|Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
|June 21, 1890 Richard Strauss conducted the world premiere of his tone poem Tod und Verklärung (Death and Transfiguration) in Eisenach, Germany.
Richard Strauss was born June 11, 1864. His father, a professional horn player, gave him a musical grounding exclusively in the classics, and he was already composing by the time he was six.
|1732 - Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach, German composer and ninth son of Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Leipzig.
1786 - Charles Edward Horn, English composer, singer and conductor, was born. He was conductor of Boston's Handel and Haydn Society.
1908 - Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Russian composer, died in Lubensk, Russia, at age sixty-four. Stravinsky wrote a Chant funebre in homage.
1948 - Columbia Records began the first mass production of the 33 1/3 RPM LP.
1958 - Bobby Darin recorded Splish Splash.
1975 - James Taylor's How Sweet It Is was released.
1994 - Premiere of Philip Glass's opera La Belle et la Bêt Beauty and the Beast' based on a film by Jean Cocteau. The Philip Glass Ensemble, in Gibellina, Italy.
2000 - Alan Hovhaness, American-Armenian composer, died in Seattle, WA. He was Composer-in-Residence for the Seattle Symphony.
|Strauss went to the university for a short time, but had no formal training in composition. Several of his works wee performed in Munich when he was 17. The next year he had a violin concerto performed in Vienna and a serenade for winds in Dresden. When he was 20, he had a second symphony was performed in New York and he conducted the Meiningen Orchestra. In 1885 he became conductor of the Meininger Orchestra, but soon left and visited Italy.
1887 saw the premiere of his tone poem, Aus ltalien, which was considered controversial. Other tone poems followed: Macbeth, Don Juan and Tod und Verklärung .
Don Juan was the work that truly thrust Strauss onto the world stage. It showed his passion (he was in love with the singer Pauline von Ahna, his future wife), but gives evidence of his maturity and virtuosity. Strauss became known as the leading progressive composer in Germany.
Strauss continued his work in tone poems. Till Eulenspiegel was a witty portrait of a rogue, Don Quixote was based on the literary character and in Ein Heldenleben, 'a hero's life', where Strauss portrayed himself as the hero and music critics as his adversaries
Strauss was now moving towards opera. His Feuersnot premiered in 1901; and Salome was performed in Dresden the next year. Even though it was very controversial it was given 50 perfomances in the next 2 years. Elektra premiered in 1909. These serious themes were set aside for Der Rosenkavalier, which was full of tenderness and humor and harkened back to happy times with its use of Viennese waltzes.
In 1919 Strauss became joint director of the Vienna Staatsoper, where his latest work, Die Frau ohne Schatten, was given that year. He had a busy, international conducting schedule which took him to the Americas and throughout Europe. And he continued to write operas.
During the 1930s Strauss sought a peaceful life (in spite of the growth of Naziism), and became head of the State Music Bureau. Throughout the war he and the Nazi party merely tolerated one another, and the end of the war brought forth his lament, Metamorphosen, for 23 solo strings.
Richard Strauss died in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, September 8, 1949.
|Can You Guess?
In Bobby Darrin's song Splish Splash, the singer gets embarrassed. Can You Guess what happened to embarrass him?
Go to the Bottom of the Page for the Answer
|Did You Guess?
Splish splish, I was takin' a bath
Long about a Saturday night
A rub-a-dub, just relaxin' in the tub
Thinkin' everything was alright
Well, I stepped out the tub, put my feet on the floor
I wrapped the towel around me and I
Opened the door, and then a..
Splish, splash... I jumped back in the bath.
Well how was I to know there was a party going on?
|Click Strauss's Picture to see his Music at Amazon.com|
|Perhaps Strauss's Most