Richard Strauss

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Richard Strauss

Post  pinhedz on Thu May 12, 2011 10:42 pm

pinhedz
Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:28 am

He was born in 1864, and by 1910 he had written Don Juan, Death and Transfiguration, Till Eulenspiegel, So Sprach Zarathustra, Don Quixote, A Hero's Life, Salome, Electra, and Der Rosenkavalier.

The critics Milton Cross and David Ewen said that had he died in 1910, his stature as a composer would have been just the same as it is because all of his major works had been completed, and that by the time he died in 1949 his music showed that artistically he was "returning to the womb."

Those guys must have been perfect dingle-heads to say that. Who cares about hearing So Sprach Zarathustra any more after you've heard it 3 or 4 times?

These days the only music I listen to by Richard Strauss is Metamorphosen and Four Last Songs.


pinhedz

Here's one of them:




Richard W

The last great composer.

I find it hugely depressing that nowadays Mahler is rated above Strauss. I think it says a huge amount about our society that Strauss's wit and humour is discarded in favour of Mahler's morbid self-pity. The number of people who have heard Das Lied von der Erde compared with the infinitely more profound Four Last Songs is incredible.

Strange you pick out Also Sprach Zarathustra from the early works: I'd go with Till Eulenspiegel and Don Quixote as the greatest pieces - and I never tire of them. Zarathustra has always seemed a failure to me - other than the fabulous opening.

But you are certainly correct about the dingle-heads; that date would also have excluded Die Frau Ohne Schatten, which is the final word in romantic excess and staggering music.


pinhedz

Richard W wrote:Strange you pick out Also Sprach Zarathustra from the early works: I'd go with Till Eulenspiegel and Don Quixote as the greatest pieces - and I never tire of them. Zarathustra has always seemed a failure to me - other than the fabulous opening.
That's why I said:
pinhedz wrote:Who cares about hearing So Sprach Zarathustra any more after you've heard it 3 or 4 times?
But thanks for mentioning "Die Frau Ohne Schatten." Truth to tell, I haven't heard it, and probably should.


Richard W

There appears to be an entire performance up on youtube, albeit in 20+ bits.


TinyMontgomery

RichardW wrote:I find it hugely depressing that nowadays Mahler
is rated above Strauss. I think it says a huge amount about our society
that Strauss's wit and humour is discarded in favour of Mahler's morbid
self-pity. The number of people who have heard Das Lied von der Erde
compared with the infinitely more profound Four Last Songs is
incredible.
I can't really say that I agree with you here.

Strauss' 'Four last songs' are brilliant and I find it strange that Strauss is not commonly regarded as a great composer of songs. His orchestral works seem to be more famous but I could do without some of them.

Mahler, on the other hand, shouldn't be famous for his 'Lied von der Erde'. His symphonies are among the best ever written and his songs are sometimes incredibly close to perfection (especially the 'Rueckert-Lieder').

I don't think that his 3rd and 7th symphonies (which are his greatest works, imo) are full of self-pity at all. I think that he was easily a much more refined, interesting and impressive composer than Strauss although I respect both.

Mahler may be too omnipresent these days but most of his works are simply stunning.


pinhedz

*Uh-oh, with only 2 mods on the job, I hope this dispute doesn't turn ugly. pale *


Richard W

I used to love Mahler when I was in my twenties and gradually grew tired of him. I remember hearing a stunning 3rd symphony conducted by Neemi Jarvi in Edinburgh which was mind-blowing - and I'd probably agree with Tiny that 3rd and 7th are the best. Even earlier I stood 10 feet from Leonard Bernstein conducting the Vienna Phil in Mahler 5th in the Proms, and that was incredible.

I don't think they are in the end particularly great symphonies.

When I started listening to the other composers from around the same period, Mahler clearly wasn't as good. Bruckner's symphonies lead to another world in a way Mahler can only dream of. Mahler's adagios sound great - if you haven't heard Bruckner 7 or 8. Mahler sounds agonised, until you hear Bruckner's 9th symphony which is so far ahead it is incredible.

And his use of the orchestra sounds good until you hear Strauss - who really can do anything. Mahler is rarely (never?) funny deliberately, while Strauss is able to switch from very funny to deeply moving in one piece. In Don Quixote he even manages the astounding feat of doing both at once.

You then get to other symphonic composers like Sibelius and Nielsen - who are again better than Mahler. Sibelius can manage to convey more in 30 minutes than Mahler can in 90.

Hearing a great orchestra perform a Mahler symphony live is an astounding experience, but I find CDs of Mahler don't really appeal anymore. I think you have to be blown away by the sound - when you stop and think there isn't really that much substance to Mahler.

And I don't expect you to agree Tiny!


TinyMontgomery

That's really funny because I think that Strauss is not very good at orchestration, Bruckner is a great composer but ruins most of his symphonies by including the most redundant scherzos, Sibelius and Nielsen's compositorial ideas are mostly all over the place although some of their works are really nice (I love Nielsen's 4th, for example), Bernstein is not a very good conductor when it comes to Mahler's symphonies, Bruckner's 9th symphony was not even finished and there really is a lot of substance to Mahler.

Your last sentence would work perfectly well if applied to Wagner.

I'd agree that Mahler's 2nd and 5th, maybe 6th symphonies and the Lied von der Erde have passages that are very much influenced by Wagner and because of that the emphasis is mostly on the sound. They are his weakest symphonies too, imo (not counting the 8th which is terrible). The material of the 3rd, 7th or 9th is so incredibly rich that it justifies the composition of movements longer than half an hour at times. Bruckner's material is pretty poor in comparison - he's closer to Beethoven as a composer, using motives rather than themes, repeatedly trying out different kinds of instrumentation for the very same notes, all in one movement. I wouldn't say that he's not a great composer but I'd argue that Mahler was a step forward.

I think it's interesting that we have so different ideas about the music we're listening to. Nice having an argument with you!


TinyMontgomery

RichardW wrote:Mahler is rarely (never?) funny deliberately
And I couldn't agree less with this statement!

Most of his scherzos are very funny, starting with the 1st symphony. His 4th symphony is one long humoresque (it was even meant to be named "Humoreske" at some point), the finale of the 7th is hilariously over the top and I also think that the mood swings in the opening movement of the 3rd are displaying both seriousness and irony in a manner that closely resembles Strauss' 'Don Quixote'.


= ANDY =

This is what I love about ATU.
On E.R. we're getting ready to start the umpteenth 'To Street Legal or not to Street Legal' thread of this semester - with the same arguments being repeated over and over again.

Here you can learn about stuff nobody else would ever tell you about, from Brian Eno to Gustav Mahler, from russian catalog-women to the wisdom of oldmanemu.

Me loves ATU!
And me loves this thread, thanks guys! I love you I love you


Richard W

The never became a rarely because of the finale of symphony No. 7. I don't find much else in Mahler funny. Symphony No.4 was never one I much enjoyed - somehow it reminds me terribly of Jingle Bells. Yes, I know that is unreasonable.

Always difficult thinking about an artist you used to love, but who doesn't do much for you anymore. I used to go to any Mahler symphony I could, and then went to a performance of No. 5 conducted by von Dohnanyi. I walked out after the Scherzo as I was so incredibly bored. My affection has never really returned.

Bruckner's scherzos probably go on a tad too long, but that's the only flaw. (Surely the opening movements of Mahler's symphonies are worse in this regard - 2nd, 3rd and 5th are terribly repetitive. And the Scherzo of Mahler 5 is much worse than anything Bruckner wrote). But there's nothing in Mahler that begins to compare with a Bruckner adagio. Even Mahler's great attempt as the finale of Symphony No. 3 doesn't make it to heaven.

Mahler 9 - I used to love but now I find it hugely self-pitying. Life really isn't that bad.

Sibelius is a master of symphonic construction - way better than Mahler at putting together a piece. I don't quite know why you think his pieces are all over the place.

Finally: you throw in a criticism of Wagner. Both Mahler and Strauss (and Bruckner) would have rated Wagner as way ahead of themselves. And they were right.
Back to top Go down


TinyMontgomery

I think I can see where you're coming from. The most rational assessment of music would possibly make me believe that it's well-made but still not make me enjoy it if I don't already enjoy it for the music itself - even more so if it's music by an artist/composer I used to enjoy and can't stand anymore.

I can relate to some of your criticism of his 5th symphony - I couldn't care less about it and think it's maybe nearly as bad as the 8th.

I think that the 2nd is a bit too long and the finale of the 3rd is losing it at the very end but still they're neither repetitive nor over the top, imo. Also I don't think that the 9th is about life being bad but rather about the fragility of joy. Which leads me to something else: Music is rarely about something in a semantic way. Mahler's music to me seems evocative like no-one else's in that respect.

I didn't doubt that Sibelius knows a thing or two about symphonic composition but rather think that his themes and motives are all over the place. They seem aimless to me and lose all of their appeal to some glossy Nordic kitsch manifested in the ways of instrumentation - I simply cannot stand them.

But this is the subjective part, I guess. I can try to relate to what you're hearing when listening to Mahler but still won't be able to agree with you. I've listened to Bruckner's 6th today - I think it's his best - and to Mahler's 7th afterwards. Sorry, it's still a huge and important difference to me.

Btw, the "Wagner criticism" was loosely based on a Wagner quote - he wanted his listeners to be blown away by the sound of his music or, as he'd put it, "leave the brain at the wardrobe". I was simply trying to get my ideas across; Strauss, Mahler, Bruckner and you - I agree with all of you when it comes to this.

PS: What's this thing about 'last great composer'? Don't you like Hindemith? Stravinsky? Do you know the former's symphony 'Matthis'?


Richard W

Absolutely - music is rarely about something. Maybe the problem with Strauss's tone poems is that sometimes he does try too hard to describe specific events. Sometimes this can be funny, sometimes rather tedious.

Mahler's music more evocative than others?? Hmmmm.... I think this has to be a matter of taste.

There's an old quote about Mahler searching for God while Bruckner had found him and Strauss really couldn't be bothered to look. I thought that sounded true when I first heard it, and I haven't ever changed my mind. When I first heard it I liked Mahler much more than I do now. I think Strauss's grounded and very human view of the world appeals to me more than Mahler's hope that somewhere there is something better. Bruckner is religious art - and is inspirational like a great cathedral.

Sibelius and Nordic kitsch I don't see. Maybe the finale of his 2nd symphony and Finlandia are kitsch. The symphonies after No2 are so restrained I don't see any kitsch.

Bruckner 6th wouldn't be near the top of my Bruckner symphonies. Just had the first movement of Symphony No 7 at deafening volume in the car. Pretty astounding. The fact that he manages to compose an entire symphony out of variations of the very first theme is simply incredible. And that theme is so incredibly beautiful. I don't know a melody in Mahler that appeals to me so much.

"Last great composer" is an exaggeration probably. Stravinsky has never done anything for me (Rites of Spring - exciting in the flesh, but otherwise he just gives me a headache).

Hindemith intrigues me. I've never heard enough to be sure - really liked Matthis de Maler and Harmonie die Welt. Something I'll explore next time I have a classical music year.


Richard W

Ain't youtube wonderful:

Bruckner 7 first movement, conducted by the great Gunter Wand:






pinhedz
Schrödinger's Hepcat

Posts : 11694
Join date : 2011-04-11
Location : DC

http://www.balalaika.org/

Back to top Go down

Re: Richard Strauss

Post  pinhedz on Wed May 18, 2011 12:22 pm

TinyMontgomery wrote:
RichardW wrote:Mahler is rarely (never?) funny deliberately
And I couldn't agree less with this statement!

Most of his scherzos are very funny, starting with the 1st symphony. His 4th symphony is one long humoresque (it was even meant to be named "Humoreske" at some point), the finale of the 7th is hilariously over the top and I also think that the mood swings in the opening movement of the 3rd are displaying both seriousness and irony in a manner that closely resembles Strauss' 'Don Quixote'.
Judging by the 28 hours of Mahler I've heard this week, Tiny seems to have it right.

I've never heard so many jokes about purgatory. Laughing

pinhedz
Schrödinger's Hepcat

Posts : 11694
Join date : 2011-04-11
Location : DC

http://www.balalaika.org/

Back to top Go down

Re: Richard Strauss

Post  pinhedz on Fri May 20, 2011 12:55 pm

Mahler wrote lots of marches. The majority of them are toy-soldier marches.

pinhedz
Schrödinger's Hepcat

Posts : 11694
Join date : 2011-04-11
Location : DC

http://www.balalaika.org/

Back to top Go down

Re: Richard Strauss

Post  pinhedz on Fri May 20, 2011 12:58 pm

Richard W wrote:

Ain't youtube wonderful:

Bruckner 7 first movement, conducted by the great Gunter Wand:
Youtube ain't so wunnerful when the youtuber's account is terminated.

pinhedz
Schrödinger's Hepcat

Posts : 11694
Join date : 2011-04-11
Location : DC

http://www.balalaika.org/

Back to top Go down

Re: Richard Strauss

Post  pinhedz on Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:54 pm

pinhedz wrote:
Richard W wrote:

Ain't youtube wonderful:

Bruckner 7 first movement, conducted by the great Gunter Wand:
Youtube ain't so wunnerful when the youtuber's account is terminated.

Then again, with the new improved Youtube you don't need 3 clips just for one movement--you can get all the movements (all 1:06:40) onto just one clip. cheers


pinhedz
Schrödinger's Hepcat

Posts : 11694
Join date : 2011-04-11
Location : DC

http://www.balalaika.org/

Back to top Go down

Re: Richard Strauss

Post  Yakima Canutt on Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:31 pm

RichW is clearly a goy who doesn't understand the Andy Kaufman sensibility found in the works of a Mahler or a Stan Kubrick.





But it is time to set the record straight. The German name of Jihlava is Iglau and that is derived from the German word for hedgehog, Igel, and so you will be seeing the hedgehog on the coat of arms. This kooky locale is of course the place where old Ferdinand swore fidelity to the Bohemian estates during the shitstorm of the Hussite Wars.  lol!



heghe, it's funny, one can be listening to the most stringent composition smacking of a machine code diagnostic from the likes of Ernst Krenek, Heinrich Jalowetz, Erwin Stein, Egon Wellesz, Eduard Steuermann, Hanns Eisler, Roberto Gerhard, Norbert von Hannenheim, Rudolf Kolisch, Paul A. Pisk, Karl Rankl, Josef Rufer, Nikos Skalkottas, Viktor Ullmann, or Winfried Zillig ... but the Mahler shadow is still inescapable. lol!

Yakima Canutt

Posts : 8300
Join date : 2011-04-11

Back to top Go down

Re: Richard Strauss

Post  pinhedz on Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:53 am

Yakima Canutt wrote:RichW is clearly a goy who doesn't understand the Andy Kaufman sensibility found in the works of a Mahler or a Stan Kubrick.
Aren't you hearing the hilarious hijinks in "Four Last Songs?"

pinhedz
Schrödinger's Hepcat

Posts : 11694
Join date : 2011-04-11
Location : DC

http://www.balalaika.org/

Back to top Go down

Re: Richard Strauss

Post  pinhedz on Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:43 am

I just got one thing to say--RichardW is a Welshman, so of course he's a goy. bounce

I mean I just got two things to say--the other one is you should be listening to this (without looking at the Japanese girl's hinder Suspect ):

pinhedz wrote:[Then again, with the new improved Youtube you don't need 3 clips just for one movement--you can get all the movements (all 1:06:40) onto just one clip. cheers


pinhedz
Schrödinger's Hepcat

Posts : 11694
Join date : 2011-04-11
Location : DC

http://www.balalaika.org/

Back to top Go down

Re: Richard Strauss

Post  Sponsored content Today at 10:36 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum