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Richard Strauss

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ENTERTAINMENT
July 31, 1988 | MARTIN BERNHEIMER
"If it must be Richard," a clever if unfriendly critic once wagged, "give me Wagner." "And if it must be Strauss," he added, "make it Johann." Conventional wisdom, only a decade or two ago, insisted that Richard Strauss managed to write a couple of terrific little shockers near the turn of the century--"Salome" and "Elektra"--and then peaked with the mock-Viennese nostalgia of "Der Rosenkavalier."
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 23, 2009 | Matt Schudel
Elisabeth Soderstrom, a Swedish soprano who was greatly admired for her sensitive operatic roles and for her refined, delicately shaded voice, died of a stroke Friday in Stockholm. She was 82. During a career of more than 50 years, Soderstrom was renowned for the subtlety of her performances and was considered one of the foremost actors on the operatic stage. Her dramatic skill made her particularly effective in portraying such complex characters as Leonore in Beethoven's "Fidelio," Tatyana in Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin" and Marie in Alban Berg's "Wozzeck.
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NEWS
November 25, 1993 | BENJAMIN EPSTEIN
When your college degrees are in music, it's downright embarrassing to admit that you discovered one of the most sublime compositions of this or any other century in the middle of a Mel Gibson movie. But that was the case with Richard Strauss' "Four Last Songs." That movie snippet eventually led me to soprano Lucia Popp's ethereal recording of the work (with Klaus Tennstedt conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra). It is one of my favorite recordings ever.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 6, 2008 | MARK SWED, MUSIC CRITIC
A story John Cage liked to tell involved his teacher of Zen Buddhism, D.T. Suzuki: "Before studying Zen, men are men and mountains are mountains. While studying Zen, things become confused. After studying Zen, men are men and mountains are mountains. "After telling this, Dr. Suzuki was asked, what is the difference between before and after. He said, 'No difference. Only the feet are a little bit off the ground.' " Thursday night Gustavo Dudamel conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Richard Strauss' "Alpine Symphony" at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 9, 1994 | Martin Bernheimer, Martin Bernheimer is The Times' music critic.
Karl Bohm, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday in August, was hardly the most flamboyant conductor of his time. He wasn't a glamorous podium magnet like Herbert von Karajan, or a saintly romanticist like Bruno Walter. He wasn't a prickly perfectionist like Arturo Toscanini, or a poetic hero like Wilhelm Furtwangler. He wasn't a sensitive humanist like Fritz Busch. He didn't command the spacious repose of Hans Knappertsbusch.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 23, 2001
In his otherwise perceptive article on the state of American orchestras ("As Symphonies Set in the East ..." Dec. 9), Mark Swed dismisses Ralph Vaughan Williams and Richard Strauss as "second-level composers." Like other members of the academic music elite, Swed apparently believes that 20th century music that is beautiful and/or popular must not be very good. Fortunately, the beautiful music written by these composers will remain popular long after Swed and his ilk are buried and forgotten.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 20, 1986
It is hard to believe in this day of enlightenment (?) that any opera review, but specifically the TV opera review of "Elektra," could not contain the name of the opera's composer, Richard Strauss ("Gory Becomes 'Elektra' in PBS Epic Offering," April 11). Voland was evidently so overcome by the "implied incest and gore galore," the "bloody, scrofulous muck that surrounds and covers the palace's floors and grounds," and feeling "the depravity of these figures" that he could not muster up the strength to write the composer's name in a two-column review.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 17, 1991
Your editorial "Wasn't This Settled Long Ago?" (July 6) is both right and wrong. No question, race, religion and place of origin should not be an issue when making a decision about a political candidate or a nominee for public office. No question, a person's background does influence thinking. It is reasonable, therefore, to examine the present state of an individual's positions and his/her philosophy. John Kennedy proved that his background did not prejudice his thinking.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 14, 2004 | Mark Swed, Times Staff Writer
In his correspondence with Richard Strauss, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, the high-minded librettist of "Ariadne auf Naxos," had to keep reminding the composer that the opera was ultimately about fidelity. Fidelity to art and, above all, to love. The medium-minded Strauss never quite got that virtue, however. He devotedly loved his difficult wife and difficult operas, no doubt.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 5, 2004 | Donna Perlmutter, Special to The Times
"It was right in this room," William Friedkin says, easing himself into a wing chair and waving an arm about the elegantly comfy wood-paneled study in his brick Tudor Bel-Air manse. "Placido and Edgar stopped by and gave me their offer: 'What do you think of doing "Ariadne auf Naxos"?'
ENTERTAINMENT
December 23, 2001
In his otherwise perceptive article on the state of American orchestras ("As Symphonies Set in the East ..." Dec. 9), Mark Swed dismisses Ralph Vaughan Williams and Richard Strauss as "second-level composers." Like other members of the academic music elite, Swed apparently believes that 20th century music that is beautiful and/or popular must not be very good. Fortunately, the beautiful music written by these composers will remain popular long after Swed and his ilk are buried and forgotten.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 16, 2001
In "As Symphonies Set in the East ..." (Dec. 9), Mark Swed revealed to his unsuspecting readers several amazing truths. He started by explaining to the ignorant masses that all the so-called Big Five orchestras are dumb and old-fashioned while two California ones are doing just about everything right. Sounds too simplistic? Hey, never mind, where is your stately pride?! He further enlightened us by proclaiming that music written by mere mediocrities such as Richard Strauss and Bela Bartok (ever heard of those two?
ENTERTAINMENT
April 27, 1997 | Mark Swed, Mark Swed is The Times' music critic
On Oct. 14, 1933, the great German conductor Otto Klemperer stepped off the train in Los Angeles and into a world unlike any he had ever imagined. He had not been here before but was eager to flee the Nazis and had hastily signed a contract to become music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony were not available, so he took what he could get.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 30, 1997 | Mark Swed
Here is a "Heldenleben" for now. Richard Strauss in his tone poem had conflated the artist, namely a composer like himself, into a Nietzschean Superman living the hero's life, battling critics and drawing inspiration from his mate. But Daugherty, a composer besotted with pop culture (his opera, "Jackie O.," had its premiere in Houston two weeks ago), needs no metaphor. He's portraying the real Superman, the one invented by D.C. Comics.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 16, 2001
In "As Symphonies Set in the East ..." (Dec. 9), Mark Swed revealed to his unsuspecting readers several amazing truths. He started by explaining to the ignorant masses that all the so-called Big Five orchestras are dumb and old-fashioned while two California ones are doing just about everything right. Sounds too simplistic? Hey, never mind, where is your stately pride?! He further enlightened us by proclaiming that music written by mere mediocrities such as Richard Strauss and Bela Bartok (ever heard of those two?
ENTERTAINMENT
May 23, 1987
I should like to comment on various replies sent in by readers in reference to Martin Bernheimer's May 10 article on Andre Previn (Calender Letters, May 16 and 17). What most of these people don't realize is that most great music requires both a virtuoso conductor and a virtuoso orchestra, neither of which we have ever had here in Los Angeles. Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms demand a virtuoso conductor, while Richard Strauss demands a virtuoso orchestra, particularly virtuoso horns.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 19, 1995 | MARTIN BERNHEIMER, TIMES MUSIC CRITIC
James Levine, who brought his Metropolitan Opera Orchestra to Segerstrom Hall Wednesday night, isn't much like the other stellar conductors of his generation. He happens to be a thinker, and a bona fide romantic thinker at that. He favors broad gestures, generous emotional indulgences and spacious, luxurious tempos. He savors heroic climaxes, and takes his time getting to them.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 9, 1994 | Martin Bernheimer, Martin Bernheimer is The Times' music critic.
Karl Bohm, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday in August, was hardly the most flamboyant conductor of his time. He wasn't a glamorous podium magnet like Herbert von Karajan, or a saintly romanticist like Bruno Walter. He wasn't a prickly perfectionist like Arturo Toscanini, or a poetic hero like Wilhelm Furtwangler. He wasn't a sensitive humanist like Fritz Busch. He didn't command the spacious repose of Hans Knappertsbusch.
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