Talk:Richard Strauss

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No Mention of Richard Strauss as a musician?[edit]

In this wikipedia article there seems to be no mention that Richard Strauss actually played an instrument. Surely he didn't learn composition without learning at least one musical instrument. Can someone please include whatever skills he had as musician and what type. Simon Rashleigh 12:23, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Richard Strauss was a pianist. I remember this from reading Norman del Mar’s Richard Strauss: A Critical Commentary on His Life and Works (Vol I, 1962), so I went looking for it on the web, and found what I wanted in two books, Richard Strauss: A Chronicle of the Early Years 1864-1898 by Willi Schuh (1982), and Richard Strauss and His World edited by Bryan Randolph Gilliam (1992). Both books quote from a letter written by Strauss to the Austrian composer Ludwig Thuille on 22 July 1879: "At the moment I'm very diligently playing the Mozart piano concertos from our Mozart edition, and I can tell you it's wonderful, it's giving me enormous enjoyment."
Schuh then provides the further information:
"And in fact, when Strauss made his début as a pianist six years later, on 20 October 1885, at a symphony concert in Meiningen conducted by Hans von Bülow, he played Mozart's C minor Concerto, with his own cadenzas (unfortunately lost)."
The source of this could well be Norman del Mar's book. From memory, del Mar then goes on to say that Strauss chose a Mozart concerto for his début, because he was confident he would be able to play it! He was not claiming to be a nineteenth century piano virtuoso.
You can find excerpts from Schuh and Gilliam Here: — Preceding unsigned comment added by Brymor (talkcontribs) 16:50, 13 January 2017 (UTC)

And the nazis[edit]

Practically half the article about his life is "with the nazis". I think that he did a "little" more than have a "relation" with them, and that should be reflected in the article. The same happens when someone is allegadly homosexual, half the article is about it...

Please someone reconsiderate this when editing the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:53, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Point taken. It interrupted the flow of information that is strictly a grouping of types of works, so it has been moved to below that whole meta-section. One must remember, however, that how any German artist dealt with the Nazis is an important part of their biography, and it affected their works as well. I've removed the POV elements in the section, and added some subhheadings that relate it back to the works. Softlavender (talk) 00:27, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Burleske in D minor[edit]

Anyone know why the opus number 11 is often used with the Burleske (Richard Strauss)? Strauss published it only reluctantly, and never gave it an opus number. Opus 11 is his Horn Concerto in E flat. -- JackofOz (talk) 22:45, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm guessing it's probably because it was written (or at least started) directly after his so-called "Opus 10": List of compositions by Richard Strauss. Softlavender (talk) 01:11, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
I can imagine a person making this assumption, but they must have spoken extremely authoritatively to have a multitude of reference sources slavishly follow them without any checking back with the composer or his publishers, who would have quickly revealed they were in error. Thanks for the suggestion, but I think there's more to it than that. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 10:59, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
Duplication of, inconsistent, and inaccurate opus numbering is quite common. Publishers can make mistakes; composers can change their minds or make mistakes, etc. All of this becomes even more likely when the now-deprecated number makes perfect sense chronologically. Opus number#19th_century_to_date. Softlavender (talk) 23:49, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
Yep, makes perfect sense alright. I'd still like to see a cite about it, though, rather than just making this (perfectly plausible) assumption. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 06:03, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
Could post the question on the List of compositions by Richard Strauss article's talk page -- people seem to be watching and responding to questions there. Softlavender (talk) 01:17, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Will do. Ta. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 01:58, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Appointment to high nazi office[edit]

in Composers of the Nazi Era: Eight Portraits by Michael H. Kater (Paperback - Oxford U Press, 2000 - ISBN 0-19-509924-9) Mr Kater points out that Richard Strauss was consulted BEFORE he was appointed head of the Reichsmusikkammer. see page 228

"Part of the conventional interpretation is that Strauss became president of the RMK on 15 November without even being asked. This is a myth. As a logical consequence of the bilateral dealings between Goebbels and the composer since the spring, Strass received a telegram on 10 November 1933 from Ministerial Counselor Hans Ruediger of the Promi, asking him whether he wished to accept the position and participate in the opening festivities on 15 November. Although we do not have Strauss's answer in writing, we must assume that he went through the formal motions of agreeing."

which makes the sentence: "In November 1933, without consultation with Strauss, Joseph Goebbels appointed him to the post of president of the Reichsmusikkammer, the State Music Bureau." something of a whitewash. It certainly would be convenient if this appointment came "out of the blue" as a big surprise, and was accepted in all innocence... but it seems to be otherwise.

I would suggest editing the sentence by removing "without consultation with Strauss" - as the rest of the sentence is patently true, and verifiable.

Diaphora (talk) 16:34, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

More Sources[edit]

The article is generally good, but much is said without being backed up with citation. I'm not saying there are inaccuracies. Frankly, I couldn't see any...but there seems to be much said without reference. Gingermint (talk) 03:43, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

If you feel that way, it's best to take the time (if you can) to tag uncited claims with {{fact}}, and if there are a lot of them, add the tag {{refimprove}} to the top of the entire page. Softlavender (talk) 01:04, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Live-recording player piano music rolls?[edit]

"Strauss also made live-recording player piano music rolls for the Hupfeld system, all of which survive today." I deleted this sentence because (A) it was in the Opera section, and so seemingly irrelevant, and (B) it begs the question, "of what?" If anyone knows of what, and hopefully can also give a citation, it can be replaced in the article, in the correct section (which might end up being the "Death and Legacy" section). Softlavender (talk) 03:25, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Update: I added this to the "Recordings" section, but we still don't know what the piano rolls are of. Softlavender (talk) 05:46, 4 November 2010 (UTC)


I have uploaded a public domain image of Strauss with his wife and son, dating from 1910: File:Richard-strauss-and-pauline-and-franz-1910.jpg. I don't wish to barge in and rearrange the existing images, but if regular editors of this article think the new image worth using, it's there if wanted. (By the bye, the image of Strauss in 1938 seems to me very dubious on the copyright front: how can one claim pre-1923 publication for a picture taken in 1938?) Tim riley (talk) 07:40, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Good show. I'll add it in. It's good to have a photo with an actual date. BTW, in terms of the TIME cover, Wiki has other TIME covers around that date when relevant to a point made in an article. The cover proves Strauss's worldwide eminence, which is why the Nazis were virtually forced to make him Reichsmusikkammer president. There is also a cover from 1927 available, but it's most unsuitable in my opinion because it doesn't look like Strauss at all and in fact looks exactly like William Powell. I chose the 1938 one to avoid any confusion. Softlavender (talk) 07:54, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Note about the format, structure, and sections of the article[edit]

Because Strauss's life under Nazi rule has been the subject of endless scholarly discussion, it has been necessary to explore this subject at length, even though the rest of the article currently lacks a synoptic biography. We've decided to move the section on Nazi Germany outside of the section on his Works, and present it as a separate subject, after the Works section. This makes it less prominent than his Works, but allows it to be discussed in enough encyclopedic length to cover all necessary controversies. The section on his Final Upsurge of Genius is also in that section, because this was inspired by his despair over the Nazi destruction of German culture. The section on his death and legacy, though short (it can and certainly should be expanded), follows that.

I realize this may seem at first glance slightly non-chronological, but it's the most logical sequencing of the sections for the article as it now stands. If someone wants to add a complete and exhaustive year-by-year and decade-by-decade biography of Strauss to the article, then the Nazi section could possibly be incorporated into that; but as is, this works best for now. Thanks for understanding. Softlavender (talk) 08:30, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

As it stands at present, the article is horribly disjointed, with two different sections on "Works" separated by general discussion of aspects of his life, and other miscellaneous material. Most other composers have a "Works" section down below this other material. I was just trying to find his List of compositions by Richard Strauss, and know very little about him, so I have no plan to work on the article myself. But it desperately needs help. Milkunderwood (talk) 03:12, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
  • I have restored the article's chronology again. Softlavender (talk) 03:44, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Die schweigsame Frau[edit]

Can anyone verify after how many performances it was banned? Some sources say three, others two. Danke. --Lazer Stein (talk) 22:00, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

I can try but please don't hold your breath! :) DBaK (talk) 07:32, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Kennedy, currently by far the most reliable and disinterested source on Strauss, says three, so if you are questioning it you need to give a source more reliable than that, which I think would be difficult. Softlavender (talk) 04:10, 18 May 2011 (UTC)


I noticed that the German atheists category was added. Is this appropriate. I can't find a mention in the article. AsZ was inspired by Nietzsche's "God is dead" work while T&V refers to some sort of afterlife. Did Strauss express his beliefs in any published form?--Peter cohen (talk) 16:21, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

I wondered the same thing last night, but decided not to revert the edit. There's a bit about Strauss's alleged atheism in this article, including a reference to a review by Tim Ashley in the Guardian. Ideally we do need to have something in the article to support the category (and a slightly stronger reference, such as from a dedicated biography, would be better). Antandrus (talk) 17:01, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. It does seem at least to be true, then. It would be nice to have a stronger reference as you say indicating how his atheism contributed to his music.--Peter cohen (talk) 22:14, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
Nothing in the article itself confirms this (which is the criterion for such a Category listing); in fact, many of Strauss's musical works seem to refute it: Death and Transfiguration, Metamorphosen, the Four Last Songs. I'm going to remove the category since it is not mentioned in the article, much less confirmed anywhere on Wikipedia. A conjecture in a review is not a confirmation. Only a personal quote would be a conformation, and it would have to be a quote practically from his deathbed, since as mentioned his late works seem very reverential. Softlavender (talk) 02:16, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

article is perhaps a shade too worshipful ...[edit]

Maybe remove a few of the superlatives? HammerFilmFan (talk) 05:53, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Seconded! For instance, there are no sources backing up the (specious, and worshipful) claims that Strauss was "considered the greatest composer of the first half of the 20th century, and his music had a profound influence on the development of 20th-century music." My impression is that after Elektra, Strauss was considered kind of old-fashioned. He certainly didn't dominate early-20th century criticism in the way, say, Stravinsky and Schoenberg did. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:00, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

I agree. To tag Strauss as "the greatest composer of the first half of the 20th century" is way too gushy. This simply isn't so. In fact, Strauss was not of the 20th century; he was of the 19th. Moreover, the statement totally ignores the composers who, in fact, were most responsible for the development of 20th century music: Shoenberg, Berg, Stravinsky,and others. There is an inherent danger in using superlatives with all but a very few artists, really, in any medium. (Bob Burns (talk) 15:14, 4 May 2013 (UTC))

No serious musicologist would agree with the previous statement. Many of his twentieth-century works are "modern" albeit in ways different than what the so-called Second Viennese School pursued. There's far more to musical modernism than atonality, serialism, primitivism, etc. Strauss's Intermezzo, for instance, is a landmark in 20th-century opera. The rejection of Wagner, Schopenhauer, etc. permeates the post-Elektra works. And recent scholarship has suggested that Rosenkavalier's eclecticism and engagement with models from the past predict what later manifests as the Neue Sachlichkeit. The problem here, with much of the essay really, is the reliance on dated scholarship. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:28, 12 February 2014 (UTC)


I seem to remember reading somewhere (sometime) that as a conductor (at least prior to 1914) used to champion new works of young composers: he conducted the premiers of Webern's 5 pieces, the sibelius violin concerto and of course also some of the premiers of Mahler. These may be false memories, but I think not. Anyone know where the sources might be? The current section looks almost entirely on his recordings.Byronmercury (talk) 10:57, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

Please add any information you can find and source, Thanks. Softlavender (talk) 03:43, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Date of death ?[edit]

Is that date correct? According to my source it should be the 9th of september 1949 instead of the 8th of september. My paper source: Geschichte der Musik, Karl H. Wörner, 1974, page 553, paragraph 34.56. This is a highly esteemed work on the history of music! If there are better or more reliable sources, please let me know! Regards, Tjako (talk) 22:04, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

New Grove's article on Strauss, by Bryan Gilliam and Charles Youmans, says "d Garmisch-Partenkirchen, 8 Sept 1949". Tim Ashley's article on Strauss in the Oxford Companion to Music says "d Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria, 8 Sept. 1949". Michael Kennedy's Richard Strauss: Man, Musician, Enigma (Cambridge Uninersity Press, 2006), p. 394, says, "But the end came peacefully at 2.12 p.m. on Thursday, 8 September." It appears that Wörner's book contains an error.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 22:24, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Ok, thank you for your sources. U're probably right then. Wörner might hold a mistake. Regards, Tjako (talk) 19:17, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

And the Nazis, again[edit]

the final sentence endorses his own justification for his unquestionable role and closeness, at least in some years, with the Nazis. It is all controversial, obviously; but saying sic et simpliciter that he did what he did to protect Jewish family and friends is much too arbitrary and absolutory. Adding: "he has mantained that..." or "it has been said in his defense that..." would be better, IMHO. Ferraguzzo, January 3d 2013 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ferraguzzo (talkcontribs) 13:27, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

NB: There is no proof of Strauss's core lifelong religious/spiritual beliefs or lack thereof[edit]

So very very much ink has been spilled in speculating (and that is what they all are -- speculations and nothing else) what Strauss's core religious/spiritual beliefs were, that it is no wonder that Kennedy's title for his biography of Strauss calls him "the Enigma". Let us all please remember that authors' writings about these subjects are making enormous inferences and using quotes in and out of context, and in many cases projecting that they want onto the enigmatic and extremely long-lived blank and mysterious slate of Richard Strauss. For that reason, I'm removing all claims that Strauss was a believer, an atheist, or an agnostic, or any variation of the above, from this article. There is no proof one way or another or another. Just as many authors claim to prove he was an atheist, and Gilliam and others claim to prove he was an agnostic [3], Schmid and others claim to prove he always had faith in a higher power [4]. So let's all please step back and admit we'll never know. And this article should not state anything one way or another. Thanks. Softlavender (talk) 02:04, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Great and reasonable response! My apologies.Ninmacer20 (talk) 04:46, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Is it possible that Gilliam is saying that Franz (rather than his father) was an agnostic? In any case, I do not object to leaving it out, unless it is in some way particularly relevant to his father's life. --Robert.Allen (talk) 03:10, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
No, no reference to Franz. Irritatingly, the GoogleBooks link I provided above is not working now (Google giveth, and Google taketh away), but this one seems to be viewable at the moment. The Amazon listing is viewable as well; the quote, on page 25, is "Strauss was agnostic by his mid-teens and he remained so until the end of his life." But as mentioned above, that statement is sheer speculation. Softlavender (talk) 03:41, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, but I disagree. The argument "we'll never know" has absolutely no validity. On Wikipedia's own lists of atheists and agnostics there are plenty of people who never actually said they were atheists or agnostics. The many sources, however, were taken from books about those people, generally extensive biographies. If people studied a man's life and concluded he was atheist or agnostic is because there were good reasons for that. If we were to follow Softlavender's opinion, every single atheist or agnostic that didn't "confess" in their own words being atheist or agnostic should be removed from Wikipedia's lists, which doesn't seem to me a very encyclopaedical thing to do. Regarding the other source, even though it contradicts the first one in the agnostic sense, it seems pretty clear that Strauss was not a religious man, so at least a mention of his irreligiosity deserves to be in the article. It's sourced and it's a relevant fact about his life, so I don't see why it shouldn't be added. Unless, of course, there is a conflict of interests here, meaning there are religious fans of Strauss watching this article and not willing to accept that fact, which obviously constitutes an infraction of Wikipedia's rules. Clausgroi (talk) 18:14, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
Clausgroi, see WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS. The Wikipedia lists of atheists and agnostics are an inaccurate mess and should be heavily weeded. One author's opinion (out of dozens if not hundreds whose opinions disagree) does not make something a fact. All of these writings about Strauss's so-called beliefs are based on cherry-picked incidents and are speculations, opinions, projections, and inferences -- not facts. Lastly, you have to look closely and see if you have an WP:AGENDA; Wikipedia is not a WP:SOAPBOX. -- Softlavender (talk) 03:17, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
"Clap, clap" to you, Softlavender. Now, would you be kind enough to answer this question: is there any good reason why I should not add a relevant and sourced information to this article ? I maintain my view: Richard Strauss's irreligiosity should, at least, be mentioned. The fact that it is only an interpretation of what he said when he was alive is irrelevant because we, as rational beings, have the faculty of interpretation and can infer meanings from things. Besides, it's not my opinion or yours, it's the opinion of his biographers, people who actually studied his life and know much more about him than us, and we have to accept that. What I mean is that their "speculations, opinions, projections, and inferences" are more valuable than ours, even though they might not be facts (and you can't prove they aren't). As for the agenda issue, I don't care what he believed or not. I'm not even an agnostic. I just added the agnostic bit because I read that book excerpt and found it relevant enough to be added to this article. Nothing to do with advocacy or propaganda of my own opinions or beliefs. Regarding the atheists and agnostics lists, good luck on trying to tidy them by removing sourced information from biographical books.Clausgroi (talk) 05:10, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
Asked and answered, C. Please re-read the OP and my reply to you. Softlavender (talk) 05:16, 3 July 2015 (UTC)
Had you answered my question in the first comment, I wouldn't have asked it. I suspected since the beginning that you had an unusual affective connection for this article, and I only understood it by looking at its history and noticing that you have been editing it (as well as reverting other poeple's edits) for more than 5 years now. Maybe you're a Strauss aficionado, maybe you're just a fan who is trying to keep Strauss's memory alive and well, maybe you're simply a common Wikipedia user who cares about the quality of its articles. Whatever your case might be, I'm not going not start an editing war with you. Being here since 2008, I've encountered many people like you: people who think they own an article (sometimes because they created it), people who think they know more about the subject than the subject's experts, people who question and remove sourced information, people who don't accept views contrary to theirs being added to the article etc. I would insist on this if I had the time and patience, but I don't. Good luck with your unjustified omissions and removals to suit your personal whims. Clausgroi (talk) 18:56, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

Claims added to article without (correct) verification[edit]

I'm moving this material to this talk page till someone can correctly cite and verify it (if indeed that's possible): "In terms of the number of operas performed across the world over the period 2008-13, Strauss is the second most performed 20th Century opera composer (Puccini being first and Benjamin Britten the third) [1]. His five most performed operas over this period are (in order) Salome, Ariadne auf Naxos, Elektra, Der Rosenkavalier and Die Frau Ohne Schatten. Across all opera composers, he is ranked 8th by the same performance metric."

  1. ^ [1]

I see no substantiation of these claims in the page linked. Softlavender (talk) 23:28, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Claim #1:I'm moving this material to this talk page till someone can correctly cite and verify it (if indeed that's possible): "In terms of the number of operas performed across the world over the period 2008-13, Strauss is the second most performed 20th Century opera composer (Puccini being first and Benjamin Britten the third) [1].

Claim #2: His five most performed operas over this period are (in order) Salome, Ariadne auf Naxos, Elektra, Der Rosenkavalier and Die Frau Ohne Schatten. Across all opera composers, he is ranked 8th by the same performance metric."

  1. ^ [2]
Currently on Operabase; this substantiates (more or less: OK, it's a tie with Handel) Claim #1 Viva-Verdi (talk) 04:15, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
Composers Top

1 it (#1) Verdi 2586 (28 Operas)

2 it (#2) Puccini 1893 (12 Operas)

3 at (#1) Mozart 1883 (27 Operas) 4 de (#1) Wagner,R 1068 (19 Operas) 5 it (#3) Rossini 878 (37 Operas) 6 it (#4) Donizetti 824 (32 Operas) 7 fr (#1) Bizet 549 (5 Operas)

8 uk (#1) Handel 479 (54 Operas)

9 de (#2) Strauss,R 479 (13 Operas)

10 ru (#1) Tchaikovsky 403 (8 Operas) 11 at (#2) Strauss,J 372 (11 Operas) 12 fr (#2) Offenbach 343 (28 Operas)

13 uk (#2) Britten 307 (20 Operas) Composer and opera tables are based on counts of performance runs over the five seasons from 2008/09 to 2012/13, ie how many times a work was programmed not the number of performances.

Claim #2: more research needed.... Viva-Verdi (talk) 04:15, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
Back again after looking at the data....... So what is the objection??? Viva-Verdi (talk) 04:29, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
de (#4) Strauss,R (#1) Salome (122)

32 it (#19) Verdi (#9) Falstaff (121) 33 de (#5) Wagner,R (#3) Das Rheingold (121) 34 fr (#2) Gounod (#1) Faust (118) 35 fr (#3) Offenbach (#1) Les contes d'Hoffmann (116) 36 de (#6) Wagner,R (#4) Tristan und Isolde (112) 37 de (#7) Wagner,R (#5) Parsifal (109) 38 it (#20) Donizetti (#3) Don Pasquale (108) 39 de (#8) Beethoven (#1) Fidelio (105) 40 it (#21) Puccini (#5) Gianni Schicchi (101) 41 cz (#1) Dvořák,A (#1) Rusalka (100) 42 de (#9) Wagner,R (#6) Siegfried (100) 43 it (#22) Verdi (#10) Don Carlos (99) 44 hu (#2) Kálmán (#1) Die Csárdásfürstin (97)

45 de (#10) Strauss,R (#2) Ariadne auf Naxos (93)

46 de (#11) Wagner,R (#7) Götterdämmerung (93) 47 ru (#2) Tchaikovsky (#2) Pikovaya Dama (92) 48 it (#23) Bellini (#1) Norma (89)

49 de (#12) Strauss,R (#3) Der Rosenkavalier (87)

50 de (#13) Wagner,R (#8) Tannhäuser (86) 51 de (#14) Gluck (#1) Orfeo ed Euridice (86) 52 de (#15) Weber (#1) Der Freischütz (83) 53 it (#24) Puccini (#6) Manon Lescaut (82) 54 de (#16) Wagner,R (#9) Lohengrin (82) 55 ru (#3) Musorgsky (#1) Boris Godunov (78) 56 fr (#4) Gounod (#2) Roméo et Juliette (76) 57 it (#25) Rossini (#3) L'italiana in Algeri (75) 58 uk (#1) Purcell (#1) Dido and Aeneas (75)

59 de (#17) Strauss,R (#4) Elektra (74)

60 at (#7) Mozart (#6) Idomeneo re di Creta (73) 61 fr (#5) Bizet (#2) Les Pêcheurs de perles (67) 62 fr (#6) Offenbach (#2) Orphée aux enfers (67) 63 fr (#7) Massenet (#1) Werther (63) 64 cz (#2) Smetana (#1) Prodaná nevěsta (62) 65 it (#26) Puccini (#7) Suor Angelica (61) 66 it (#27) Donizetti (#4) La fille du régiment (60) 67 it (#28) Verdi (#11) Simon Boccanegra (58) 68 at (#8) Berg (#1) Wozzeck (55) 69 uk (#2) Handel (#1) Giulio Cesare in Egitto (55) 70 uk (#3) Britten (#1) The Turn of the Screw (53) 71 fr (#8) Poulenc (#1) Dialogues des Carmélites (53) 72 cz (#3) Janáček (#1) Jenůfa (53) 73 at (#9) Benatzky (#1) Im weißen Rößl (52) 74 fr (#9) Debussy (#1) Pelléas et Mélisande (52) 75 it (#29) Verdi (#12) La forza del destino (52) 76 cz (#4) Janáček (#2) The Cunning Little Vixen (51) 77 ru (#4) Tchaikovsky (#3) Iolanta (51) 78 at (#10) Mozart (#7) La clemenza di Tito (51) 79 hu (#3) Kálmán (#2) Gräfin Mariza (48) 80 fr (#10) Massenet (#2) Manon (47) 81 de (#18) Wagner,R (#10) Die Meistersinger (47) 82 de (#19) Weill (#1) Die Dreigroschenoper (46) 83 fr (#11) Poulenc (#2) La Voix humaine (46) 84 it (#30) Rossini (#4) Il viaggio a Reims (46) 85 ru (#5) Prokofiev (#1) The Love for Three Oranges (44) 86 it (#31) Bellini (#2) I Capuleti e i Montecchi (44) 87 it (#32) Monteverdi (#1) L'incoronazione di Poppea (44) 88 uk (#4) Britten (#2) Peter Grimes (43) 89 ru (#6) Stravinsky (#1) The Rake's Progress (43) 90 it (#33) Puccini (#8) Il Tabarro (43) 91 ru (#7) Rimsky-Korsakov (#1) The Tsar's Bride (43) 92 cz (#5) Janáček (#3) Kát'a Kabanová (42) 93 it (#34) Bellini (#3) La sonnambula (41) 94 uk (#5) Britten (#3) The Rape of Lucretia (40) 95 uk (#6) Britten (#4) A Midsummer Night's Dream (40) 96 ru (#8) Shostakovich (#1) Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (40) 97 hu (#4) Lehár (#2) Das Land des Lächelns (39)

98 de (#20) Strauss,R (#5) Die Frau ohne Schatten (39)

99 fr (#12) Saint-Saëns (#1) Samson et Dalila (39) 100 it (#35) Bellini (#4) I puritani (39)

  • Hi Viva-Verdi, could you please give the links that substantiate those? That is indeed the problem with the claims -- lack of citation links that substantiate. Also, I'm reverting my post as it was -- please don't alter other user's posts. Softlavender (talk) 04:36, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Update: OK, I am able to see the results you are quoting for "In terms of the number of operas performed across the world over the period 2008-13, Strauss is the second most performed 20th Century opera composer (Puccini being first and Benjamin Britten the third)" here: [5]. I was unfamiliar with Operabase or its tables, so thanks for posting that data. However, the claim that "His five most performed operas over this period are (in order) Salome, Ariadne auf Naxos, Elektra, Der Rosenkavalier and Die Frau Ohne Schatten" is incorrect, from what I see here [6], because this data is from 2012/2013, not from 2008–2013. Also, the claim that "Across all opera composers, he is ranked 8th by the same performance metric" is incorrect, confusing (what metric? And what is a "metric" in the first place?), and inexact. I presume the editor wished to say that "He was the 8th most performed opera composer from 2008–2013", but even this is incorrect, as he is tied for 8th/9th with Handel. I think it's worth putting the corrected information in the article, with the correct citations (and probably a note to the reader on how/where to find the data for the info on that first link), but it will have to be prefaced as "According to statistics compiled by Operabase, ...", because there is no indication, much less guarantee, that their information is exhaustive. Softlavender (talk) 06:44, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

Sorry; didn't realise that I'd altered your post. Re: the ref to these stats, it is the one you put in your post up above:
BTW: take a look at the "Composers" section and the note off to the right which reads:
"Composer and opera tables are based on counts of performance runs over the five seasons from 2008/09 to 2012/13, i.e. how many times a work was programmed not the number of performances."
They are using the five seasons for that section, albeit that it does state 2012/13 at the top. But I agree now that I look at it more carefully, that the ranking is based on 2012/13, so that needs qualification also. However, it may be a fluke figure over just one season.
Now, I see what you mean about the last sentence and agree with you that it needs qualification.
I will say that Operabase is pretty reliable given that they link to the websites of the opera houses which are staging the works in question and give perf. dates and cast, etc. Viva-Verdi (talk) 13:19, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
Sorry to cause such controversy. As you can see, the opera database I was using is a reliable source. I think that it is a bit silly to ignore such comprehensive data: of course it is not perfect, but it certainly is a good indicator about what is going on across the world. Those readers who are interested in the detail can look things up in the database. The word "metric" means "measure": the phrase I used "the same metric" referred to the definition in the previous sentence (i.e. opera performances). Sorry I got the ordering of the operas mixed up: I put Rosenkavalier behind Elektra. I certainly think that this quantitative data is highly relevant. It shows what people have taken the effort to put on and what has been seen. Lots of people can have opinions about things, but the facts speak for themselves. "He was the 8th most performed opera composer from 2008–2013": yes that is fine. Yes, you can even say he ties for 8th place. Anyway, I am happy to leave it to you to suggest an alternative to what I put up, so long as it states the facts about his raking amongst 20th Century composers (with this metric) and his top 5 operas. This is valuable information: people new to Strauss may not know how he stands and what are his popular works.Byronmercury (talk) 22:06, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for bringing the data to our attention. It's too bad it's from such a short period of time, but it is something. (EDIT: I now see they also have statistics from 2005/6 to 2009/10, if anyone wants to compile those.) (EDIT #2: I also now see that there is a note on the expanded version of the opera counts that says "[Return to main statistics page for an explanation of the figures]", so the figures actually are for the five seasons, not just the one as I incorrectly deduced.) Anyway, as noted above, the information will have to be qualified in the article as to its source, as there is no way of knowing exactly how accurate or comprehensive it is; even they say they've only just recently been getting more info from certain East European countries. Softlavender (talk) 23:00, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm going to draft the sentences here: According to statistics compiled by Operabase, in number of operas performed worldwide over the five seasons from 2008/09 to 2012/13, Strauss was the second most performed 20th-century opera composer; Puccini was the first and Benjamin Britten the third.[1] Strauss tied with Handel as the eighth most-performed opera composer from any century over those five seasons.[1] Over the five seasons from 2008/09 to 2012/13 around the world, Strauss's top five most-performed operas were Salome, Ariadne auf Naxos, Der Rosenkavalier, Elektra, and Die Frau ohne Schatten.[2] Softlavender (talk) 23:00, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
I am perfectly happy with the suggested wording. It might read a bit too detailed, but fine for me.Byronmercury (talk) 23:30, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
I hear you on that, but the details clarify that the statistics are not actually 2008–2013, they are from the opera seasons 2008/9 to 2012/13, which is an entire year less than 2008–2013 (that is, they leave out the end of the 2007/8 season and the beginning of the 2013/14 season). Hope that makes sense. Softlavender (talk) 23:55, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
  • UPDATE: OK, now that we've got the 2008/09 to 2012/13 seasons squared away (IMO), Viva-Verdi, do you feel like retrieving and posting on this Talk page the same sorts of statistics from the 2005/6 to 2009/10 time period, listed here? Asking you because you did such a great job on the 2008/09 to 2012/13 statistics (thanks for that). Thanks also for creating the Wikipedia article on Operabase! Anyway, if you don't have time for this, I might be able to do it but it's probably more up your alley and you would do it more quickly I think. Softlavender (talk) 23:21, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

You're right on the specific of the focus (by season), so needs to be mentioned. But, I shalln't be able to get to this until after 31 May, so go ahead it you like. But can tackle it in June. Viva-Verdi (talk) 21:28, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

OK thanks V .... we'll see who has time first. Best, Softlavender (talk) 23:07, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
I am happy with the final text. On another matter, I noticed a similar comparison had been made using operabase on the Britten page (opera section). So, I think we can be quite confident that this is an appropriate thing to mention on the Strauss page! PS on my earlier comment about Strauss's conducting history (outside the recorded material discussed in the article). This has proved strangely elusive (for example, almost nothing in Norman Del Mar). However, I am working on it! best, Byronmercury (talk) 09:09, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
  1. ^ a b The five seasons 2008/9 to 2012/13: Composers. Operabase. (Note: "Composer and opera tables are based on counts of performance runs over the five seasons from 2008/09 to 2012/13, i.e. how many times a work was programmed not the number of performances.")
  2. ^ The five seasons 2008/9 to 2012/13: Operas (expanded). (Note: "Return to main statistics page for an explanation of the figures". The main statistics page says: "Composer and opera tables are based on counts of performance runs over the five seasons from 2008/09 to 2012/13, i.e. how many times a work was programmed not the number of performances.")

Talking of claims without verification...[edit]

This sentence seems to be a prime example of what should not be in a WP article, least of all without any citation:

During his lifetime Strauss was considered the greatest composer of the first half of the 20th century, and his music had a profound influence on the development of 20th-century music.

Just to start with: 1) calling *anyone* "the greatest composer" of any period risks WP:PEA; 2) given that the first half of the 20th century featured such major composers as Igor Stravinsky and Arnold Schoenberg, or indeed Claude Debussy (though I suppose one may argue his premature death during WWI means he's not in the running since he wasn't active throughout those 50 years) means it is particularly reckless for anyone to make such a claim - and it is certainly against Wikipedia policy for any editor (as distinct from a reliable published source) to make this claim; 3) what is meant by "a profound influence"? Does it actually mean anything, given the aforementioned composers Stravinsky and Schoenberg and their well-documented influence on music both in the last century and in this? I suppose one may say, in Strauss's case, "widespread influence", but even this should be backed up by a reliable citation.

Unless such citations to reliable sources are forthcoming, I suggest that this sentence should get the chop. Alfietucker (talk) 17:18, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

The sentence says "During his lifetime Strauss was considered ..." so the sentence is not calling him the greatest composer of a specific time period. The phraseology has only been tagged for citation in the last few minutes, so I'd give it due course before suggesting deletion. Same for "profound influence" -- it has only just now been tagged. Also, "profound influence" isn't a competition with other composers. Softlavender (talk) 17:30, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
With due respect, the sentence does not say that Strauss was "considered to have a profound influence during his lifetime", but baldly states "his music had a profound influence on the development of 20th-century music". And no, it's not about "competition" with Stravinsky and Schoenberg: but there is no doubt that both these composers had more than a superficial influence on music during their lifetime, so I can imagine some justification for saying that *their* music had "a profound influence" (with due citation were that to be said in an article on either composer). But what does "profound influence" actually mean in Strauss's case? Without a citation or evidence, that seems another case of WP:PEA.
As for the sentence as a whole: according to the relevant WP policy, "any material whose verifiability has been challenged or is likely to be challenged, must include an inline citation that directly supports the material. Any material that needs a source but does not have one may be removed." One editor - who has given the sentence no less than two tags - has in effect given the benefit of the doubt and an opportunity for another editor to find and supply citations to at least one reliable source. As I understand it (unless you can point to a relevant policy), that's not to say all editors are obliged to. I tell you what: I'll give it a week - enough time for an editor to find a citation for what appears to me a highly contentious sentence. Alfietucker (talk) 17:48, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
A reliable source would also tell us just who considered Strauss the greatest composer of the first half of the 20th century. The statement is otherwise a classic example of weasel wording. I share Alfietucker's skepticism about Strauss's influence on the development of 20th-century music, but if a reliable source can be found to support this claim, who am I to object?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 18:00, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
I was the drive-by tagger earlier today. I looked in from Jules Massenet following up a ref to Strauss's being "a first class second rate composer". It was not my first visit to this page, and it is not nearly as bad as it was a couple of years ago, but it may well still have the melancholy distinction of being the worst WP article on any classical composer in the top (or second) flight. My to-do list is a bit long, but would anybody be tentatively interested in joining me for a root-and-branch overhaul of the article, perhaps next year? As Strauss's great contemporaries Mahler and Elgar now have Featured Articles it would be good if he were to join them. Tim riley talk 18:12, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
If I may, I'm going to nitpick a few of Alfietucker's comments: "the sentence does not say that Strauss was "'considered to have a profound influence'" -- no one said the sentence did. "there is no doubt that" -- that's an opinion. "more than a superficial influence on music during their lifetime" -- the statement in question is about 20th-century music, not specifically about music during Strauss's lifetime. Avoid mixing the two statements. "One editor - who has given the sentence no less than two tags - has in effect given the benefit of the doubt and an opportunity for another editor to find and supply citations to at least one reliable source. As I understand it (unless you can point to a relevant policy), that's not to say all editors are obliged to." All editors are obliged to discuss and reach consensus before removing text, particularly if there is objection to the deletion and notification hasn't been adequately given. Softlavender (talk) 18:14, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Softlavender - I'm not going to waste time arguing about policy which anyone can read, and which does not say - either in letter or spirit AFAIK (or can you point to the relevant policy that does?) - "All editors are obliged to discuss and reach consensus before removing text, particularly if there is objection to the deletion and notification hasn't been adequately given". That certainly is not what goes on in practice anywhere else I have worked on WP when dealing with sentences without any citation, nor can I see any quality articles being created in anyone's lifetime if it did.
Then please read WP:BRD. Softlavender (talk) 18:30, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you - I'm well aware of that policy. That's why I'm discussing this with you now. Please try to address my points. Alfietucker (talk) 18:33, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, you just said you didn't know of any such policy, hence my posting it. I realize you are discussing here, so I was baffled that you said you didn't know of any policy requiring discussing text-removal which is objected to and not adequately notified. Softlavender (talk) 18:38, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
See post below (from your talk page). But I'd also point out this sentence from BRD: "BRD is not a valid excuse for reverting good-faith efforts to improve a page simply because you don't like the changes. Don't invoke BRD as your reason for reverting someone else's work or for edit warring: instead, provide a reason that is based on policies, guidelines, or common sense." The only reason you gave for the revert was "rv unexplained deletion of citation and rv removal of content without discussion and consensus". As you've since admitted, my edit did *not* involve "unexplained deletion of citation", and my edit summary actually explained (albeit quite bluntly) that the sentence had no citation to support it, and as far as I can see had no chance of being supported. You have now admitted that the sentence was an inference of yours rather than something supported by a RS. Alfietucker (talk) 18:47, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
I've never said or implied the sentence was an inference of mine. It came from somewhere; I simply cannot remember where. Your question to me was why did I remove the tag on it 3-1/2 years ago; my answer was that at that point I had apparently heard and read enough to agree with the sentence. Now that the sentence (again, not original to me as far as I recall; I don't to my mind make sweeping generalizations like that out of thin air) is being called into question again, I agree it needs citation(s). Softlavender (talk) 19:12, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
OK, well let's see if we have any in a week. Alfietucker (talk) 19:22, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
What I will point out is that there's difference between my statement "there is no doubt that both these composers had more than a superficial influence on music during their lifetime" - which is not just my opinion: I can cite reams of material to support this claim - and the sentence's claim "[Strauss's] music had a profound influence on the development of 20th-century music". That is just one of the issues with this sentence: can you find just one reliable citation for this? Alfietucker (talk) 18:28, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Is there a touch of angels dancing on the point of a needle here? The article is stiff with POV and uncited statements and does WP little credit. It is also bizarrely proportioned: out of 3,700 words on this major composer, why are nearly 600 of them on the peripheral subject of how good a conductor he was? (I must say, though, that the handling of the contentious matter of his dealings with the Nazis is very well balanced, and has no special pleading.) Tim riley talk 18:32, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
I agree about the section on Conducting -- I loathe that section and have constantly been tempted to completely axe it. Thank you for the compliment on the Nazi section -- I am responsible for that. I have simply not had time to fill out much of the rest of the article beyond keeping it minimally organized and the works accurately mentioned. Softlavender (talk) 18:43, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
My sincere congratulations on the Nazi era section. A model of its kind, and very tricky to bring off that balancing act, I suspect. If the rest of the article were of that standard we'd be doing very well indeed. Strauss as a conductor should certainly be covered in this article, but perhaps the very detailed study should be hived off to a separate page. If I haven't offended you beyond redemption, perhaps we might, as I suggest above, look at a complete overhaul, perhaps next year? Tim riley talk 19:01, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
LOL Tim, you could never offend me. I totally agree the article needs an overhaul. I now have a Grove subscription via WP; and will purchase the Kennedy bio and maybe even the Del Mar monster. Yes, let's overhaul the article next year. Thanks. Softlavender (talk) 19:18, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Excellent. I shall slowly start to assemble my sources. More anon. Tim riley talk 19:29, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
PS, If you care to look in here and tell me what a pig's ear I have made of Jules Massenet you will be most welcome. Tim riley talk 19:47, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Fishing for compliments are we? That's rather transparent (then again, so was I LOL). It looks massively good. Despite being a major opera fan, I claim no special knowledge of Massenet so I'm afraid I can't really opine on much of the content, but it all looks extremely kosher, well-sourced, comprehensive, and well-written. I'd definitely go for a GA/FA review if I were you. (I don't personally do those reviews and never have). G'luck, Softlavender (talk) 21:14, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Some clarification[edit]

Copied, at Softlavender's suggestion, from her talk page:

Further to our discussion on the Richard Strauss talk page, out of curiosity I had a look to see where that sentence came from and found this and this from back in March 2011. Maybe you can remember why you removed the fact tag back then, and the sources for those sentences. Alfietucker (talk) 18:04, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
I honestly can't recall why I removed the tag 3-1/2 years ago. I had recently been listening to the Exploring Music weeklong series on Strauss, and also had researched the two TIME magazine cover-page profiles on Strauss during his lifetime. Perhaps it therefore seemed obvious to me, from contemporary statements in both of those venues, that during his lifetime he was considered the greatest composer of the first half of the 20th century. Feel free to move or copy this discussion to the Strauss talk page. Softlavender (talk) 18:22, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
SL, I'm afraid by inferring what seemed "obvious" to you, you've committed a bit of WP:OR. I guess it's something we all unwittingly do from time to time. Given this, I do suggest it's probably best for you to simply delete that sentence and be done with it. And yes, I think I will copy and paste this little aside to the talk page just to make clear what has happened. Best wishes, Alfietucker (talk) 18:39, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
Just to clarify, I actually am not certain where the sentence itself originated. My recollection is that was not original to me (although I made an insertion or re-insertion of it in 2010). My vague recollection is that I found it, or something like it, in a far earlier iteration of the article and brought it back. I do not agree the sentence should be deleted as yet; it has only been currently tagged for less than a few hours. Softlavender (talk) 18:49, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Strauss on the staircase[edit]

Greetings. As I recall it in an article I saw during the 1970s in the music section of an electronics Magazine (sorry, no citation), Strauss was asked whether he was the composer of Rosenkavalier. Strauss responded that he was the composer of Rosenkavalier and... The point is that he is ofter portrayed as pompous when he was merely answering a question.

TKS — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:17, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Quantitative stuff[edit]

I have come across some quantitative measure of Strauss' current popularity vis a vis other composers. One is in terms of number of works performed by symphony orchestras in north America (2002-2010). The other is in terms of the number of recordings available. These can be discussed in more detail, but I would suggest something short and concise like:

Richard Strauss has consistently been in the top 10 composers most performed by symphony orchestras in the USA and Canada over the period 2002-2010.[1]. He is also in the top 5 of 20th Century composers (born after 1860) in terms of the number of currently available recordings of his works.[2]

In 2010-11, Strauss dropped out of the top 10 in performances (Mahler's centenary I suspect), but surely will be back there (the data for post 2011 not available yet). Comments welcome before I put it in (at the end of "Death and legacy"?).Byronmercury (talk) 15:56, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ League of American Orchestras
  2. ^ Arkivemusic. The ranking is Debussy, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Strauss, Prokofiev.
You appear to have found reliable sources, so go for it! Viva-Verdi (talk) 17:59, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, I have also found the performance stats for Europe/UK and US from [Bachtrack], which covers dance, opera and concerts: in 2014 Strauss came out as No 6 across all composers. Byronmercury (talk) 15:04, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
I have moved the Quantitative paragraph to the end of the Legacy section for two reasons. First, chronology: it refers to the 21st Century only, unlike the rest of the section, so it should come last. Secondly, the paragraph was badly placed in the middle of the musical legacy section (orchestration, harmony, Bartók etc), interrupting that argument. Brymor (talk) 21:29, 12 January 2017 (UTC)


The only bit of the page that now requires citations is one paragraph in "death and legacy". I propose we take the paragraph out for the time being (until someone comes up with something more suitable with supporting citations. I do not disagree with what is written, but it still needs some citations. I think we can then remove the rather ugly "citation needed" heading at the start of the page. The page looks very good to me at the moment!Byronmercury (talk) 14:56, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Tony1 beat me to it (thanks). Since the offending section has been removed, no need for refimprove, so removed it.Byronmercury (talk) 12:24, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
added some citation compliant legacy material. Will add more as I come across it.Byronmercury (talk) 14:30, 3 August 2016 (UTC)


added new section. This list is incomplete - in particular, I think he got some more honorary doctorates from other US universities. Plus there is an "Order of the Austrian Crown" mentioned by Kurt that I need to look up to see exactly what it was.Byronmercury (talk) 21:25, 14 December 2015 (UTC)


When recognizing which other pieces Richard Strauss is known for, this article would be remiss to not mention his Horn Concerto no. 1 in E-flat Major, if not also his 2nd concerto (his father played and the Horn features very prominently in many of his more notable works). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:40, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

Camp victim misidentified[edit]

The identification of Marie von Grab as the relative that Strauss went to Theresienstadt to try to free is incorrect. It was Marie's mother Paula Neumann.

"Then, in 1941, the regime again reminded Strauss who was boss. Alice's Jewish grandmother, Paula Neumann, nee Haurowitz, three years older than Strauss himself, was being interned in Prague, as were many other of Alice's Czech-based relatives. Helped by Alice's mother, Marie von Grab, herself safe in Lucerne, Switzerland, Strauss and his son, Franz, tried for several months to move Frau Neumann from the Nazi-occupied Czech Protectorate to Vienna, where Gauleiter Baldur von Schirach had recently emerged as the latest of the composer's few benevolent but ultimately impotent allies in the regime."

-- (talk) 07:06, 7 January 2018 (UTC)