Richard Strauss is considered by most music historians to be one of the most innovative artists of the 20th century by virtue of his compositions of symphonic music, opera, tone poems, and lieder or art songs. His musical contributions have been interpreted as both ground-breakingly shocking through his use of dissonance and morally defiant choices of subject matter to the most beautifully sublime.
However, there are those who greatly downplay the influence of the German composer’s work based on actions he took which many interpret on the surface to have been made by a blatant hypocrite and/or weak willed opportunist. Among the musical elite of the present day there are a choice few in Strauss’ field that cannot reconcile the Mercurial composer’s actions with his art. Their argument being deeply rooted in the following moral dilemma:
Should a person’s art be praised and appreciated unto itself despite that person’s actions being interpreted as a willingness to overlook the overt displays of evil that took place over the course of his or her lifetime?Read more "Richard Strauss – A Most Mercurial Life"