Compact Discoveries
a series of one-hour radio programs
produced, written, hosted, and edited by Fred Flaxman

©2004 and 2007 by Fred Flaxman
Program 58
"Richard Strauss, Homebreaker"

MUSIC: excerpt from R. Strauss: Waltzes from Der Rosenkavalier, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Fritz Reiner [RCA Victor/BMG 09026-68638-2, track 2] [under the following]

Welcome to Compact Discoveries. I'm your guide Fred Flaxman, and during the next hour we're going to explore the music of "Richard Strauss, Homebreaker." Why "homebreaker?" Stay tuned and you'll find out!

MUSIC: R. Strauss: Waltzes from Der Rosenkavalier fades out

My wife and I have been happily married for more than 40 years, which proves that we are quite compatible. In fact we disagree on only two subjects. (One) She would be a vegetarian, if it weren't for me, while I can't do without a daily portion of cooked corpse. (and Two) I love the music of Richard Strauss, while she would rather eat a cooked corpse than listen to three minutes of Ein Heldenleben.

MUSIC: clip from Richard Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, Vienna Philharmonic, Christian Thielemann [DGG B0000992-02, track 5]

Yet even my wife loves Strauss' Piano Sonata in B Minor, Op. 5 - probably because it is such an early work of the composer that it sounds as though it were written by someone else. Perhaps Schumann comes closest, but then parts of it sound more like Mendelssohn, other sections more like Grieg or Brahms.

One thing's for sure. This piece is by a thoroughly professional romantic composer who really knows how to write one beautiful tune after another and how to make it all come together perfectly on the piano. I think this work is so superb from beginning to end that it should be a "war horse" of the piano repertoire rather than the unjustly neglected piece it is.

When I discovered the Glenn Gould recording of this sonata years ago, I considered it my "compact discovery of the year." And I like it more with each hearing. When you listen to it, I hope you'll agree, and that you won't blame me for humming in the background. The hummer's name is Glenn Gould!

MUSIC: Richard Strauss: Piano Sonata in B Minor, Op. 5, Glenn Gould [CBS Masterworks MK 38659, tracks 1 - 4]

Glenn Gould performed the Piano Sonata in B Minor, Op. 5 by Richard Strauss - an early work of this composer. The piece is coupled with Strauss' even earlier Five Piano Pieces, Op. 3, which are also beautiful, melodious and ideal Strauss for people who don't care for Richard Strauss. We'll listen to the first, second, fourth and fifth of these pieces.

MUSIC: from Richard Strauss: Five Piano Pieces/Klavierstücken, Op. 3, Glenn Gould [CBS Masterworks MK 38659, tracks 5, 6, 8, 9]

Four of the Five Piano Pieces, Op. 3, by Richard Strauss. They were played on an old CBS Masterworks CD by Glenn Gould. Perfect Richard Strauss music for people, like my wife, who don't care for his brassy orchestral works. But, in fairness to her, there are two other pieces by Richard Strauss which she really enjoys: his Four Last Songs and the thoroughly uplifting waltzes from Der Rosenkavalier - how could anyone not like those!

MUSIC: R. Strauss: Waltzes from Der Rosenkavalier, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Fritz Reiner [RCA Victor/BMG 09026-68638-2, track 2]

Fritz Reiner conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the Waltzes from Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss.

This is Fred Flaxman hoping that you have enjoyed this hour of Compact Discoveries by Richard Strauss. Your comments are always appreciated. You can reach me through my website, www.fredlfaxman.com, where you'll find the script and music information for each Compact Discoveries radio program.

MUSIC: excerpt from R. Strauss: Waltzes from Der Rosenkavalier, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Fritz Reiner [RCA Victor/BMG 09026-68638-2, track 2] under the following:

Compact Discoveries is a production of Compact Discoveries, Inc., and a presentation of WXEL-FM, West Palm Beach, Florida.

MUSIC: fades out at 57:45

ANNOUNCER [Steve Jencks]: This program was made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts -- a great nation deserves great art; and by the Public Radio Exchange Reversioning Project. The Public Radio Exchange is at prx.org.

Program Ends at 58:00

 

 
  2009 Compact Discoveries