Vatican celebrates the 150th anniversary of the birth of Richard Strauss

Vatican celebrates the 150th anniversary of the birth of Richard Strauss
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The tradition of dedicating a postage stamp issue to artists who have written an important chapter in the history of music continues. In 2014 the Philatelic and Numismatic Office celebrates the 150th anniversary of the birth of Richard Strauss (1864-1949) with an original sketch by Milanese artist Marco Ventura.

Born in Munich, Germany, Strauss was a brilliant composer who, between the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, embraced different musical styles from tone poems to orchestral works. He was very young when he became interested in music, and he wrote his first compositions at the age of seven. During his years of artistic training, most significant was his experience with violinist Alexander Ritter, an admirer of Wagner and Liszt, who influenced him to the point of changing his musical direction.

From that moment Strauss developed a new style, already noticeable in 1886 with his symphonic fantasy in four movements "Aus Italien". In the years to follow, he made his own unique mark in musical composition with “Don Juan” and "Tod und Verklärung", works which made him famous. In 1909 his acclaim, triumph and international fame came with "Salomé" and "Elektra".

The German composer is known not only as a great artist, but also for the recognition he received for his work through what today is called copyright, where the composer receives part of the profits for every performance of his music. This helped to show that even a musician can make a living from his work, something which was not a given in the past.

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