This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Richard Strauss, who was born on June 11, 1864. Strauss, who enjoyed early success as both conductor and composer, was influenced in the second capacity by the work of Wagner. He developed the tone poem to an unrivalled level of expressiveness and, after 1900, achieved great success with a series of impressive operas, at first on a grand scale but later tending to a more Classical restraint. We mark his anniversary with a selection of recordings which, for the most part, were made either during his lifetime or shortly after his death in 1949.
This Naxos disc brings together Elisabeth Schwarzkopf's two acclaimed mid-1950s recordings of Strauss' Four Last Songs and highlights from his opera Arabella, the latter appearing complete on compact disc for the first time.