If calculated according to the current operatic canon, Richard Strauss's years of compositional productivity in this genre encompass a decade and a half, from Salome—his most staged opera—to the World War I–era Die Frau ohne Schatten. Bryan Gilliam casts his net much wider. Building on his body of work as a preeminent Strauss scholar, Gilliam's book is the first musicological study to cover this composer's entire operatic oeuvre from Guntram (1894) to Capriccio (1942). Gilliam's focus is on Strauss's five decades of opera composition, and his main objectives are to explore the genesis of Strauss's operas in the contexts of his collaborations, his musical, aesthetic, and philosophical preoccupations, and the changing sociocultural and political climates, as well as to illuminate structural (formal and harmonic) attributes of Strauss's operatic scores. Strauss is worthy of such consideration: add to his scores his early years as a student of opera and...

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