CFP: Strauss on the Record: Karajan and the Legacy of Sound Materiality, Salzburg, Sept 2019

Herbert von Karajan’s recordings of Richard Strauss’s orchestral works shaped the history of modern sound on several notable occasions, from the first recording of the Metamorphosen in 1947, to the world’s first Compact Disc in 1980 (Alpine Symphony). Is it purely coincidental, however, that Strauss’s musical legacy intertwined with such modern technological milestones of the late twentieth century? Or might such convergences reveal a previously overlooked aspect of Strauss’s aesthetic, one that privileges the experience of sound as a kind of material object in its own right, perhaps even revealing a latent predisposition to new technological mediums and modes of aural experience?

This conference seeks to investigate the phenomenon of Strauss in performance and “on the record” in all its facets, but particularly welcomes contributions on the following themes:

·         Karajan's influence on Strauss reception

·         Theoretical approaches to Strauss and listening experiences/mediums

·         Aesthetics of recording Strauss’s works for private listening (opera vs. orchestral)

·         The perspectives (and agendas) of producers and studio engineers

·         Strauss as studio musician vs. live performer (pianist/conductor)

·         Early radio broadcasts of Strauss and his works

The selection committee also welcomes contributions dealing with the concert and recording legacies of Karl Böhm, whose artistic estate is housed at the University of Salzburg and Richard-Strauss-Institut.


Presentations in English or German will be allotted 30 minutes plus 10 minutes for questions. Please send abstracts of 250 words (German or English) by 30 April 2019 to matthew.werley [at] For more information, see

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