Richard Strauss

Metamorphosen, study for 23 solo strings, o.Op. 142 (TrV 290, AV 142)

    Description by Roy Brewer

    Toward the end of his life, Richard Strauss underwent a profound aesthetic change that resulted in some of the composer's most intensely personal and philosophical music. Among the most striking of these works from Strauss' final decade is Metamorphosen (1945), written in an atmosphere of devastation following World War II.

    As a meditation on the bombing of Dresden (which destroyed the city and killed 130,000 of its inhabitants), Metamorphosen represents a significant departure from the more exuberant of Strauss' tone poems -- Til Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, Don Juan, Don Quixote -- by that time a half-century old. In contrast to the vivid portraiture of those works, Metamorphosen is wholly unrepresentational, a tragic, pessimistic reflection on a more intimate level than any of Strauss' other music.

    The work unfolds in a single, long movement. Strauss sustains and develops a series of recurring, interrelated motives that, as the title indicates, are linked by their transformation into new material rather than -- as in conventional variations -- a common thematic identity. The work includes several direct references to the funeral march in the second movement of Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony; here they sound entirely appropriate and natural within the broader structure, underlying rather than emphasizing the somber nature of the work as a whole.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2018 Passacaille PAS 1050
    2018 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler PH 18084
    2017 Linn Records CKD 538
    2017 Rubicon RCD 1009
    2017 SWR Music SWR 19021 CD
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4795805
    2014 Phaia Music PHU 041
    2014 Warner Classics 2564633618
    2014 Deutsche Grammophon 4792686
    2014 Oehms Classics OC 1802
    2014 Gramola GRAM 99041
    2013 Marsyas MAR 18082
    2012 ECM / Universal Music Group
    2012 Deutsche Grammophon 002894770055
    2012 MDG / Zebralution
    2012 Naxos 8571219
    2012 Virgin Classics / Warner Classics 5099923227
    2012 Farao Classics B 108061
    2012 Paladino Music PMR 0010
    2012 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler PH 12053
    2011 Decca 478 275-9
    2011 Decca 4782759
    2011 ECM 219094
    2011 ECM 4764509
    2011 Brilliant Classics 9249
    2011 Deutsche Grammophon 4779814
    2011 Deutsche Grammophon
    2011 Avie AV2172
    2010 NSS Music 10
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon 423 888-2GGA
    2010 Decca
    2009 Document / Membran 231754
    2009 Dal Segno 050
    2009 Naxos 8 570895
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Documents / Membran 232540
    2008 Gall (formerly Gallo) 1151
    2008 EMI Classics 16091
    2008 Corona Classic Collection 0000882CCC
    2008 EMI Classics
    2008 EMI Classics 12963
    2008 EMI Classics 3800082
    2008 Musicaphon 56901
    2008 EMI Music Distribution 3458262
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon / Eloquence 4800478
    2008 Virgin Classics 22130
    2008 Erato
    2008 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099951203
    2008 ABC Classics 4766811
    2007 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 0946380003
    2007 EMI Classics
    2007 Naïve AMB 110
    2007 Hyperion 67574
    2006 Edel Classics 2612
    2006 EMI Music Distribution 45831
    2006 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 0946371502
    2006 Arte Nova 984950
    2005 Preiser Records 90499
    2005 Berlin Classics 3023
    2005 Cascavelle 6172
    2005 Real Sound (RS) 71
    2005 EMI Music Distribution 76877
    2005 EMI Classics
    2005 Virgin Classics
    2005 Brilliant 7591
    2005 EMI Classics
    2004 Music & Arts 1146
    2004 Chandos Collect / Chandos 6681
    2004 Laserlight / Delta Distribution 16409
    2004 Arte Nova 95999
    2004 Chandos 10218
    2003 Carus 83198
    2003 Laserlight / Delta Distribution 40044
    2003 Nimbus 5151
    2003 ASV 6195
    2003 Avie 0017
    2002 History 205180
    2002 Decca 470 954
    2002 Brilliant 6366
    2002 Calliope 9298
    2001 History 203133
    2001 Virgin 61324
    2001 Kleos Classics 5111
    2001 CBC Records 5034
    2001 Classica d'Oro 1040
    2000 EMI Classics 66390
    2000 Arkadia 78592
    2000 Virgin 561766-2
    2000 Chandos 7133
    2000 Urania 151
    1999 Deutsche Grammophon 447398
    1999 EMI Music Distribution 67039
    1999 Chandos CHAN9708
    1999 Angel Records 73614
    1999 Claves 509504
    1999 Claves 9412
    1999 Nimbus 5614
    1998 EMI Music Distribution 556580
    1998 Denon Records 17011
    1998 Delos DE3707
    1996 Deutsche Grammophon 447744
    1996 Chandos 7039
    1996 Laserlight 24418
    1996 Deutsche Grammophon 447422
    1995 Ambassador 1009
    1995 Laserlight 14281
    1994 London 436 596-2DH
    1994 Delos 3121
    1992 EMI Music Distribution 64350
    1989 CBS Records 44702
    1983 Deutsche Grammophon 410892
    Vox 5136
    Denon Records 79442
    Analekta 27201/2
    Music & Arts 719
    Memoir 448
    History 205185
    History 203137
    DHM Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 77343
    MDG 3071142
    Virgin 61922
    Deutsche Grammophon 4238882
    Capriccio Records 10231
    Brilliant 7591/7
    Denon Records 73801
    Virgin 59538
    Deutsche Grammophon 435883
    Music & Arts 4719
    Arlecchino 111