Isolation Reading in 1944: Richard Strauss, the Complete Works of Goethe and 'Metamorphosen'

Isolation Reading in 1944: Richard Strauss, the Complete Works of Goethe and 'Metamorphosen'
Date
18 November 2021, 5.45pm - 7.30pm
Type
Lecture
Venue
Bedford Room, G37, Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Description

English Goethe Society Lecture

Speaker: Mark Austin (Conductor and Independent Scholar)

Throughout his life an admirer of Goethe, Richard Strauss re-read the complete Propyläenausgabe in 1944 while Germany was ravaged by war. One of the few works he composed in this period was Metamorphosen, a study for 23 solo strings, usually considered an elegy for Germanic culture with its quotation from Beethoven’s Eroica inscribed 'In Memoriam'. The discovery of Strauss's musical setting of a short Xenion by Goethe, ‘Niemand wird sich selber kennen’, amidst sketches of Metamorphosen, has been taken as definitive evidence of the influence of Goethe, but this has not been satisfactorily elucidated, nor related to the listener's experience of the work as a whole. This talk considers Strauss’s relationship with Goethe, investigates the multi-layered significance of the Metamorphosen, and offers a fresh reading of the work as it approaches its 75th anniversary. 

Attendance free; advance online booking required. 

More about the English Goethe Society


Contact

Jane Lewin
jane.lewin@sas.ac.uk
020 7862 8966