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In 1909 Richard Strauss unveiled a new opera, Elektra, a Musical tragedy in one Act, based on the adaptation of the classic, Electra, by Sophocles. Strauss opera was first performed in Dresden Germany, libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal.
Richard Strauss (1864-1949) was a German composer and conductor, a leading composer for the modern orchestra and a master of composing for the human voice. Born in Munich, Strauss was the son of a well-known horn player and was trained musically from the age of four. By the age of twenty-one hed become a successful conductor. From 1933 to 1935 he was the honorary head of the music bureau of the Third Reich and remained in Germany during World War II (1939-1945).
The musical works of Strauss fall into three distinct periods.
Works composed between 1880-1887 are very influenced by the classical and romantic masters.
Works composed between 1887-1904 made a notable contribution to the repertory of program music. He developed the symphonic (tone) poems such as Don Juan, 1889 and Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, 1895, to a high degree and made innovations in harmony and instrumentation, greatly expanding the expressive possibilities of the modern symphony orchestra.
From 1904-1949 Strauss created operas. They are considered among the most important of the 20th century. After the production of his first successful opera, Salome (1905) he formed a partnership with Austrian poet and librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal. With Hofmannsthal he produced his finest operas, including Elektra (1909) and Arabella (1933).
Strauss also composed more than 100 songs.