User Tools

Site Tools


Richard Strauss

Young Talent

On June 11, 1864, Richard Strauss was born. Richard's father, Franz, was a main horn player who provided him with a good musical education. At the age of six, the youngster composed his first composition. Benno Walter, his father's cousin, began teaching him the violin at the Royal School of Music in 1872.1)

Fan Of Wagner

In 1874, Richard Strauss heard his first Wagner operas, Lohengrin and Tannhäuser. Initially, his father forbade the boy from learning Wagner's music. Richard did not receive a Tristan und Isolde score until he was 16 years old. Wagner's music had a significant influence on his musical growth.2)


Strauss's early compositions were conservative, but they began to expand and alter when he met Alexander Ritter, a composer and violinist who was married to one of Wagner's nieces. Ritter convinced Strauss to leave his youthful musical approach and begin creating tone poems.3)

Violin Concerto In D Minor

Strauss premiered his Violin Concerto in D minor in Vienna in early 1882, performing a piano version of the orchestral portion himself, with his cousin and tutor Benno Walter as soloist. Despite being created in the romantic vein of the time, it is a daring and imaginative composition in which Strauss expresses his admiration for Mozart and Beethoven.4)

Horn Concertos

Strauss rose to prominence as a horn champion as a result of his father's influence. His first Horn Concerto, written in the style of Schumann and Mendelssohn, is still a standard in the modern horn repertoire. Strauss is shown here in August 1932, leading a program in Munich that was carried to all German radio stations.5)

Pauline de Ahna

On September 10, 1894, Strauss married singer Pauline de Ahna. She was well-known for being tough and quirky, but the marriage was generally joyful, and she was a major source of inspiration for him. In 1950, she died barely eight months after him.6)

Sprach Zarathustra

The tone poem Don Juan, published in 1888, was Strauss's first composition that revealed his mature individuality. After it, he wrote a series of progressively ambitious tone poems, including Also Sprach Zarathustra. Its morning theme became extremely popular following its usage in Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey.7)


Strauss wrote Salome, a musically demanding contemporary opera based on Oscar Wilde's play, in 1905. It elicited a fervent response from both spectators and Strauss' contemporaries. It was “stupendous,” according to Ravel, and “alive volcano, a subterranean fire,” according to Mahler.8)


Strauss' opera Elektra expanded on his use of melodic discord. Elektra, based on a heroine from Greek mythology, is one of the most difficult roles in the dramatic soprano repertoire. It was also Strauss's first collaboration with the poet Hugo von Hofmannsthal. They went on to collaborate on a number of notable works.9)

Romantic Operas

Strauss resorted to a more rich, lyrical late-Romantic style for his later operas. Among these compositions were the massively popular Der Rosenkavalier (1911), Ariadne auf Naxos (1912), and Arabella (1932.). 10)

Rise Of The Nazi Party

Strauss did not join the Nazi party in the early 1930s. However, for practical reasons, he first collaborated with the early Nazi dictatorship in the belief that it would promote German art and culture. However, much of Strauss's purpose during the Third Reich was to safeguard his Jewish daughter-in-law and grandchildren from persecution. Strauss used his tremendous clout to keep them from being sent to concentration camps.11)

After 2nd World War

Strauss was seized by US forces at his farm at the end of WWII. “I am Richard Strauss, the composer of Rosenkavalier and Salome,” he told Lt. Milton Weiss. Lt. Weiss, who was also a musician, nodded in acknowledgement. To protect the composer, a 'Off Limits' sign was later installed on the grass.12)


In April 1945, an American oboist named John de Lancie, who was familiar with Strauss's orchestral composition for oboe, was part of the American army force that secured the region around Strauss's residence. Strauss was commissioned by De Lancie to create an oboe concerto. Despite his initial skepticism, the composer produced this late composition.13)

Four Last Songs

Strauss created songs throughout his life. The Four Last Songs are among his most well-known works. He supposedly wrote them with the great singer Kirsten Flagstad in mind, and she provided the first recorded rendition.14)

Death And Influence

Richard Strauss died on September 8, 1949, at the age of 85. Georg Solti, who had orchestrated Strauss's 85th birthday party, also conducted an orchestra for the burial. Strauss created a significant musical legacy that had a significant impact on the development of twentieth-century music.15)

richard_strauss.txt · Last modified: 2022/02/15 00:50 by eziothekilla34