Richard Strauss saw an empire come and go, survived two world wars, witnessed the rise and fall of the Weimar Republic, endured the period of National Socialism, and died the year that Germany was officially divided into two separate states. All the while he enjoyed a successful career as composer, as conductor of international stature, as organizer for the rights of composers, and as colleague of and collaborator with some of the most important composers, writers, and artists of his day. This biography covers Strauss's early musical development, his emergence as a tone poet in the late nineteenth century, his turn to the stage at the beginning of the twentieth century, the successes and failures of the post-World War I era, the turbulent 1930s, and the period of the Second World War and its aftermath.
' ... well written, informative and perceptive ... After this admirable book, the reader can return to listening to Strauss with added enjoyment.' Contemporary Review