Richard Strauss
Sketches of a Life
Directors: Barbara Wunderlich & Marieke Schroeder
Distributor: C Major Entertainment
Length: 52 min.
16:9 shot in HD-Cam & archival footage| stereo
© 2014, a BFMI production in co-production with ORF and WDR/Arte
Com­mem­or­at­ing Richard Strauss’ 150th Birth­day, the film fo­cuses on the fam­ily of the com­poser. Es­pe­cially for this doc­u­ment­ary, the fam­ily archive of the Strauss-fam­ily is opened to the pub­lic by Richard Strauss’ grand-son Chris­ti­an and his sis­ter in law (and today’s archiv­al dir­ect­or) Gab­ri­ele Strauss-Hot­ter. It al­lows the view­er to get an in­tense, nearly in­tim­ate view on the ex­traordin­ary life of this ex­cep­tion­al artist.

Pre­vi­ously un­re­leased let­ters and doc­u­ments shed new light on his in­stall­a­tion as pres­id­ent of the Reichs­musikkam­mer (“Reich Mu­sic Cham­ber”). But far more than de­scrib­ing the polit­ic­al di­men­sion of Richard Strauss, sources like the archive, his fam­ily, and con­tem­por­ary wit­nesses provide the audi­en­ce with or­al his­tory on the com­poser as a man: What made him tick? Where did his end­less in­spir­a­tion came from? What kept him go­ing?

The film by Bar­bara Wun­der­lich and Mar­ieke Schroeder sketches the per­son­al­ity of Strauss by em­phas­is on the Strauss Villa in Garmisch, his fo­cal point of life, and the sym­phon­ic com­pos­i­tion “Sym­phonia Do­mest­ica”, which por­trays the artist’s con­tra­dict­ive per­sona and his body of work bet­ter than any oth­er piece of him.