Norman Del Mar (1919-1994) was universally recognised as a leading authority on the music of Richard Strauss, and his masterly three-volume study of his life and works remains a classic.
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Volume I deals with the years from the composer's birth (1864) to Der Rosenkavalier (1912), discussing the early orchestral and chamber music, the tone poems and the operas Guntram, Feuersnot, Salome and Elektra.
'Deploying a well-nigh encyclopaedic knowledge, Mr Del Mar acquits himself brilliantly of his task of disentangling and reassembling the numerous strands that make up the backcloth of poetry and philosophy which Strauss, while not always understanding every intricacy, yet needed as a constant reference map for his composing. The three volumes of this magnificent book should be studied by all lovers of the late-romantic music, amateurs and professionals alike...a monumental achievement.' Times Literary Supplement
'A brilliant and copiously analytical study ... a constant fascination.' Guardian