In 1977 The Metropolitan Museum of Art presented Age of Spirituality: Late Antique and Early Christian Art, Third to Seventh Century, the largest exhibition ever to focus on the period that spans the transition between the classical and medieval ages. In keeping with the didactic spirit of the exhibition, the Museum held a symposium in November 1977 to provide the public with a broad background for appreciation of this little-known field and to offer art historians the provocative speculations and conclusions of their colleagues. In addition to art history, the distinguished scholars who participated in the symposium discussed the theology, literature, politics, economics, and architecture of the first centuries of the Christian Era.
Despite his advanced age and the chaos surrounding him, Richard Strauss remained highly productive well into the 1940s. As the Second World War was coming to an end in 1944-45, the eighty-year-old composer was working on his Oboe Concerto and Sonatina No. 2 for winds, as well as the Metamorphosen for strings. While the latter work was an explicit response to the destruction Strauss was witnessing, in the Concerto and the Sonatina the composer seemed to be turning his mind away from the events surrounding him. There is a pastoral quality to the oboe concerto, with a highly tuneful solo part and more than occasional touches of nostalgia for the 18th century. Similarly, Strauss headed the score of the sonatina with a dedication ‘to the spirit of the immortal Mozart at the end of a life full of thankfulness’.
L'historien ne peut manquer de s'interroger sur ce paradoxe: angevin par son père Henri II et aquitain par sa mère Aliénor, Richard Ier, roi d'Angleterre de 1189 à 1199, ne résida dans l'île que six mois au total et n'en parla sans doute jamais la langue…
When soprano Claudia Galli first encountered Strauss, it was love at first sight (or, rather, sound). It soon became clear that Strauss should form the foundation of this recital programme, lovingly compiled by Claudia Galli and her duo partner, pianist Grégory Moulin.