsoper, but was forced to resign five years later by his partner, Franz Schalk, who resented being left with many of the operational duties while Strauss was frequently away guest conducting or being feted as a great composer. When the political situation in Europe became malignant in the 1930s, profound political naïveté led to Strauss' confused involvement with the Nazi propaganda machine, and the composer eventually alienated both the Nazis and their opponents. With the end of World War II, however, he was permitted to resume his professional life, although it would be a mere echo of his previous fame. He began to have serious health problems, his financial situation had been compromised, and the monuments that embodied great German art for him -- Goethe's Weimar house; the Dresden, Munich, and Vienna opera houses -- had been destroyed. Throughout his last years, works such as the Oboe Concerto (1945) and the gorgeously expressive Four Last Songs (1948) attest to Strauss' unwavering confidence in his singular musical voice.
Read less
Strauss: Metamorphosen, Tod und Verklärung / Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic
Release Date: 01/02/2006   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 410892   Number of Discs: 1
On sale! $17.98
Import ArkivCD
$9.99
Special Order
On sale!   $17.98   ArkivCD:  $9.99 Add to Cart

Strauss, Verdi: String Quartets / Enso Quartet
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 573108   Number of Discs: 1
On sale! $9.99
CD: $7.99
In Stock
MP3 Available
On sale!   $9.99   CD:  $7.99 Add CD to Cart

MP3:  $7.99 Add MP3 to Cart

Strauss: Arabella / Fleming, Hampson, Thielemann
Release Date: 09/30/2014   Label: C Major  
Catalog: 717208   Number of Discs: 2
On sale! $39.99
DVD: $37.99
In Stock
On sale!   $39.99   DVD:  $37.99 Add DVD to Cart

Notturno - Strauss: Songs / Thomas Hampson, Wolfram Rieger
Release Date: 05/06/2014   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002037002   Number of Discs: 1
On sale! $18.98
CD: $15.99
In Stock
MP3 Available
On sale!   $18.98   CD:  $15.99 Add CD to Cart

MP3:  $11.99 Add MP3 to Cart

Strauss: Salome / Dohnanyi, Malfitano, Terfel, Schwarz, Braga, Olsen
Release Date: 09/16/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002141502   Number of Discs: 2
On sale! $19.98
CD: $16.99
In Stock
On sale!   $19.98   CD:  $16.99 Add CD to Cart

Work: Morgen

 

About This Work
One of Richard Strauss' best known songs, this work, a celebration of love, is inspired by the composer's feelings toward his wife, Pauline. The text is "Morgen," a poem by the German poet (of Scottish extraction), John Henry Morgan Read more (1864-1933). The poem, which blends tranquil, reassuring images of nature with deep confidence in love, inspired a natural, flowing melody of extraordinary beauty. While the atmosphere of tranquillity remains fundamentally undisturbed, the smoothly ascending movement of the melody suggests feelings of deep, boundless joy, yearning to express its immensity. Providing discreet harmonic accompaniment and gentle melodic support, the piano part beautifully complements the solo. While Strauss is better known for his symphonic and operatic works, this work, composed in 1893-1894, identifies him as one of the great masters of the German Lied.

-- All Music Guide Read less

Select a specific Performer, Conductor or Ensemble or browse recordings by Formats & Featured below

or
ArkivMusic Recommendation

Performers



YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In