Musical London will scarcely have recovered from its state of bewilderment over Richard Strauss's Ein Heldenleben before the second performance. The first impression is that Strauss's artistic position is not altered by this work. His great strength is his mastery over tones; he has chosen most happily when he calls his work a “Tone-Poem.” Whatever one may think of Ein Heldenleben as music, one must admit the newness, the power, and the extreme beauty of the sounds that proceed from the Straussian orchestra. Strauss's weakness lies in the fact that he is so often content with commonplaces as the germs of his inspiration. He is like a cook who can serve up mutton with such art that he does not always take the trouble to look out for venison. The work is divided into six sections; each, according to the Queen's Hall programme, duly labeled “The Hero,” “His Enemies,” and so on.
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