Strauss remained active as a Lied composer and piano accompanist throughout his life. By comparison with his tone poems and operas, however, surprisingly little research has been carried out into his nearly 200 Lieder and Gesänge (i.e., orchestral songs) - not to mention the hundreds of stage appearances as an interpreter of his own works. This dimension of his career provides unique opportunity to develop an intimate and more nuanced picture of his performance activities, literary proclivities, personal interactions, and in some cases, even political affiliations. Although the Biography focuses on some of the more well-known (and politically controversial) contemporary poets that occupied Strauss's attention during the late nineteenth century (e.g. Richard Dehmel, Karl Henckell and John Henry Mackay), a series of individual case studies has been devoted to uncovering previously ignored - and even hitherto undiscovered - aspects of his activities in song composition, live performance, and interest in supporting the institution of the Liederabende (song recital), the intimate concert format that reached its popular and stylistic zenith during the middle of Strauss's long career.
Franz Steiner (1873-1954)
Shortly after Pauline Strauss's retirement as a concert soprano in 1908, Strauss began serving as the piano accompanist to the Austro-Hungarian baritone Franz Steiner. Between 1910 and 1927, they appeared together in no less than 60 Liederabende, concert tours and radio broadcasts - more than Strauss had ever performed with Pauline. Steiner inspired Strauss's celebrated return to song composition in 1918, and in 1920 they performed the first concert cycle of the composer's complete Lieder in Vienna's Konzerthaus. Not only were Steiner and Strauss Skatbrüdern, their wives were also close friends, arranging frequent visits to each other's homes in Garmisch, Vienna and Aschau (near Bad Ischl). Following the 1938 Anschluss, however, Steiner and his wife Margit (both Jewish) were forced to flee Austria for Mexico. There Steiner remained highly active as an opera producer and pedagogue. As a pupil of Johannes Meeschaert, Steiner had been an early proponent of Heinrich Schenker's musical theories, and even attempted to proselytise Strauss during their frequent summer holidays together in the Salzkammergut.
Liederjahr 1918 (or, the "Aschau Summer Collegium")
[details coming soon]
Josef Weinheber (1942)
[details coming soon]
"The Liederabend in the Last Days of the Kaiserreich: Richard Strauss as Franz Steiner’s accompanist, 1911-1918" (in preparation)
"The Architecture of Trauma: Richard Strauss, Salzburg and the Great War", in Music, Modern Culture and the Critical Ear: A Festschrift for Peter Franklin, eds. Nicholas Attfield and Ben Winters (Aldershot: Ashgate)
"‘Ach, wie hatten jene Zeiten Kraft’. Erinnerungskultur, Landschaft und Richard Strauss’ Blick vom oberen Belvedere“, in Richard Strauss, der Komponist und sein Werk: Überlieferung, Interpretation, Rezeption, eds. Sebastian Bolz, Adrian Kech and Hartmut Schick (München: Allitera Verlag, 2017), pp. 469-95.