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Richard Strauss

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I notice in the 'Classical Music' thread we have a couple mentions of Shostakovitch and Mahler, but none of Richard Strauss. Strauss can be a mixed bag (I wouldn't recommend his cacaphonous operas Elektra or Salome) but I find his good works are fantastic, especially Ein Heldenleben ('A Hero's Life') which he wrote because he felt disappointed in the decline in the popularity of heroic music (especially Beethoven's Eroica). Other favourites include Also Sprach Zarathustra, Aus Italien, and his Lieder. Personally I find Strauss towers head and shoulders above Mahler or Shostakovitch (I sometimes like Mahler but overall I find that both he and Shostakovitch are far too much the modern angsty whiners, whereas Strauss still has much of the Romantic in him).

So am I the only one who likes Strauss here? What are your thoughts on Strauss?

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  • 5 months later...
So am I the only one who likes Strauss here? What are your thoughts on Strauss?

I dislike Also Sprach Zarathustra so much that I bumped Strauss down in the queue of composers I'm learning. I like to spend a couple months to a couple years really learning one composer's music, before I spend too much time listening to new music from someone else. I think I have several hundred Schubert lieder committed to memory now, and it is time to move on.

I loved the Brahms symphony I heard a concert a few months ago, so I've been gradually shifting in that direction. Tell me more about what you like about Richard Strauss, though, and I could be swayed to try it out. I'd especially like to hear about his vocal music.



Edited by Schefflera Arboricola
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"Winter Dreams" is another oft overlooked work of his that is worth a listen.

As for Also Sprach Zarathustra, I like it for one reason, and that's because it can do this:

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