Richard Strauss - Salome

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When Richard Strauss’s Salome was premiered in 1905, it was a triumph with the opening night Dresden audience, earning 38 curtain calls. It also earned its share of controversy, however, both in terms of the difficult, surprisingly dissonant score and the provocative themes of religion and sexuality.

Marie Wittich, who acted in the lead role at its debut, refused to perform the infamous “Dance of the Seven Veils” — in which Salome dances seductively before Herod Antipas — famously telling the composer, “I won’t do it; I’m a decent woman.” A dancer was brought in to take her place for that particular scene.  I remember when playing it all the guys in the brass and percussion section looking up at the stage and being very distracted….  Have a listen for yourself in the link below.

Laura CampbellComment