Richard Strauss (1864-1949)

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0120060529

In a career which spanned nearly eight decades across some of the most turbulent years of European history, Richard Strauss gained a reputation as one of Germany's most important composers.

But controversy has dogged the steps of this complex character, as a result of his anti-Semitic attitudes and association with the Nazis.

Donald Macleod begins his exploration of Strauss' life and works with the first two of his characterful tone poems.


Allerseelen : Barbara Bonney (soprano) : Geoffrey Parsons (piano)
Don Juan : Vienna Philharmonic : Christoph von Dohnanyi (conductor)
Serenade for Winds, Op 7 : Wind soloists of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Til Eulenspiegel : Chicago Symphony Orchestra : Daniel Barenboim (conductor).

0120091012

Donald Macleod explores Strauss' final days, framed by recordings of his early works.

Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Richard Strauss, hailed in his youthful fame as 'the outstanding living composer'.

He focuses on Strauss' early works, which frame the story of his final days.

As the composer wrote on his deathbed, 'dying is just as I composed it in Death and Transfiguration'.

Morgen!, Op 27, No 4

Anne Schwanewilms (soprano)

Halle Orchestra

Mark Elder (conductor)

Halle CDHLL7508 Tr 5

Sonata in E flat for violin and piano, Op 18

Vadim Repin (violin)

Boris Berezovsky (piano)

Erato 8573-85769-2 Trs 1-3

Tod und Verklarung, Op 24

Staatskapelle Dresden

Rudolf Kempe (conductor)

EMI 7243 5 73619 2 7 CD5 Tr 2.

01188320100405

Donald Macleod focuses on the changing of the guard in German music in 1883.

Richard Strauss lived one of the longest lives of any composer.

He was born in 1864, when the American Civil War was raging.

By the time he died in 1949, two global conflicts had been fought and the world had changed entirely.

This week, Donald Macleod explores the music and stories from five distinct years of Strauss's life.

We travel in time from the 19 year old Strauss's first forays as a professional composer, to the final works of an old man, exploring his personal and professional relationships as we go.

In today's programme, 1883, the year in which there was a changing of the guard in German music.

Richard Wagner died, and Richard Strauss had his first professional success.

0220060530

By 1894, at the age of 30, Strauss was conducting his own works in concert halls all over Europe.

That same year he got married to Pauline de Ahna, whose voice inspired some of his loveliest songs.

Donald Macleod introduces a selection of those songs, presented to Pauline as a wedding present, and the tone poem inspired by Cervantes' famous novel, which rapidly became one of his most popular works.


Ruhe, meine Seele!; Heimliche Aufforderung; Morgen! from Op 27 : Margaret Price (soprano) : Wolfgang Sawallisch (piano)
Don Quixote : Symphonieochester des Bayerischen Rundfunks : Lorin Maazel (conductor).

0220091013

Donald Macleod examines events in Richard Strauss' early career.

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Richard Strauss, examining events in the composer's early career that led him to develop an iron will to reinvent musical forms and push Romanticism to its limits.

Wiegenlied, Op 41, No 1

Renee Fleming (soprano)

Houston Symphony Orchestra

Christoph Eschenbach (conductor)

RCA 09026 68539 2 Tr 7

Helft! Morder!; Elektra! Schwester!; Ob ich nicht hore?; Elektra's Dance; Elektra!/Schweig, und tanze (Elektra)

Aegisth....Fritz Uhl (tenor)

Elektra....Inge Borkh (soprano)

Chrysothemis....Marianne Schech (soprano)

Choir of the Staatskapelle Dresden

Staatskapelle Dresden

Karl Bohm (conductor)

DG 431 737-2 CD2 Trs 13-17

Sonata in F for cello and piano, Op 6

Stephen Isserlis (cello)

Stephen Hough (piano)

RCA 74321 75389 2 Trs 15-17

Der Abend, Op 34, No 1

The Danish National Radio Choir

Stefan Parkman (conductor)

Chandos CHAN 9223 Tr 1.

02189420100406

Taking five snapshots of Richard Strauss' life, Donald Macleod focuses on 1894.

In the second snapshot from the life of Richard Strauss, Donald Macleod finds himself in 1894, the year Strauss married the redoubtable Pauline.

0320091014

Donald Macleod on Strauss' everyday life, including his favourite pastime - a card game.

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Richard Strauss, and examines the composer's everyday life, including his favourite pastime - the card game Skat, and a revealing musical portrait of his family life, the Symphonia Domestica.

Stille...O weh, Falke, o weh! (Die Frau ohne Schatten - Act 2)

Der Kaiser....Placido Domingo (tenor)

Vienna Philharmonic

Georg Solti (conductor)

Decca 436 243-2 CD2 Tr 5

An Einsamer Quelle (Stimmungsbilder, Op 9)

Daniel Barenboim (piano)

Teldec 3984-23913-2 Tr 10

Symphonia domestica, Op 53

Scottish National Orchestra

Neeme Jarvi (conductor)

Chandos CHAN 10206 X Trs 1-5.

0320100407

Donald Macleod focuses on the start of Richard Strauss' work with Hugo von Hofmannstahl.

In today's programme, Donald Macleod focusses on 1905, the year in which Richard Strauss started to work with his greatest collaborator and librettist, Hugo von Hofmannstahl.

03190520060531

Strauss had a penchant for basing works on scenes and characters from his own life.

Donald Macleod introduces highlights from an opera which laid bare the intimate details of a quarrel between Strauss and his wife, and the massive autobiographical tone poem with himself as hero.


Intermezzo - extract : Christine Lucia Popp (soprano) : Robert Storch Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) : Sinfonie Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks : Wolfgang Sawallisch (conductor)
Ein Heldenleben : Vienna Philharmonic : Georg Solti (conductor).

0420060601

Strauss caused a sensation when he decided to make Oscar Wilde's decadent play Salome into an opera.

It turned him into the most successful opera composer of the day.

Not long afterwards Strauss began work on the opera which remains his most popular work, and possibly the subtlest of all his scores, Der Rosenkavalier.


Salome - extract : Herod....Kenneth Riegel (tenor) : Herodias....Hanna Schwarz (mezzo-soprano) : Salome....Catherine Malfitano (soprano) : Jochanaan....Bryn Terfel (baritone) : Jews....Uwe Peper, Robin Leggate, Uwe Schonbeck, Ferdinand Seiler (tenor), Andreas Kohn (bass) : Vienna Philharmonic : Christoph von Dohnanyi (conductor)
Der Rosenkavalier - extracts : Marschallin....Elizabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) : Octavian....Christa Ludwig (mezzo-soprano) : Sophie....Teresa Stich-Randall (soprano) : Baron....Otto Edelmann (bass) : Faninal....Eberhard Wachter (baritone) : Annina....Kerstin Meyer (mezzo-soprano) : Philharmonia Orchestra : Herbert von Karajan (conductor).

0420091015

Donald Macleod focuses on Strauss' music at the time of the First World War.

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Richard Strauss.

He focuses on the composer at the time of the First World War, when his music began to show an even more profound sense of irony.

His incidental music for Le bourgeois gentilhomme is a typical example, presenting the style and mood of 18th century music in a 20th-century manner.

Ouverture; Schlaft sie? (Ariadne)

Najade....Christiane Hossfeld (soprano)

Dryade....Angela Liebold (mezzo-soprano)

Echo....Eva Kirchner (soprano)

Ariadne....Deborah Voigt (soprano)

Staatskapelle Dresden

Giuseppe Sinopoli (conductor)

DG 471 323-2 CD1 Trs 9-10

Der Pokal; Einerlei; Waldesfahrt; Schlechtes Wetter (Kleine Lieder, Op 69)

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone)

Gerald Moore (piano)

EMI 7 63995 2 CD6 Trs 4-7

Le bourgeois gentilhomme, Op 60

Berlin Philharmonic

Simon Rattle (conductor)

0EMI 3 39339 2 Trs 7-15.

04193520100408

Donald Macleod focuses on the unravelling of Richard Strauss' relations with the Nazis.

Donald Macleod explores another significant year in the life of Richard Strauss.

1935 saw the coming into force of Hitler's Nuremberg Laws and the beginning of a nightmare for Europe.

Strauss's relations with the Nazis are difficult to unravel.

On the one hand, he accepted an official post in Goebbels's cultural ministry - on the other, members of his own family suffered because of their Jewishness.

Donald Macleod tells the story.

05194620100415
05 LAST20091016

Donald Macleod explores Strauss' role as the leading German composer of the Nazi era.

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Richard Strauss.

He appraises Strauss' controversial role as the leading German composer of the Nazi era, and introduces what has been called 'the most challenging tonal choral work ever written', his Deutsche Motette.

Zueignung, Op 10, No 1

Christine Brewer (soprano)

Roger Vignoles (piano)

Hyperion CDA67488 Tr 1

Schwung: Gebt mir meinen Becher! Seht, er uberstrahlt; Liebesgeschenke: Ich pfluckte eine kleine Pfirsichblute; Die Allmachtige: Die hochste Macht der Erde sitzt auf keinem Tron; Huldigung: Die Perlen meiner Seele (Gesange des Orients), Op 77

Hyperion CDA67488 Trs 14-18

Horn Concerto No 2 in E flat

Dennis Brain (horn)

Philharmonia Orchestra

Wolfgang Sawallisch (conductor)

EMI 47834 Trs 4-6

Deutsche Mottete, Op 62

The Danish National Radio Choir

Stefan Parkman (conductor)

Chandos CHAN 9223 Tr 3.

05 LAST*20060602

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Strauss decided to remain in Germany when the Nazis came to power - and his associations with the Party have tainted his reputation.

Donald Macleod introduces works from those last decades of Strauss' life, including the chamber piece which has been the subject of debate ever since.


All'mein Gedanken : Elisabeth Schumann (soprano) : Karl Alwin (piano)
Capriccio - extract : Countess....Gundula Janowitz (soprano) : Major Domo....Karl Christian Kohn (bass) : Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks : Karl Böhm (conductor)
Metamorphosen : Vienna Philharmonic : Christoph von Dohnanyi (conductor)
Im Abendrot - from Four Last Songs : Lucia Popp (soprano) : London Symphony Orchestra : Michael Tilson Thomas (conductor).

05 LAST194620100409

Donald Macleod focuses on the year 1946, when Richard Strauss faced de-Nazification.

After the war, Strauss faced de-Nazification - as someone who had held an administrative post in the Nazi administration, he had to face a tribunal, which would make a judgement on the extent of his guilt.

The judgement finally came in 1948; while he was waiting, Strauss wrote some of his most popular music.