Strauss, Richard

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Strauss, Richard

Symphonic Fantasy Op. 65 from ‘Die Frau ohne Schatten’

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Richard Strauss – Die Frau ohne Schatten, Symphonic Fantasy Op. 65

(b. Munich, 11 June 1864 – d. Garmisch-Parten-Kirchen, 8 September 1949)

(AV 146/TrV 234a)

Preface
In the spring of 1945, as WWII drew to its close, Strauss was in dire straits financially, morally, and physically. As he saw it, the wound that defeat had inflicted on Germany’s cultural ascendency affected him most deeply. Only recognition of his stature as the stalwart of German music prevented him and his family from being evicted from their home in Bavaria. To aid his recovery, he was allowed to cross into Switzerland in October of that year pending his de-Nazification trial. During his three-year stay there, his health gradually improved and his creativity revived. One of the earliest manifestations of this was his arrangement of scenes from his opera Die Frau ohne Schatten. The earliest report of its genesis came in a letter sent to Karl Böhm in April 1946. Since operatic performances (and especially this one) were not feasible at this time, the Fantasy provided an opportunity to revisit parts of the work to which Strauss was particularly attached, focusing on the Dyer and his Wife, characters he found especially sympathetic.

Strauss had collaborated with the celebrated author, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, as his librettist on a number of previous occasions. This is not to say, however, that their relationship always ran smoothly. Their personalities and approaches were often at odds, never more so than in their conception of Die Frau, the work on which extended over four years. This helps explain why the composer’s choice of excerpts focuses on the two earthy characters for whom he felt most sympathy.1 In old age Strauss claimed Die Frau to be his greatest stage work—not a view widely shared! Its genesis had been a long and arduous one (1913-17). It puzzled the audience at its Vienna premiere in 1919 and was slow in taking off elsewhere after that. …

 

read more / weiterlesen … > HERE

Strauss, Richard – Symphonic Fantasy Op. 65 from ‘Die Frau ohne Schatten’

read more / weiterlesen … > HERE

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