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Much to enchant

Strauss songs -
with ROBERT ANDERSON

'... here he has found worthy interpreters.'

Richard Strauss Lieder. © 2001 harmonia mundi

 

Strauss started composing songs almost as soon as he could talk; he was still at it when he ceased to do so. Melody welled up in him with almost embarrassing ease. Of course he played tricks in his songs, as in his orchestral music and operas. There is the notorious cycle of 1918, in which publishers and their chiefs were savagely lampooned. Bote & Bock preferred to sue him, but the work came out privately, a worthy pendant to Don Quixote's sheep and Salome's tawdry dance steps that imposed so sensationally on Herod the tetrarch. The range of these 21 songs is astonishing, covering the mock duet between clerk and maiden in Für fünfzehn Pfennige from Des Knaben Wunderhorn and the slow, dragging harmonies of the deeply expressive Ruhe, meine Seele!. The selection has been made from songs written in the 19th century, starting with the Op 10 of 1885 and continuing to 1898 with Op 39. Some of them were later orchestrated by Strauss and the opera composer is never far from his elbow.

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Copyright © 20 March 2002 Robert Anderson, London, UK

 

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