A composer's (if not hero's) life
His composing career began during Bismark and ended after Hitler. A Wagnerian modernist is his youth, his mellowest, most Mozartean works came at the end of his life. Known for his tone poems up to his 40th birthday, the second half of his life was principally devoted to opera, becoming one its greatest composers despite his late start. By many accounts a not terribly interesting person, he wrote himself into many of his most compelling works. His music by turns bewitches, overwhelms, engages, bores, annoys, and moves. But a few constants can be heard throughout: mastery of the orchestra, love of the soprano voice, and the clarion call of his father’s instrument, the horn. Some of Richard Strauss's best, and some lesser-known things, will be coming up in WFCR's classical music on Monday to mark the composer's 148th birth anniversary. Stay tuned for the Horn Concerto No. 2, the Burleske, Ein Heldenleben (A Hero's Life), the Rosenkavalier Suite and two sumptuous songs featuring sopranos (what else), Jessye Norman and Arleen Auger.