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Strauss, Richard

Richard Strauss – whose musical life spanned nine decades, two world wars, and the Third Reich – was one of Germany’s most gifted and controversial figures. We’ll explore his tone poems, operas, and both his public and private lives. We end this five-part biography with his four last songs performed by Jessye Norman.

Program 1

Bill takes on the life and music of Richard Strauss. We hear of Strauss growing up in a beer brewing and music loving family, and several of his compositions from his teenage years.

Richard Strauss: Serenade in Eb, Op. 7
Netherlands Wind Ensemble/ Waart
Phil 438748

Strauss: Horn Concerto No. 1, I
CSO/ Barenboim Clevenger,hn.
Teldec 23913

Strauss: Sonata for Cello & Piano, I
Iserlis, vc.; Hough, p.
RCA 75398

Strauss: Burleske
Philadelphia Orch./ Ormandy; Serkin, p.
Sony 53262

Strauss: Aus Italien(excerpt)
Phil 422399


Program 2

We pick up with Strauss’ journey into tone poetry, with excerpts from Macbeth, Don Juan and Death and Transfiguration and conclude with his marraige to Pauline de Ahna.


Strauss: MacBeth (excerpt)
Vienna Phil/ Maaze
DG 413654

Strauss: Don Juan
CSO/ Reiner
RCA 5408

Strauss: Death and Transfiguration
BPO/ Karajan
DG 447422

Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks
Lon 436623

Strauss: 4 Leider, No. 4 Op. 27, “Morgen”
EMI 55594


Program 3

Bill continues with his exploration of the life of Richard Strauss continues with an opening from Thus Spoke Zarathustra and follows with the entirety of Ein Heldenleben, Strauss' musical self-portrait.


Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30 (excerpt)
Lon 436 623

Strauss: Ein Heldenleben
Phil 442645

Strauss: Salome (excerpt)
Vienna Phil/ Solti; Nelson, s.


Program 4

Strauss considered Salome his “meal ticket.” We hear excerpts from Salome as well as Rosenkavalier and Bourgeois Gentilhomme.

Strauss: Dance of the 7 veils fr. Salome (excerpt)
Strauss, p.
Teld 4509-95354

Strauss: Dance of the 7 veils fr. Salome (excerpt)
BPO/ Karajan
DG 447441

Strauss: Rosenkavalier (excerpt)
Staatskapelle Dresden/ Haitink; Von Otter, Hendricks,soloists
EMI 54259
Strauss: Final trio fr. Rosenkavalier
Met/Levine;Fleming, Von Otter, Murphy, soloists
DG 449177
Strauss: Bourgeois Gentilhomme (excerpts from)
English Chamber Orch/Tate
EMI 47992


Program 5

As Bill wraps up his consideration of Richard Strauss, he jumps forward to the Second World War and the Third Reich. We hear some of the music from the later years of Strauss’ life, including Metamorphosen and Four Last Songs. 

Strauss: Capriccio (excerpt)
Vienna Phil/ Previn
DG 437790

Strauss: Horn Concerto No. 2, I
RPO/Ashkenazy;Tuckwell, hn.
Lon 430370

Strauss: Metamorphosen
Philharmonia Orch/ Klemperer
EMI 63350
Strauss: Four Last Songs, #4
Gewandhaus/ Masur; Jessye Norman, s.
Phil 411052



The Exploring Music streaming website is supported by Mr. & Mrs. William Gardner Brown and the Richard P. and Susan Kiphart Family.  
You have opened up the world of Classical Music to me, where previously, it seemed too complicated.
Steffen Demeter
This is simply one of the very best radio programmes in the medium!...The study of the people, the times, and the events that inform the music we otherwise enjoy and even, heaven forbid, take for granted, brings the entire world of the music and the composer to life.
Walther Davies
There isn't a program you broadcast on Exploring Music" that isn't of interest. I find them all engaging. It is a combination of variety of subject, intellectual curiosity and your obvious enthusiasm which characterize your satisfying programs.
Michael Sanders
It’s a great way to re-engage myself with consciousness before heading off to work.
I Love this program! I am in 7th grade and I am the complete opposite of the other kids. I am 4th chair in the orchestra and I love to read. But most of all, I LOVE classical music!
Claudia Wertz
Your show has helped open my mind and heart to this world of music, and every show I hear confirms my place in music and gives me new ideas for where I'd like to go with it in the future….I grew up with classical music as a child and always held it in my heart, but I didn't have the confidence to be a good student (or a good violinist.)
Christine Anderson
Listening to you is almost interactive.You invite us in with so many well modulated dramatic and informative comments, enticing, enthusiastic interpretations, and coherent, beautiful presentations. It's a privilege to follow you into the musical space you create.
Sally Rosenbaum
I just love this program. It is soothing and comfortable at the end of the day. I find his comments interesting, but they aren't so dragged out that there is very little music. The balance of both is just right.
Jean Quay
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