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Richard Strauss (Read 1272 times)

Offline cadenza14224

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Richard Strauss
« on: December 21, 2012, 08:59:40 PM »
I have a newfound appreciation for opera, and recently went to a performance of Strauss' "Der Rosenkavalier." Thus afterwards I took a listen/watch (via video) of his more extreme operas such as "Salome" and "Elektra"; I think his music is very intriguing compared to the late romantics out there. It has a very sardonic/modern feel but does not go to the extent of Prokofiev. I'm surprised that his piano repertoire is very limited, since I recently heard Martha Argerich's performance of "Burleske" on youtube and was totally blown away. I wish I could hear it live, but it seems highly underperformed. Regardless, what are your opinions of his music and his harmonic language?

Offline richard black

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Re: Richard Strauss
«Reply #1 on: December 21, 2012, 10:07:37 PM »
Very, very varied. The early works (symphonic poems, most of the songs, 1st horn concerto) are gorgeously late-romantic. The middle-period operas (Rosenkavalier, Salome, Elektra) are endlessly fascinating and ground-breaking in many ways, especially Elektra. Some of his late music is outstandingly beautiful (4 Last Songs, Metamorphosen, oboe concerto). And some of his music is overblown and pointless - having spent quite a lot of time working on it, I loathe and detest the opera 'Intermezzo', which I find one of the most trivial and annoying things ever perpetrated in the name of Art.

He wrote very little for solo piano and few chamber works with piano in (the sonatas for violin and for cello are very early and not typical of his mature style, though very attractive), but there is plenty to any pianist to enjoy in the songs, which are very well written for the instrument.
Instrumentalists are all wannabe singers. Discuss.