Richard Strauss was born June 11, 1864 in Munich, Germany. He died on September 8, 1949 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. He was a German composer and conductor known for his intense emotionalism in his symphonic poems. He characterized himself as ‘composer of expression’ which is born out in his colorful orchestration. In his operas he employed Wagnerian principles of music drama, but in a more compact form.
Strauss was composing by the age of six, having received basic instruction from his father, a virtuoso horn player. This was, however, his only formal training. The elder Strauss instilled in his son a love of the classical composers, and his early works follow in their path. Strauss’ first symphony premiered when he was seventeen, his second (in New York) when he was twenty. By that time, Strauss had directed his energies toward conducting, and in 1885 he succeeded Hans von Bülow as conductor of the orchestra in Meiningen. For the next forty years, he conducted orchestras in Munich, Weimar, Berlin and Vienna.
As a conductor, Strauss had a unique vantage point from which to study the workings of the orchestra. From this vantage point he developed a sense for orchestration that was unrivaled. He immediately put this sense to use in a series of orchestral pieces that he called “tone poems”, including Macbeth, Don Juan, Tod und Verklärung, Till Eulenspeigels lustige Streiche and Don Quixote. These works are intensely programmatic, and in the last two, Strauss elevated descriptive music to a level not approached since the techniques of text painting during the Renaissance. He also used his knowledge of orchestral techniques to produce a revised version of Hector Berlioz’s important orchestration treatise; this edition remains a standard to this day.
After the turn of the century, Strauss began to shift his focus to opera. With his principal librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal, he created two forward-looking and shocking works: Salome, based on Oscar Wilde’s controversial play, andElektra, Hoffmannsthal’s version of the classical Greek tragedy. In these works, the intense emotions and often lurid narrative elicited a more daring and demanding musical language full of extreme chromaticism and harsh timbres. But with his next opera, Der Rosenkavalier, Strauss seems to have left this aside, turning to a more focused, almost neoclassical approach in his later works. With this, Strauss settled into a comfortable place in German musical society, perhaps too comfortable, given his willingness to acquiesce to the artistic maneuverings of the rising Nazi regime. In the end, he broke with the Nazis on moral grounds, and died virtually penniless in the aftermath of the Second World War.
Suite from Le Bourgoise gentilhomme, Op.60, Prelude
Also Sprach Zarathustrahttps://youtu.be/3rzDXNQxjHsOne of Richard Strauss’ most popular works is Also Sprach Zarathustra since it was made popular in the 1968 Stanley Kubrick science-fiction movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30 (Thus Spoke Zarathustra or Thus Spake Zarathustra) is a tone poem by Richard Strauss, composed in 1896 and inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophical treatise of the same name. The composer conducted its first performance on 27 November 1896 in Frankfurt. A typical performance lasts half an hour.The work has been part of the classical repertoire since its first performance in 1896. The initial fanfare — entitled “Sunrise” in the composer’s program notes — became particularly well known to the general public due to its use in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, and as the theme music of the Apollo program. The fanfare has also been used in many other productions.
The piece starts with a sustained double low C on the double basses, contrabassoon and organ. This transforms into the brass fanfare of the Introduction and introduces the “dawn” motif (from “Zarathustra’s Prologue”, the text of which is included in the printed score) that is common throughout the work: the motif includes three notes, in intervals of a fifth and octave, as C–G–C (known also as the Nature-motif). On its first appearance, the motif is a part of the first five notes of the natural overtone series: octave, octave and fifth, two octaves, two octaves and major third (played as part of a C major chord with the third doubled). The major third is immediately changed to a minor third, which is the first note played in the work (E flat) that is not part of the overtone series.
“Of Those in Backwaters” (or “Of the Forest Dwellers”) begins with cellos, double-basses and organ pedal before changing into a lyrical passage for the entire section. The next two sections, “Of the Great Yearning” and “Of Joys and Passions”, both introduce motifs that are more chromatic in nature.
“Of Science” features an unusual fugue beginning in the double-basses and cellos, which consists of all twelve notes of the chromatic scale. It is one of the very few sections in the orchestral literature where the basses must play a contra-b (lowest b on a piano). “The Convalescent” acts as a reprise of the original motif, and ends with the entire orchestra climaxing on a massive chord. “The Dance Song” features a very prominent violin solo throughout the section. The end of the “Song of the Night Wanderer” leaves the piece half resolved, with high flutes, piccolos and violins playing a B major chord, while the lower strings pluck a C.
One of the major compositional themes of the piece is the contrast between the keys of B major, representing humanity, and C major, representing the universe. Because B and C are adjacent notes, these keys are tonally dissimilar: B major uses five sharps, while C major has none.
Orchestral music, including symphonic poems: Macbeth (1888), Don Juan (1888-1889), Tod und Verklärung (Death and Transfiguration, 1889), Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche (Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, 1895), Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spake Zarathustra, 1896), Don Quixote (1897) and Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life, 1898); 2 symphonies (Domestic, 1903 and Alpine, 1915); 3 concertos (2 for horn, 1 for oboe)
15 operas, including Salome (1905), Elektra (1909), Der Rosenkavalier (The Cavalier of the Rose, 1911), Ariadne auf Naxos (1912) and Die schweigsame Frau (The Silent Woman, 1935)
Choral works (with and without orchestra), chamber works
• 1911 ~ George Liberace, Violinist, conductor; administrator of Liberace Museum; brother of pianist/entertainer Liberace
• 1918 ~ Jan La Rue, American musicologist
• 1918 ~ Hank Jones, Pianist. He accompanied Billy Eckstine and Ella Fitzgerald. He led the Hank Jones Trio
• 1919 ~ Mornam Del Mar, British conductor
• 1923 ~ Ahmet Ertegun, Recording Executive
• 1939 ~ John West, Musician, guitarist with Gary Lewis and the Playboys
• 1942 ~ Harry James and his band recorded the classic I’ve Heard that Song Before, for Columbia Records. Helen Forrest sang on the million-seller.
• 1943 ~ Lobo, Singer
• 1946 ~ Gary Lewis (Levitch), Singer with Gary Lewis and the Playboys, entertainer Jerry Lewis’ son
• 1946 ~ Bob Welch, Guitarist and singer with Fleetwood Mac
• 1947 ~ Karl Green, Musician, guitar and harmonica with Herman’s Hermits
• 1964 ~ Jim Reeves, popular U.S. country music singer, died in an air crash near Nashville.
• 1985 ~ Prince was big at the box office with the autobiographical story of the Minneapolis rock star, Purple Rain. The flick grossed $7.7 million in its first three days of release on 917 movie screens. The album of the same name was the top LP in the U.S., as well.
• 2019 ~ Hal (Harold Smith) Prince died at the age of 91, He was an American theatrical producer and director associated with many of the best-known Broadway musical productions of the 20th century.
Over the span of his career, he garnered 21 Tony Awards, more than any other individual, including eight for directing, eight for producing the year’s Best Musical, two as Best Producer of a Musical, and three special awards.
• 1864 ~ Richard Strauss, German composer and conductor. Strauss wrote in nearly every genre but is best known for his tone poems and operas.
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• 1874 ~ Richard Stohr, Composer
• 1896 ~ Friedrich Gottlieb Schwencke, Composer, died at the age of 72
• 1899 ~ George Frederick McKay, Composer
• 1900 ~ Charles Swinnerton Heap, Composer, died at the age of 53
• 1904 ~ Emil Frantisek Burian, Composer
• 1904 ~ Clarence “Pinetop” Smith, Jazz pianist and singer of Boogie Woogie Piano
• 1910 ~ Carmine Coppola, Composer and conductor
• 1912 ~ Mukhtar Ashrafi, Composer
• 1913 ~ Risë Stevens (Steenberg), American mezzo-soprano at the New York Metropolitan Opera
• 1924 ~ Théodore Dubois, French organist and composer, died at the age of 86
• 1926 ~ Carlisle Floyd, American opera composer
• 1927 ~ Josef Anton Reidl, Composer
• 1928 ~ King Oliver and his band recorded Tin Roof Blues for Vocalion Records.
• 1939 ~ Wilma Burgess, Country singer
• 1940 ~ Joey Dee (Joseph DiNicola), Singer with Joey Dee and The Starliters
• 1940 ~ The Ink Spots recorded Maybe on Decca Records. By September 1940, the song had climbed to the number two position on the nation’s pop music charts.
• 1946 ~ John Lawton, Singer
• 1949 ~ Hank Williams sang a show-stopper on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. He sang the classic Lovesick Blues, one of his most beloved songs.
• 1951 ~ Bonnie Pointer, Grammy Award-winning singer (with sister Anita) in the Pointer Sisters
• 1955 ~ Marcel Louis Auguste Samuel-Rousseau, Composer, died at the age of 72
• 1961 ~ Roy Orbison was wrapping up a week at number one on the Billboard record chart with Running Scared, his first number one hit. Orbison recorded 23 hits for the pop charts, but only one other song made it to number one: Oh Pretty Woman in 1964. He came close with a number two effort, Crying, number four with Dream Baby and number five with Mean Woman Blues. Orbison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 but suffered a fatal heart attack just one year later.
• 1964 ~ The group, Manfred Mann, recorded Do Wah Diddy Diddy
• 1966 ~ Janis Joplin made her first onstage appearance — at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco. She began her professional career at the age of 23 with Big Brother and The Holding Company. The group was a sensation at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. Piece of My Heart was the only hit to chart for the group in 1968. Big Brother and The Holding Company disbanded in 1972, though Joplin continued in a solo career with hits such as Down on Me and Me and Bobby McGee. Janis ‘Pearl’ Joplin died of a heroin overdose in Hollywood in October 1970. The movie The Rose, starring Bette Midler, was inspired by the life of the rock star.
• 1966 ~ (I’m A) Road Runner by Jr Walker & The All-Stars peaked at #20
• 1966 ~ I Am A Rock by Simon and Garfunkel peaked at #3
• 1966 ~ “On A Clear Day You…” closed at Mark Hellinger NYC after 280 performances
• 1966 ~ Paint It, Black by The Rolling Stones peaked at #1
• 1966 ~ “Skyscraper” closed at Lunt Fontanne Theater NYC after 248 performances
• 1966 ~ Sloop John B by The Beach Boys hit #1 in the United Kingdom
• 1969 ~ “The Ballad Of John & Yoko” by The Beatles hit #1 in the United Kingdom
• 1969 ~ David Bowie released Space Oddity
• 1975 ~ Floro Manuel Ugarte, Composer, died at the age of 90
• 1976 ~ Australian band AC/DC began their first headline tour of Britain
• 1976 ~ The Beatles “Rock & Roll Music” LP was released in America
• 1977 ~ Dance & Shake Your Tambourine by Universal Robot Band peaked at #93
• 1977 ~ I Need A Man by Grace Jones peaked at #83
• 1977 ~ I’m Your Boogie Man by KC & Sunshine Band peaked at #1
• 1977 ~ Lonely Boy by Andrew Gold peaked at #7
• 1977 ~ The Pretender by Jackson Browne peaked at #58
• 1990 ~ Clyde McCoy, Jazz trumpeter, died at the age of 86
• 1995 ~ Lovelace Watkins, Singer, died at the age of 58
• 2001 ~ Amalia Mendoza, one of Mexico’s most famous singers of mariachi and ranchera music, died at the age of 78. She was famous for songs such as Echame a mi la Culpa (Put the Blame on Me) and Amarga Navidad (Bitter Christmas). Born in the Michoacan town of San Juan Huetamo in 1923, she was part of a family of noted musicians. Ranchera music is a kind of Mexican country music that overlaps with Mariachi music.
• 2001 ~ Ponn Yinn, a flutist of traditional Cambodian music and dance who survived the Khmer Rouge purge and helped preserve his country’s culture, died of a stroke at the age of 82. Yinn was working under Prince Norodom Sihanouk, then Gen. Lon Nol, for the Classical Symphony of the Army for the Royal Ballet, when the Khmer Rouge overthrew Cambodia’s government in 1975. Khmer Rouge forces found Yinn during their campaign to uncover and eliminate Cambodia’s intellectuals and artists. He begged for his life and claimed to be a steelworker who enjoyed playing the flute. He was allowed to live but was forced to play a makeshift flute nightly into loudspeakers to drown out the screams of people being slaughtered in fields nearby. In 1979, Yinn crossed through minefields and escaped to Thailand. In a border refugee camp, Yinn headed the Khmer Classical Dance Troupe. At a time when Cambodian culture was believed to have been almost eradicated – a result of the Khmer Rouge’s genocide of 1 million to 2 million people, the troupe was discovered by Western visitors. Yinn settled in Long Beach in 1984, where he taught music for more than 20 years and continued to perform.
• 2015 ~ Ornette Coleman died at the age of 85. He was an American jazz saxophonist, violinist, trumpeter and composer. He was one of the major innovators of the free jazz movement of the 1960s.
• 2015 Ron Moody [Ronald Moodnick], British composer, singer and actor (12 Chairs, Oliver!), died at the age of 91
• 1966 ~ Percy Sledge hit number one with his first, and what turned out to be his biggest, hit. When a Man Loves a Woman would stay at the top of the pop music charts for two weeks. It was the singer’s only hit to make the top ten and was a million seller.
• 1973 ~ Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, German composer and conductor, died at the age of 73
• 1975 ~ The Doobie Brothers went gold with the album, “Stampede”. The group, formed in San Jose, CA, recorded 16 charted hits. Two made it to number one, becoming million-selling, gold record winners: Black Water in March, 1975 and What a Fool Believes in April, 1979.
• 1977 ~ Jiri Reinberger, Composer, died at the age of 63
• 1981 ~ Mary Lou Williams, Musician, died at the age of 71
• 2014 ~ James K. Randall, American composer, died at the age of 84
• 1050 ~ Guido d’Arezzo, Italian music theorist, died. He is regarded as the inventor of modern musical notation (staff notation) that replaced neumatic notation.
• 1866 ~ Erik Satie, French composer and pianist
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• 1890 ~ Pietro Mascagni’s famous opera “Cavalleria Rusticana”, set in Sicily, was first performed in Rome.
• 1901 ~ Werner Egk, German composer and conductor
• 1918 ~ Birgit Nilsson, Swedish soprano. Famed for her singing of Wagner, she took part in the first pioneering commercial recording of Wagner’s Ring Cycle.
• 1921 ~ Bob Merrill, Songwriter
• 1924 ~ Dick Hixson, Trombonist, studio musician
• 1932 ~ Jackie (John) McLean, Jazz musician: alto sax; composer, playwright; educator: University of Hartford, CT
• 1935 ~ French composer Paul Dukas, whose composition “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” featured in the Disney films “Fantasia” and “Fantasia 2000” died
• 1938 ~ Pervis Jackson, Singer with The Spinners
• 1939 ~ The Glen Island Casino in New Rochelle, NY was the scene of a memorable dual- network radio broadcast of Glenn Miller and his orchestra. Both NBC and Mutual carried the event, which was attended by 1,800 people in the casino ballroom.
• 1942 ~ Taj Mahal (Henry St. Claire Fredericks), Entertainer, songwriter, singer
• 1944 ~ Paul Crossley, concert pianist
• 1949 ~ Bill Bruford, Drummer
• 1971 ~ Jordan Knight, Singer with New Kids on the Block
• 1971 ~ The musical, Godspell, opened this night at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City. Godspell featured the song Day by Day (a top-15 hit in 1972). The rock musical that featured Robin Lamont played for 2,124 performances and was the third longest-running off-Broadway production at the time.
• 1975 ~ NBC-TV paid a whopping $5,000,000 for the rights to show Gone with the Wind just one time. It was the top price paid for a single opportunity to show a film on television.
• 1975 ~ Elton John’s Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy album was released and certified a platinum record on the very same day. It was the first album to be certified a million-seller (in this case, a two-million seller) on the first day of release.
• 2002 ~ John de Lancie, an oboist whose talent as a player and teacher helped create a new repertoire for his instrument, died from leukemia. He was 80. De Lancie’s style became a signature of the Philadelphia Orchestra, which he joined in 1946 and served as principal from 1954-77. He was then appointed director of the Curtis Institute of Music, the Philadelphia conservatory whose graduates include Leonard Bernstein. Students of Mr. de Lancie also occupy principal chairs in Boston, Montreal and Minneapolis. As a 24-year-old soldier stationed in Germany during World War II, de Lancie approached Richard Strauss about writing a concerto for oboe. The 81-year-old Strauss said he had not considered such a work, but went on to create a score that joined the standard repertoire. De Lancie entered the Curtis Institute at 14 to study with the legendary French oboist Marcel Tabuteau. De Lancie entered the Army in 1942 and played in the Army Band. While stationed in Paris, he met his wife, Andrea. They had two children; Christina, a playwright, and John de Lancie, an actor who played the character Q on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
1879 ~ Sir Thomas Beecham, English conductor. Founded the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1947 and did much to promote the works of Delius, Sibelius and Richard Strauss.
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. 1895 ~ Sir Malcolm Sargent, English conductor, born. He was in charge of the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra from 1942 until 1948 and of the BBC Symphony Orchestra from 1950 until 1957.
. 1913 ~ Donald Mills, Singer with The Mills Brothers.
. 1925 ~ Danny Davis (George Nowland), Grammy Award-winning bandleader with Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass. Best Country Instrumental Performance in 1969, Country Music Awards Instrumental Group of the Year 1969 to 1974
. 1936 ~ Zubin Mehta, Indian conductor, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and violinist
. 1936 ~ April Stevens (Carol Lo Tempio), Singer
. 1943 ~ Duane Allen, Singer with the Oak Ridge Boys
. 1947 ~ Tommy James (Jackson), Singer with Tommy James and The Shondells
. 1949 ~ Francis Rossi, Musician, guitar and singer with Status Quo
. 1968 ~ Hair made its way from Greenwich Village to Broadway. The show certainly opened eyes. It was the first time that actors appeared nude in a Broadway musical. Hair ran for 1,844 shows on and off Broadway. It was even more successful in its London run later. Big songs from the show: Hair (The Cowsills) and Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The 5th Dimension).
. 1969 ~ Sir Duke, Duke Ellington, celebrated his 70th birthday. He was honored with the presentation of the Medal of Freedom, the U.S. government’s highest civilian honor.
. 2001 ~ Opera diva Rita Nellie Hunter, a powerful soprano celebrated for her fine Wagnerian performances, died at the age of 67. Hunter, originally from Wallasey, England, was best remembered as the quintessential Brunnhilde of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle, which she performed in London, New York, Germany and Sydney. Hunter’s agile voice led her through performances of Verdi’s “Aida,” and “Macbeth,” Puccini’s “Turandot” and Strauss’ challenging “Elektra.” Despite her remarkable voice, Hunter did not reach international stardom. Her physical size, at a time when the opera was seeking slimmer performers, and the fact that she sang roles primarily in English, kept her from achieving global fame. Hunter married tenor John Darnley Thomas in 1960, and after his death in 1994, took over management of his Singing Academy in Sydney.
. 1941 ~ Artie Shaw and his orchestra recorded Moonglow on Victor Records. In the band were such sidemen as Johnny Guarnieri, Jack Jenney, Billy Butterfield and Ray Conniff on trombone.
. 1943 ~ Duke Ellington and the band played for a black-tie crowd at Carnegie Hall in New York City. It was the first of what was to become an annual series of concerts featuring the Duke.
. 1948 ~ Anita Pointer, Singer with The Pointer Sisters
. 1950 ~ Bill Cunningham, Bass, piano with The Box Tops
. 1950 ~ Patrick Simmons, Singer, guitarist with The Doobie Brothers
. 1974 ~ Mike Oldfield’sTubular Bells opened the credits of the movie, “The Exorcist”, based on the book by William Peter Blatty. The song received a gold record this day.
. 1977 ~ Carole King’s landmark album, “Tapestry”, became the longest-running album to hit the charts, as it reached its 302nd week on the album lists.
. 1978 ~ Vic Ames killed in car crash
. 1981 ~ Samuel Barber, American composer (School for Scandal), died of cancer at the age of 70
. 2002 ~ Alfred Glasser, a former director of education for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, died of cancer. He was 70. Glasser held the education post for 30 years before his retirement in 1996. Since 1997, Glasser served as chairman of the board and commentator for Chicago’s concert opera company, da Corneto Opera. For the past decade, he served on the board of Alliance Francaise of Chicago, a French cultural group. Glasser also founded the Lyric Opera Lecture Corps, a community service project.
. 2003 ~ Nell Carter, actress-singer, died at the age of 54. She was best known for her role as the housekeeper in the TV sitcom “Gimme a Break!”. Carter, who was born September 13, 1948, in Birmingham, Alabama, first rose to stardom on the New York stage. After a series of roles on- and off-Broadway — and a short-lived part in the soap opera “Ryan’s Hope” — in 1977 she starred in the show “Ain’t Misbehavin’!”, a revue of the works of composer Fats Waller. She was rewarded for her performance with an Obie Award, and later with a Tony Award when the show moved to Broadway. Several years later, she earned an Emmy for her performance on a television presentation of the musical. Despite her Broadway success, Carter would have preferred to sing opera. “When I was growing up, it was not something you aspired to,” she said in 1988. “I was a weirdo to want to be in show business. Most kids wanted to be teachers or nurses.” “Gimme a Break!” ran from 1981 to 1987. Carter was nominated for two Emmys for her role as housekeeper Nell Harper, who helped run the household of police chief Carl Kanisky, played by Dolph Sweet. She also garnered two Golden Globe nominations for the role.
. 2003 ~ For Sale: One of London’s most famous music venues, which in its heyday in the 1960s played host to The Who, David Bowie and the Rolling Stones, is for sale, its administrators said. The Marquee Club, which in the 1970s was the epicenter of the punk explosion, ran into financial difficulties after its high-profile relaunch last fall, said a spokeswoman for administrator BDO Stoy Hayward. “We’re looking for someone in the music business who can capitalize on the Marquee brand and keep running it as a live venue,” she said. The price tag is at least $200 million. The club opened in London’s Soho district in 1958 and was so cramped and sweaty that, according to legend, Bob Geldof of the Boomtown Rats blacked out on stage. In 1988, it moved to a new location in nearby Charing Cross, but within eight years it had closed down. A high-profile relaunch at a new venue in Islington, north London September 2002 was headlined by the controversial electro-rockers Primal Scream, but according to the club’s administrators, huge start-up costs quickly led to its downfall.
. 2017 ~ Bobby Freeman, American singer (Do You Want to Dance), died at the age of 76
. 2018 ~ Hugh Masekela, South African trumpeter, anti-apartheid activist (I Am Not Afraid), described as the “father of South African jazz,” died at the age of 78