Strauss, Richard Georg

COMPOSER, CONDUCTOR (GERMANY)
BORN 11 Jun 1864, München: Altheimer Eck - DIED 8 Sep 1949, Garmisch, Bayern
GRAVE LOCATION Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bayern: Friedhof Garmisch, Friedhofstrasse 5

Son of Franz Joseph Strauss, a musician at the Court Orchestra in Munich and a daughter from the Pschorr family of brewers. He grew up in a conservative environment and was supported by Hans von Bülow in his early years. Bülow employed him as assistant conductor in Berlin, until he became conductor in Meiningen after Bülow resigned there.

As a young man Strauss had seen a repetition by Richard Wagner at Bayreuth and he felt a deep admiration for the composer and his work during his whole life. In 1889 he met Wagner's widow Cosima when he worked as a musical assistant for the Opera "Parsifal" at Bayreuth. His own opera "Guntram" was meant to honour the master, but it wasn't liked by Cosima and her circle.

In 1894 he married the singer Pauline de Ahna, who was disliked by most people they knew because of her rude manners. But it was a good marriage and her bad temper was always easily forgotten by Strauss. In 1897 they had a son, Franz.

In 1905 his opera "Salome", with a libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, was first performed in Dresden. It was an instant succes and the royalties enabled the shrewd businessman Strauss to build a villa in Garmisch. His next succes together with Hofmansthal was "Elektra" (1909) and in 1911 "Der Rosenkavelier" was equally well received allthough completely different in style. Apart from his opera's Strauss was well known for his impressive symphonic poems.

After the nazi's came to power it seems that he believed genuinely that they would support German music. He shared their distaste of Jewish culture and allthough he was never politically involved with the Third Reich, he accepted the presidency of the Reichsmusikkammer (The State Office of Music). He was in contact with several nazi's and happily accepted well paid assignments. It is possible that he also wanted to protect his daughter in law Alice, who was half Jewish. He lost his post as president after he had denounced the nazi's in a letter to his Jewish librettist Stefan Zweig, who lived in Austria. Zweig had succeeded Hofmannshal, who had died in 1929 of a stroke two days after his son had committed suicide.

In 1942 Strauss moved to Vienna, where he had a house since his conducting engagement there in earlier years. In Vienna he was in close contact to Baldur von Schirach, the Gauleiter of Vienna. He was back in Garmisch when the Americans invade Germany. He was placed under the protection of the army, but after the war he was heavily criticized for his collaboration and he felt forced to move to Switzerland. He was an old man now and illnesses forced him to cure frequently.

He returned to Garmisch in 1949 where he died later that year. His ashes were kept at his villa Garmisch. After the death of his son in 1980 they were interred in the cemetery in Garmisch.

Family
• Father: Strauss, Franz Joseph
• Wife: Strauss, Pauline (1894-1949, Marquartstein: Burgkirche St. Veit)

Related persons
• visited Bloch-Bauer, Adele
• worked for Bülow, Hans von
• was criticized by Draeseke, Felix August Bernhard
• cooperated with Hofmannsthal, Hugo von
• was painted by Liebermann, Max
• knew Liszt, Cosima
• was a friend of Reznicek, Emil Nikolaus Freiherr von
• was a friend of Thuille, Ludwig
• had work performed by Welitsch, Ljuba

Events
1896/11/27: Premiere of "Also Sprach Zarathustra" by Richard Strauss
1901/11/21: Première of "Feuersnot" by Richard Strauss at the Hofoper in Dresden
1905/12/9: Premiere of "Salome" by Richard Strauss in Dresden
1909/1/25: Première of "Elektra" by Richard Strauss at the Hofoper in Dresden
The libretto was by Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Annie Krull was Elektra. Ernst von Schuch was the conductor.
1911/1/26: Première of "Der Rosenkavalier" by Richard Strauss at the Hofoper in Dresden
Hugo von Hofmannsthal wrote the libretto and Margarethe Siems was Marschallin. Ernst von Schuch was the conductor.
1912/10/25: Première at Stuttgart of "Ariadne auf Naxos" by Richard Strauss
The libretto was by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Ariadne was performed by Maria Jeritza.
1916/10/4: Premiere of the revised version of "Ariadne auf Naxos" by Richard Strauss in Vienna
The libretto was by Hugo Hofmannsthal and Maria Jeritza performed the part of Ariadne. Selma Kurz was Zerbinetta. Franz Schalk was the conductor.
1919/10/10: Premiere of the opera "Die Frau ohne Schatten" by Richard Strauss in Vienna
The libretto was by Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Karl-Aagaard Oestvig and Maria Jeritza performed the parts of the emperor and the empress.
1928/6/6: Premiere of the opera "Die ägyptische Helena" by Richard Strauss in Dresden
The libretto was by Hugo von Hofmannsthal and the part of Helena was performed by Elisabeth Rethberg.
1933/7/1: Premiere of the opera "Arabella" by Richard Strauss in Dresden
The libretto was by Hugo von Hofmannsthal and the part of Arabella was performed by Viorica Ursuleac.
1938/7/24: Premiere of the opera "Friedenstag" by Richard Strauss in Munich
The libretto was by Joseph Gregor and the conductor was Clemens Krauss. Viorica Ursuleac performed the part of Maria.
1938/10/15: Premiere of the opera "Daphne" by Richard Strauss at the Hofoper in Dresden
The libretto was by Joseph Gregor and Karl Böhm was the conductor. Helene Jung sang the part of Gaea.
1942/10/28: Premiere of the opera "Cappricio" by Richard Strauss in München
The libretto was by Clemens Krauss and Strauss. Clemens Krauss was the conductor. Viorica Ursuleac was the countess and Hildegard Ranczak was Clairon.

Sources
• Boyden, Matthew, Richard Strauss, Northeastern University Press, Boston, 1999
richard-strauss.com - Deze website is te koop! - de beste bron van informatie over richard-strauss.
Richard Strauss – Wikipedia

Images

The grave of Richard Strauss at the Friedhof Garmisch, Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Picture by Androom (23 Aug 2007)

 


Stravinsky, Igor

Published: 2 Aug 2009
Last update: 2 Aug 2009