The Four Last Songs (German: Vier letzte Lieder), Op. posth., for soprano and orchestra are – with the exception of the song "Malven" (Mallows), composed later the same year – the final completed works of Richard Strauss. They were composed in 1948 when the composer was 84.
The songs are "Frühling" (Spring), "September", "Beim Schlafengehen" (When Falling Asleep) and "Im Abendrot" (At Sunset). The title Four Last Songs was provided posthumously by Strauss's friend Ernst Roth, who published the four songs as a single unit in 1950 after Strauss's death.
Strauss died in September 1949. The premiere was given at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 22 May 1950 by soprano Kirsten Flagstad and the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Wilhelm Furtwängler.
The work has no opus number, and was published in 1950 after Strauss's death. It is listed as AV 150 in von Asow and Hermann's thematical index, and as TrV 296 in the index of Franz and Florian Trenner.
Performances & Interviews
- Strauss: Four Last Songshttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01sxb1y.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01sxb1y.jpg2014-05-07T13:22:00.000ZCharles Hazelwood explores Richard Strauss's Four Last Songs.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01ylm44
Strauss: Four Last SongsCharles Hazelwood explores Richard Strauss's Four Last Songs.
- Strauss: Four Last Songshttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02251dh.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02251dh.jpg2014-07-04T12:03:00.000ZIn this Proms Music Guide, Andrew McGregor talks about Strauss' Four Last Songs.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p02251gr
Strauss: Four Last SongsIn this Proms Music Guide, Andrew McGregor talks about Strauss' Four Last Songs.
- Richard Strauss' Four Last Songshttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01gjynl.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01gjynl.jpg2009-09-29T12:30:00.000ZAs the soprano voice delves ever deeper into the richness of the music, interviewees tell how the Four Last Songs have brought calm and beauty at key moments in their lives.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/b00mw5v5
Richard Strauss' Four Last SongsAs the soprano voice delves ever deeper into the richness of the music, interviewees tell how the Four Last Songs have brought calm and beauty at key moments in their lives.