The genius of Richard Strauss

David Mellor, Sunday 14 December 7pm. David celebrates the 150th anniversary of one of his favourite composers.

Tonight David Mellor celebrates the 150th anniversary of one of his favourite composers, Richard Strauss. 

It was said that Strauss could 'take his genius on and off like an overcoat' and David aims to explore if this was true.

GALLERY: Richard Strauss: 15 facts about the great composer > 

He was the virtuoso orchestra composer par excellence, blessed with a colossal imagination. He took music to the edge of the atonal precipice in his operatic blood-curdler Elektra, but pulled back at the last minute in order to indulge his post-Romantic inclinations in the cosy world of Der Rosenkavalier.

He was also a brilliant composer. He made the minimum of gestures – a mere flick of the wrist was enough to inspire a shattering fortissimo. His 10 “golden rules” for conductors contains such gems as: “Never look at the brass – it only encourages them!”