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: Also Sprach Zarathustra, Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegel / Mackerras, RPO
Release Date: 03/08/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 29260   Number of Discs: 1
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Strauss: Elektra / Herlitzius, Pape, Thielemann, Staatskapelle Dresden
Release Date: 08/05/2014   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002114902   Number of Discs: 2
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Strauss: Die Frau ohne Schatten / Nilsson, Bohm
Release Date: 09/20/1994   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 445325   Number of Discs: 3
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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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Work: Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30

Browse 1-25 of 89 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Strauss / Karajan [11 CDs & 1 Blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002100500 Release Date: 08/19/2014   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Michel Schwalbé,  Giusto Cappone,  Pierre Fournier,  Norbert Hauptmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Strauss / Krauss - Complete Decca Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002055302 Release Date: 06/17/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Pierre Fournier,  Ernst Moraweg,  Hermann Gallos,  Anton Dermota  ... 
    Conductor:  Clemens Krauss
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra; Don Juan; Till Eulenspiegel / Nelsons, City of Birmingham Symphony
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 878141 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  Andris Nelsons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
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  • 4.
    Fritz Reiner Conducts Richard Strauss - The Complete RCA & Columbia Recordings
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 379055 Release Date: 05/19/2014   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  John Weicher,  Philip Farkas,  Inge Borkh,  Francis Yeend  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Lyric Theatre Chorus,  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 5.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection Vol 1
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 541497 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Jacques Ibert,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Berj Zamkochian,  John Weicher,  Philip Farkas,  Jascha Heifetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Arthur Fiedler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  New England Conservatory Alumni Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 6.
    Strauss: Complete Tone Poems & Concertos [13-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002010402 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Arthur David Krehbiel,  Raymond Kobler,  Heinrich Schiff,  Jean-Yves Thibaudet  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt,  Antal Doráti,  Kurt Masur,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  Detroit Symphony Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra  ... 
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  • 7.
    Mozart: Symphony No. 40; Mahler: Kindertotenlieder; R. Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1489 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Recorded Sound,  Gustav Mahler,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
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  • 8.
    Strauss: Complete Orchestral Works / Rudolf Kempe
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 3178025 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Paul Tortelier,  Max Rostal,  Ulf Hoelscher,  Peter Damm  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 9.
    Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra / Dudamel, Berlin PO
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001891302 Release Date: 09/17/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  Gustavo Dudamel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Karajan - 1970s
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001873702 Release Date: 09/03/2013   Number of Discs: 82
    Composer:  Arcangelo Corelli,  Francesco Manfredini,  Pietro Antonio Locatelli,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Brandis,  Michel Schwalbé,  Karlheinz Zöller,  Edith Mathis  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Hans Priem Bergrath
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus  ... 
    CD: $313.99
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  • 11.
    Ashkenazy - 50 Years on Decca
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001820202 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Boris Belkin,  Daniel Barenboim,  Fou Ts'ong  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Lorin Maazel,  Uri Segal  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Wind Soloists  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 12.
    Rudolf Kempe Conducts Bartok & Strauss - Historical Recordings 1961
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 94220 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 13.
    The Art Of Sir Georg Solti
    Label: Imports   Catalog: 1037609 Release Date: 03/05/2013   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Zoltán Kodály,  Leó Weiner,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Alexandru Agache,  Tamás Daróczy,  Julia Varády,  Iris Vermillion  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Hungarian Radio/TV Chorus,  Budapest Festival Orchestra  ... 
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  • 14.
    Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra, Till Eulenspiegel / Solti, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 452603 Release Date: 01/17/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Strauss: Ein Heldenleben; Don Juan; Also Sprach Zarathustra; Eine Alpensinfonie / Bohm, Staatskapelle Dresden
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 146 Release Date: 12/18/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 16.
    Gary Bertini Conducts Strauss, Mahler, Ravel, Debussy, Berlioz
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 7136 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Hĺkan Hagegĺrd,  Thomas Quasthoff,  Elisabeth Leonskaja
    Conductor:  Gary Bertini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $24.99
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  • 17.
    Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra / Schwarz, Seattle Symphony
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8571215 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 18.
    Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra, Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegel / Mackerras
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1197 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Fritz Reiner Conducts Richard Strauss
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 686992 Release Date: 08/07/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Inge Borkh,  Byron Janis,  John Weicher,  Milton Preves  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 20.
    The Art Of Giuseppe Sinopoli - Orchestral Works
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 1986056 Release Date: 05/29/2012   Number of Discs: 16
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Alan Titus,  Thomas Moser,  Felicity Palmer,  Solveig Kringelborn  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden State Opera Chorus,  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 21.
    Strauss: Tone Poems / Rudolf Kempe, Staatskapelle Dresden
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6783122 Release Date: 03/26/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 22.
    Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra / Tennstedt, London Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6027585 Release Date: 03/13/2012  
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0212 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
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  • 24.
    Strauss: Orchestral Works / Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic [5-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001607102 Release Date: 10/18/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Lothar Koch,  Antonio Meneses,  Leon Spierer,  Wolfram Christ  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 25.
    Strauss: Four Last Songs; Die Frau Ohne Schatten
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 7712872 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Leontyne Price
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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