In the context of the most prolific and tumultuous decade in Strauss's life, the 1930s, this essay focuses on the years 1935-36, a time of significant change in the history of the Nazi regime. This period also saw significant changes in Strauss's life and worldview. Strauss lost a prized librettist (Stefan Zweig) in 1935, the same year that their opera, Die schweigsame Frau, was banned. Strauss was then fired from the presidency of the Reichsmusikkammer and within twenty-four hours was negotiating reluctantly with a new librettist of modest abilities (Joseph Gregor). On a broader level, this period saw the formation of the Nuremberg Race Laws, a reconfiguration of the Reichskulturkammer, and Hitler's four-year plan for war. As the Nazis expanded, Strauss grew inward, turning to his late nineteenth-century roots in German Romanticism and Innerlichkeit informed by Goethe and Nietzsche. The relationship between Strauss's public and private worlds is explored through discussions of his completed works as well as a fragmentary cello concerto and works for male chorus in a sketchbook from this time.
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