Greatest Richard Strauss Works: 10 Important Items


Richard Strauss was an excellent German Romantic composer. He had two musical gods – Mozart, whose music was a benign affect as Strauss got here to maturity in nineteenth-century Munich, and Wagner, whose instance helped to liberate him from extra conservative fashions. He had an outstanding understanding of the feminine voice which got here from soprano Pauline de Ahna, who was his spouse for 55 years. One other unforgettable affect in Strauss’ works was his father, Franz, who was the principal horn participant of the Munich Court docket Orchestra and was acknowledged as Germany’s main virtuoso of the instrument. Strauss’ music is characterised by post-Wagnerian tonality, sensible orchestrations, full understanding of the voice (notably the soprano voice), and his intricate operatic plots. He’s finest identified for his symphonic tone poem Additionally Sprach Zarathustra which was used as the primary theme of the film 2001: A House Odyssey directed by Stanley Kubrick. Richard Strauss’ finest works embody his operas Salome, Elektra, Der Rosenkavalier, his Lieder, particularly his Final 4 Songs, his tone poems together with Additionally Sprach Zarathustra, Don Juan, Loss of life And Transfiguration, Until Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, An Alpine Symphony, and different instrumental works together with Metamorphosen.

Take heed to Richard Strauss’ Additionally Sprach Zarathustra, recorded by Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic, on Apple Music and Spotify.

Additionally Sprach Zarathustra

Strauss is finest identified for his tone poem, Additionally Sprach Zarathustra, which was used as the primary theme of the film 2001: A House Odyssey directed by Stanley Kubrick, and by the BBC of their protection of the Apollo Moon landings. The work was composed in 1896, the 12 months Strauss grew to become chief conductor of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, and was impressed by Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophical novel of the identical title.

An Alpine Symphony

The final of Strauss’ masterly sequence of symphonic poems depicts the experiences of 11 hours (from twilight simply earlier than daybreak to the next dusk) spent climbing an Alpine mountain. By the point of An Alpine Symphony‘s composition Strauss had turned his consideration away from tone poems and had grow to be well-established as one of many biggest opera composers.

Loss of life And Transfiguration

Loss of life And Transfiguration is a tone poem by Richard Strauss which depicts the loss of life of an artist. The huge and various orchestration is typical of the mature Strauss. Shortly earlier than passing away peacefully in his sleep Strauss was heard to comment, “Dying is just as I composed it in Tod Und Verklärung (Death And Transfiguration”).

Der Rosenkavalier

Der Rosenkavalier, a comic book opera in three acts, is considered one of Richard Strauss’ finest works and has remained his most carried out opera. Der Rosenkavalier was Richard Strauss’s first authentic collaboration with the playwright Hugo von Hofmannsthal and marked the beginning of considered one of opera’s most necessary inventive partnerships. Strauss notably included many waltzes within the rating.

Don Juan

Richard Strauss launched his worldwide profession with the tone poem Don Juan which was an instantaneous success and a outstanding achievement for a younger composer who was nonetheless in his mid-twenties. Strauss’ story of the legendary womanizer gives a hanging and enduring encapsulation of his music language with its vivid orchestration, intense lyricism, and use of quick motives.


Strauss’ intense one-act opera Elektra is a violent tragedy during which Elektra digs up the axe that was used to kill her father in an effort to avenge his loss of life by slaying his assassin, her mom. Hugo von Hofmannsthal had written the play upon which Strauss primarily based Elektra, though Der Rosenkavalier was their first shut collaboration, they usually subsequently labored collectively on quite a few main works. The position of Elektra is likely one of the most demanding within the dramatic soprano repertoire.

4 Final Songs

Richard Strauss’ lifelong love affair with the soprano voice reached its apogee in 4 Final Songs, considered one of his finest works in any style, composed a 12 months earlier than his loss of life. Within the 4 Final Songs Strauss seemed again at his lengthy profession and his earlier work, particularly on the tone poem Tod Und Verklärung (Loss of life And Transfiguration), written sixty years earlier. The songs have been instantly acclaimed as among the many very best of Strauss’ achievements.

Metamorphosen For 23 Solo Strings

Within the final months of the Second World Struggle Strauss wrote his string masterpiece, Metamorphosen, quoting the ‘Funeral March’ from Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony. German society had been lowered to rubble by fixed bombing, the good opera homes of Munich, Vienna, Dresden and others had been lowered to cinders, and Metamorphosen was the musical expression of Strauss’ despair.


Strauss’ one act opera Salome, well-known for its ‘Dance Of The Seven Veils’, was as surprising for its outrageous harmonies because it was for its topics of lust and revulsion. Salome, primarily based on Oscar Wilde’s infamous play, shocked audiences on the premiere efficiency in Dresden on 9 December 1905 however has grow to be one of many most-often carried out operas world wide.

Until Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks

Until Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, considered one of Richard Strauss’ finest items, tells the story of the German peasant folks hero Until Eulenspiegel, who’s represented by two themes, and his merry pranks. Strauss’ brilliantly orchestrated rating, with its virtuosic instrumentation and vibrant dissonances, confirmed Strauss as a modernist and is considered one of his hottest tone poems.


Uncover extra of our articles gathering one of the best works of composers by way of the ages.

Format: UK English

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