2 June 2014 at 1.54pm | Comment on this article
The business-minded Richard Strauss was keen to make his operas work well financially. But they were often tricky to produce, with their lavish orchestrations and highly complex scores, so Strauss went about creating a series of orchestral highlights that could be performed outside the opera house.
First came Salomes Tanz, a concert version of the ‘Dance of the Seven Veils’ from Salome. The gorgeous waltzes from Der Rosenkavalier were also stripped of their narrative and published as two Walzerfolge (or waltz sequences), before Strauss and the Polish conductor Artur Rodziński produced an additional suite from the opera. Strauss also created a Symphonisches Fantasie from Die Frau ohne Schatten and separately published the interludes from Intermezzo, all testaments to his keen eye on the coffers.
2014 sees the 150th anniversary of Richard Strauss’s birth. The composer is celebrated at the ROH with stagings of Die Frau ohne Schatten (which ran until 2 April 2014) and Ariadne auf Naxos (25 June-13 July). Tickets for Ariadne auf Naxos are still available.