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Thread: Strauss' Horn Music

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    Senior Member Edward Elgar's Avatar
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    Default Strauss' Horn Music

    I've just been exposed to the delights of Richard Strauss' Horn Concerto No.1 and many solo horn works. Why isn't this guy more talked about! First concerto at 18! What a god! Is all his music this quality? What do you think of the guy?

    P.S. I did some reserch on Strauss and an interesting fact is that when the Nazis came into power, he was appionted (without consent) the Nazi president of German music. However, his librettist was a Jew, so when the Jews were taken Strauss didn't have anyone to write the words to his compositions! The Nazis had good taste in music - the only good thing about them!
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

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    Senior Member Kurkikohtaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Elgar View Post
    The Nazis had good taste in music - the only good thing about them!
    I think you're on thin ice here, Sir Elgar.

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    Senior Member Edward Elgar's Avatar
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    What about? Strauss or the Nazis?
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

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    Senior Member Kurkikohtaus's Avatar
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    The nazis used and twisted music for the purposes of their evil propaganda. There is nothing good about that.

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    I love the recording of the 1st Strauss Horn Concerto by Dennis Brain (soloist).

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    Senior Member Edward Elgar's Avatar
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    Just for the record, the nazis were evil and sick and I detest everything they did, but the fact remains that they tried to promote Strauss and get rid of Schonberg.

    Getting back to the focus point of this tread, Brain's recording is the best in my opinion. One of the greatest horn players of all time! Didn't he meet his end in a car accident?
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

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    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    I believe the Nazi's record with the arts was rather mixed. Certainly Hitler admired Richard Strauss (nothing wrong with that) and supposedly his favorite singer was Elizabeth Schwarzkopf (again I cannot disagree). The Nazi's were also known to have played Furtwangler off Karajan. They also had the great filmmaker, Leni Riefenstahl in their employment. On the other side... perhaps because of Hitler having been twice rejected from art school... the Nazi's were adamantly anti-Modernist in the visual arts and as a result the visual arts were set back in germany to such an extent that they are only now recovering from. This is all the more unfortunate when one considers that the visual arts in pre-war Germany were undergoing a flowering not seen since the time of Durer, Holbein and the Renaissance. German artists... and artists actively working in Germany such as E.L. Kirchner, Kokoschka, Paul Klee, Kandinsky, Max Beckmann, Max Ernst, etc... were all publically denounced as "degenerate artists" and many fled the country. Much the same happened in the filed of literature where during the pre-war era active writers included Strauss' librettist, Hugo von Hoffmannsthal, Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, Rilke, etc... I would never see the Nazi's as greatly supportive of art... but at the same time I think it is misleading to imagine that there is some sort of link between morality and quality in art. Many of the great Renaissnce princes supported the work of the finest painters, architects, poets, etc... of their day... and yet in many ways a great number of them only differed from the Nazi's in terms of the scale of their attrocities.

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    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    By the way... I'm a huge Strauss fan here, myself. I especially love his operas, including the marvelous Karjan recording of Die Rosenkavalier with the above-mentioned Schwarzkopf, and Salome which I will be seeing in person this coming April. I don'y have Strauss' horn concertos as of yet... but knowing Brain's recordings of Mozart's horn concertos, I am somewhat certain they are indeed marvelously performed.

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    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    The nazis used and twisted music for the purposes of their evil propaganda. There is nothing good about that.

    Certainly... but nothing new about that. During the cold war American embassies around the world displayed paintings by the great New York School painters. The display of works by Abstract Expressionism... who the politicians and diplomats most probably did not like nor understand... was undertaken merely as a means of suggesting the great freedom in the US as opposed to what was possible in the Soviet Union (where Social Realism reigned supreme).

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    Richard Strauss is someone thad I have yet to hear something "bad" work after him. I really want to litsen to all his music if I could access it all. Also Sprach Zarathura is the best program music composed and likely the amongst the best 19th century works.

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