Composer in Focus: Richard Strauss



One of the most revered Romantic composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Richard Strauss’s symphonic poems and operas remain an indispensable feature of the standard repertoire. This program—which includes the operatic rarity Die Liebe der Danae (The Love of Danae) from the 2011 Bard SummerScape along with various symphonic and choral works—explores the composer’s substantial melodic gifts and his mastery of instrumentation and expression.

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Tea Time Talk

This intimate and lively conversation between Maestro Leon Botstein and renowned architect (and set designer for the Bard SummerScape production of Die Liebe der Danae) Rafael Viñoly delves into Richard Strauss’s achievements throughout his astonishingly prolific career.


Opera, 2011


Opera – Die Liebe der Danae

In this unjustly neglected late opera by Richard Strauss, the powerful god Jupiter and King Midas compete for the love of the beautiful Danae. The story of The Love of Danae (Die Liebe der Danae) is a Mozartean blend of comedy, romance, and drama on the themes of transformation and the acceptance of life’s changes, all brilliantly illuminated by Strauss’s orchestral mastery.

“Exhilarating and moving, ‘Danae’ has found its moment.”The New York Times

Read the full program here



This selection of recordings offers a musical window onto the depth and range of this extraordinary composer.

Among Strauss’s greatest achievements are his ambitious tone poem Tod und Verklärung (Death and Transfiguration, Op. 24, 1889), which explores the mystery of death and what might lie beyond; Die Tageszeiten (Time of The Day, Op. 76, 1928), a setting for male choir and orchestra and the perfect showcase for the talents of the Bard Festival Chorale; and Eine Alpensinfonie (Alpine Symphony, Op. 64, 1916), a symphonic tone poem that gives full expression to Strauss’s reverence for the glories of nature.