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Über Opern von Richard Strauss [inscribed]

Über Opern von Richard Strauss [inscribed] by STRAUSS, Richard [Hugo Burghauser] (1947)

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Author: STRAUSS, Richard [Hugo Burghauser]
Title: Über Opern von Richard Strauss [inscribed]
Year: 1947
Publisher: Atlantix
Place: Zurich
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: Yes
Price: £1250
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Added under Signed and inscribed  

Annotated by Richard Strauss and then wittily inscribed by the composer to a bassoonist friend on the half title: 'Meinen gebrenen Hugo Burghauser pp Fagott par excellence sein anfrichtig ergebenen Richard Strauss. Montreux, 15 Oktober 1948' ('My surreptitious Hugo Burghauser pp bassoon par excellence his most devoted Richard Strauss...') with Burghauser's booklabel opposite. A few months earlier Strauss had also dedicated his Duet Concertino for Clarinet and Bassoon in F to Hugo Burghauser - the work was premiered in April 1948, perhaps inspiring the joke about Burghauser's proficiency playing pianissimo. (Burghauser had been the principle bassoonist with the Vienna Philharmonic but since emigrated to New York.) This time Strauss chose to give the bassoonist the recently published first volume of another friend's work, Willi Schuh's study of his own operas, which he had read and annotated before making this presentation. At this time Strauss was living in Switzerland, less than a year from his own death, and composing perhaps the greatest of all musical valedictions, his Four Last Songs. The author of this book Willi Schuh was a Swiss musicologist who worked with Strauss from 1936 until his death in 1949, writing a series of meticulously documented studies of the composer culminating in a biography in the 1970s. During the year that he owned this book Strauss had certainly read at least the biographical opening chapter of Schuh's study and the following chapters on his operas, Salome and Electra, annotating around a dozen sections, such as a reference to Strauss as a conductor, with little marginal lines in pencil, occasional brackets, underlined words and a single angry word of exclamation at page 17. Most interesting is Strauss's longer response to a comment by Schuh at page 23 on the vexed issue of tonality in Elektra which runs to several words. On the final leaf in another hand, presumably Burghauser's, is written: '" - and knowing man's need of comfort God gave him music --' Now housed within a quarter morocco over blue cloth clamshell box, the book is in good condition only. There are old tape marks where Strauss's inscription appears to have been protected with cellophane; the jacket also has old tape repairs and is chipped. The combination of annotation, inscription and presentation makes this a Richard Strauss association copy of the highest significance.
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