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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: Four Last Songs, Ein Heldenleben / Netrebko, Barenboim
Release Date: 12/09/2014   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002188002   Number of Discs: 1
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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: Elektra / Herlitzius, Meier, Salonen, Orchestre De Paris
Release Date: 08/26/2014   Label: Bel Air Classiques  
Catalog: 110   Number of Discs: 1
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Strauss: Elektra  / Herlitzius, Meier, Pieczonka, Petrenko, Orchestre De Paris [blu-ray]
Release Date: 08/26/2014   Label: Bel Air Classiques  
Catalog: 410   Number of Discs: 1
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Strauss Conducts Strauss, Mozart, Beethoven [7-CD Set]
Release Date: 05/19/2014   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002037802   Number of Discs: 7
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Work: Zueignung

Browse 101-114 of 114 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Helen Traubel
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89120 Release Date: 10/15/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Helen Traubel,  Kurt Baum
    Conductor:  Charles O'Connell,  Artur Rodzinski,  Ernst Knoch,  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 102.
    Brava, Jessye! - Olympic Edition - The Best Of Jessye Norman
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 454693 Release Date: 07/23/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Gustav Mahler,  Mark Watters,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Jessye Norman,  Irwin Gage,  Geoffrey Parsons,  Phillip Moll
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Bernard Haitink,  Mark Watters,  Raymond Leppard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 103.
    Helge Rosvaenge Konzert 1959
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90103 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Giacomo Puccini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Helge Rosvaenge,  Walter Stoll,  Gisela Behm,  Heinz Braun  ... 
    Conductor:  Zoltán Rozsnyai,  Hans Löwlein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Hungarica,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 104.
    Zueignung / Håkan Hagegård, Thomas Schuback
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 54 Release Date: 09/22/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms,  Hugo Wolf,  Reynaldo Hahn  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Schuback,  Håkan Hagegård
    CD: $21.49
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  • 105.
    Strauss: Four Last Songs, Lieder, Etc / Popp, Gruberova, Etc
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 48242 Release Date: 09/06/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Lucia Popp,  Karita Mattila,  Edita Gruberova
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 106.
    Strauss: Orchestral Songs Vol 2 / Lott, Järvi, Scottish No
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 9159 Release Date: 07/26/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Felicity Lott
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
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  • 107.
    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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  • 108.
    R. Strauss, Sibelius: Songs / Birgit Nilsson, János Sólyom
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 15 Release Date: 03/25/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  János Sólyóm,  Birgit Nilsson
    CD: $21.49
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  • 109.
    Lieder Von Richard Strauss / Hans Hotter, Walter Klien
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 93367 Release Date: 02/10/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Walter Klien,  Hans Hotter
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  • 110.
    Brava Jessye! - The Very Best Of Jessye Norman
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 442157 Release Date: 10/12/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Traditional,  Maurice Ravel,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Irwin Gage,  Jessye Norman,  Geoffrey Parsons,  Phillip Moll
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Raymond Leppard,  Kurt Masur,  Sir Colin Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra  ... 
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  • 111.
    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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  • 112.
    Beethoven, Haydn, Strauss: Lieder / Fritz Wunderlich
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 420852 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Richard Strauss,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich,  Heinrich Schmidt,  Walter Weller,  Ludwig Beinl
    Conductor:  Jan Koetsier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 113.
    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
    CD not available
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  • 114.
    Mahler, Schrecker, Strauss, Wolf: Songs / Lipovsek, Werba
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 176891 Release Date: 03/01/1989   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hugo Wolf,  Gustav Mahler,  Richard Strauss,  Franz Schreker
    Performer:  Marjana Lipovsek,  Erik Werba
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