13 February 1945: the devastating bombardment of Dresden. Richard Strauss is so affected that he writes one of the most gripping works in his entire oeuvre: Metamorphosen. The purified piece, written for 23 strings, is tragic music that touches us deeply.

W.H. Auden’s poem of the same name inspired Bernstein’s The Age of Anxiety. His personal identification with the poem is almost physically perceptible in the gripping music.


Richard Strauss • Metamorphosen
Takashi Yoshimatsu • And Birds Sing Again…, op. 81 (2000)
Leonard Bernstein • Symphony No. 2: The Age of Anxiety