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.
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Strauss, Verdi: String Quartets / Enso Quartet
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 573108   Number of Discs: 1
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Strauss: Arabella / Fleming, Hampson, Thielemann
Release Date: 09/30/2014   Label: C Major  
Catalog: 717208   Number of Discs: 2
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Notturno - Strauss: Songs / Thomas Hampson, Wolfram Rieger
Release Date: 05/06/2014   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002037002   Number of Discs: 1
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Strauss: Salome / Dohnanyi, Malfitano, Terfel, Schwarz, Braga, Olsen
Release Date: 09/16/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002141502   Number of Discs: 2
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Richard Strauss: Don Juan; Tod Und Verklarun; Till Eulenspiegel / Otaka, BBC National Orchestra Of Wales
Release Date: 08/14/2012   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 7090   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Elektra, Op. 58

Browse 1-25 of 46 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Strauss: Elektra  / Herlitzius, Meier, Pieczonka, Petrenko, Orchestre De Paris [blu-ray]
    Label: Bel Air Classiques   Catalog: 410 Release Date: 08/26/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Mikhail Petrenko,  Waltraud Meier,  Adrianne Pieczonka,  Evelyn Herlitzius  ... 
    Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de Paris
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 2.
    Strauss: Elektra / Herlitzius, Meier, Salonen, Orchestre De Paris
    Label: Bel Air Classiques   Catalog: 110 Release Date: 08/26/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Evelyn Herlitzius,  Waltraud Meier,  Adrianne Pieczonka,  Mikhail Petrenko  ... 
    Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de Paris
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 3.
    Strauss: Elektra / Herlitzius, Pape, Thielemann, Staatskapelle Dresden
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002114902 Release Date: 08/05/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Evelyn Herlitzius,  René Pape,  Anne Schwanewilms,  Waltraud Meier
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 4.
    Strauss: Elektra / Bohm, Nilsson, Rysanek, Vienna State Opera (Live)
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 886142 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Leonie Rysanek,  Birgit Nilsson,  Regina Resnik,  Wolfgang Windgassen  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
    CD: $39.99
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  • 5.
    Strauss: Elektra / Theorin, Meier, Westbroaek, Pape, Gatti [blu-ray]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 108110 Release Date: 06/24/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Iréne Theorin,  Waltraud Meier,  René Pape,  Eva-Maria Westbroek  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniele Gatti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung
    Blu-ray Video: $9.99
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  • 6.
    Richard Strauss Collection
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 107539 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Matthias Klink,  Falk Struckmann,  Peter Bronder,  Nadja Michael  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Harding,  Claudio Abbado,  Karl Böhm,  Wolfgang Sawallisch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    DVD: $148.99
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  • 7.
    Richard Strauss: Complete Operas
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002013902 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 33
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Anneliese Rothenberger,  Cäcilie Reich,  Eva Maria Rogner,  Ira Malaniuk  ... 
    Conductor:  Joseph Keilberth,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Karl Böhm,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $259.98
    CD: $225.99
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  • 8.
    Strauss: Elektra / Bohm, Borkh, Schech, Madeira
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 1166134 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Sieglinde Wagner,  Renate Reinecke,  Gerda Scheyrer,  Inge Borkh  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Dresden State Opera Chorus
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  • 9.
    Strauss: The Great Operas
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 3179923 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Gerd Nienstedt,  José Van Dam,  Agnes Baltsa,  Horst Nitsche  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Rudolf Kempe,  Marek Janowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $110.98
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  • 10.
    Strauss: Elektra / Ozawa, Behrens, Ludwig, Hynninen, BSO
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001895502 Release Date: 09/17/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Brian Matthews,  Emily Rawlins,  Dominique Labelle,  Cynthia Haymon  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Tanglewood Festival Chorus
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  • 11.
    Strauss: Elektra / Schuster, Herlitzius, Nylund, Albrecht, Netherlands Philharmonic
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72565 Release Date: 01/08/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Evelyn Herlitzius,  Michaela Schuster,  Camilla Nylund,  Hubert Delamboye  ... 
    Conductor:  Marc Albrecht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra,  Amsterdam Toonkunst Chorus
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  • 12.
    Solti Conducts The Strauss Operas [15-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001746102 Release Date: 10/16/2012   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Waldemar Kmentt,  Hilde Gueden,  Eberhard Wächter,  Wilhelm Lenninger  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 13.
    Strauss: Elektra / Gergiev, Charbonnet, Denoke, London Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Lso Live   Catalog: 701 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Angela Denoke,  Jeanne-Michele Charbonnet
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Strauss: Elektra / Jochum, Schluter, Hammer, Kupper, Kupper
    Label: Acanta/Pilz   Catalog: 233494 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Erna Schlüter,  Anneliese Kupper,  Peter Markwort
    Conductor:  Eugen Jochum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hamburg State Philharmonic Orchestra,  Hamburg State Philharmonic Chorus
    CD: $24.99
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  • 15.
    Strauss: Elektra / Johansson, Lipovsek, Diener, Dohnanyi
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 107297 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Alfred Muff,  Melanie Diener,  Marjana Lipovsek,  Eva Johansson  ... 
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Opera House Orchestra,  Zurich Opera House Chorus
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  • 16.
    Strauss: Elektra / Johansson, Lipovsek, Diener, Dohnanyi [blu-ray]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 108048 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Rudolf Schasching,  Eva Johansson,  Marjana Lipovsek,  Melanie Diener  ... 
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Opera House Orchestra,  Zurich Opera House Chorus
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 17.
    Magic Moments Of Opera
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 107515 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Isobel Buchanan,  Placido Domingo,  Elena Obraztsova,  Yuri Mazurok  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlos Kleiber,  Theodor Guschlbauer,  Iván Fischer,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  Paris National Opera Chorus  ... 
    DVD: $118.99
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  • 18.
    Strauss: Elektra / Barenboim, Botha, Falewicz, Wottrich, Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4677013 Release Date: 03/29/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Gerd Wolf,  Alessandra Marc,  Carola Nossek,  Johan Botha  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Berlin Staatskapelle Chorus
    CD: $18.99
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  • 19.
    Strauss: Elektra / Gatti, Pape, Theorin, Meier, Westbroek, Gambill
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101559 Release Date: 03/29/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Robert Gambill,  Waltraud Meier,  Iréne Theorin,  Eva-Maria Westbroek  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniele Gatti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 20.
    Strauss: Elektra / Gatti, Pape, Theorin, Meier, Westbroek, Gambill [blu-ray]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101560 Release Date: 03/29/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Eva-Maria Westbroek,  Robert Gambill,  René Pape,  Waltraud Meier  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniele Gatti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung
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  • 21.
    Strauss: Elektra / Watson, Henschel, Thielemann
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 1046 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Irmgard Vilsmaier,  Jörg Schneider,  Andreas Hörl,  Albert Dohmen  ... 
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Chorus,  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Strauss: Elektra / Watson, Henschel, Thielemann [Blu-ray]
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 7082 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Manuela Uhl,  Irmgard Vilsmaier,  Jörg Schneider,  Albert Dohmen  ... 
    Conductor:  Christian Thielemann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Chorus
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 23.
    James Levine - Celebrating 40 Years At The Met  [21 DVD Box Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 1135701355 Release Date: 12/07/2010   Number of Discs: 21
    Composer:  Alban Berg,  John Corigliano,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Franz Mazura,  Julia Migenes,  Evelyn Lear,  Kenneth Riegel  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus
    Recommendation
    DVD: $299.99
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  • 24.
    Strauss: Elektra / Sawallisch, Studer, Lipovsek, Marton
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 40779 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Caroline Maria Petrig,  Eva Martón,  Birgit Calm,  Shirley Close  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
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  • 25.
    Strauss: Elektra / Johansson, Lipovsek, Diener, Dohnanyi  [blu-ray]
    Label: Tdk   Catalog: 8 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Reinhard Mayr,  Rudolf Schasching,  Marjana Lipovsek,  Eva Johansson  ... 
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Opera House Orchestra,  Zurich Opera House Chorus
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