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 / Krauss - Complete Decca Recordings
Release Date: 06/17/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002055302   Number of Discs: 5
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Strauss:  Ariadne Auf Naxos  / Harding, Kaufmann, Magee, Mosuc
Release Date: 07/15/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 300574   Number of Discs: 2
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Braunfels: String Quintet; Strauss: Metamorphosen / Geringas, Gringolts Quartet
Release Date: 11/13/2012   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 12053   Number of Discs: 1
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Strauss: Elektra / Theorin, Meier, Westbroaek, Pape, Gatti [blu-ray]
Release Date: 06/24/2014   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 108110   Number of Discs: 1
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Richard Strauss: Blaser Sonatinen
Release Date: 06/24/2014   Label: Berlin Classics  
Catalog: 300576   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Four Last Songs, AV 150

Browse 76-90 of 90 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Strauss: Vier Letzte Lieder, Etc / Mattila, Abbado, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 445182 Release Date: 11/09/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Karita Mattila
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 77.
    R. Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra, Etc / Tennstedt, Et Al
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 73560 Release Date: 08/10/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Lucia Popp
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 78.
    R. Strauss: Don Juan, Vier Letzte Lieder, Etc / Masur, Voigt
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 25990 Release Date: 06/08/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Deborah Voigt
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 79.
    Strauss: Four Last Songs, 15 Lieder / Bonney, Martineau
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 460812 Release Date: 02/02/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Malcolm Martineau,  Barbara Bonney
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  • 80.
    Strauss: Four Last Songs, Etc / Szell, Schwarzkopf, Et Al
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 66960 Release Date: 01/12/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Edith Peinemann
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 81.
    The Art Of Evelyn Lear - Spohr, Strauss, Berlioz, Berg
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1159 Release Date: 05/19/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alban Berg,  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Strauss,  Louis Spohr
    Performer:  Evelyn Lear
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Dean Dixon,  Karl Böhm,  Heinrich Hollreiser
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  • 82.
    Strauss: Four Last Songs, Etc / Karajan, Janowitz, Berlin Po
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 447422 Release Date: 01/23/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Gundula Janowitz
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 83.
    Eleanor Steber Sings Richard Strauss
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1012 Release Date: 11/06/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Eleanor Steber,  Otto Wiener,  Christel Goltz,  Set Svanholm  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 84.
    Kirsten Flagstad Vol 3 - Live Performances 1948-1957
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1823 Release Date: 01/01/1995   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad,  Viorica Ursuleac,  Set Svanholm
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Johan Hye-Knudsen,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Georges Sebastian  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 85.
    Strauss: Four Last Songs; Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder / Studer, Sinopoli
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439865 Release Date: 09/20/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Cheryl Studer
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 86.
    R. Strauss/Wagner: Lieder
    Label: Kontrapunkt   Catalog: 32156 Release Date: 07/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Elisabeth Meyer-Topsoe
    Conductor:  Hans Norbert Bihlmaier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 87.
    Wolf, Schubert, Strauss: Letzte Lieder / Fontana, Weber
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 93377 Release Date: 04/20/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Richard Strauss,  Hugo Wolf
    Performer:  Peter Weber,  Erik Werba,  Gabriele Fontana
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  • 88.
    Strauss: Four Last Songs, Lieder, Etc / Te Kanawa, Solti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 430511 Release Date: 11/08/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Sir Georg Solti
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 89.
    R. Strauss: Four Last Songs, Etc / Te Kanawa, Davis
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 35140 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 90.
    Strauss: 4 Last Songs, Etc / Schwarzkopf, Philharmonia
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 61001 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
    Conductor:  Lovro von Matacic,  Otto Ackermann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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