Ein Heldenleben (“A Hero’s Life” in English), Op. 4 is a symphonic poem by Richard Strauss premiered in 1898. The title of the piece is inspired by the six sections that compose it, retracing the existential path of a mythical “Héro,” with a capital letter. Could this be interpreted as an autobiographical work, a sort of picture set to music? Strauss contradicts this affirmation by saying: “I’m not a hero: I am not made for combat.” Nevertheless, Ein Heldenleben features more than 30 quotations from his previous works, as if he was retracing his own artistic evolution: starting from Also Sprach Zarathoustra—composed three years earlier—to Till Eulenspiegel, Don Quixote, Don Juan, and Death and Transfiguration. Besides, when addressing the writer Romain Rolland, Strauss is reported to have described  himself as “no less interesting than Napoleon himself!”

Browse recordings of Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40

Stream Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40 on medici.tv!

medici.tv is the best online platform for streaming Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben live, on replay or VOD, offering you a virtual ticket to the most exciting concerts with the world’s best artists and orchestras captured in HD video. Taking inspiration from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, Strauss decided to compose a “heroic” symphony. That is how he conceptualized A Hero’s Life (“Ein Heldenlen” in German), Op. 40! On medici.tv, you can find exceptional conductors, such as Herbert von Karajan, Neeme, and Paavo Järvi, in some of the best interpretations of Strauss' A Hero’s Life

A seat at the best venues to discover Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben ("A Hero’s Life"), Op. 40 streaming on medici.tv

A selection of our programs is available for free for all registered users and the rest can be unlocked with a subscription, including Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40. Live videos, replays or VOD, stream right to your living room from the most renowned concert halls in the world, and you can watch our concerts on your biggest screens with AirPlay, Chromecast, and our new Roku app. Come and discover the best works in Strauss’ repertoire, including Ein Heldenleben, but also many others, under the baton of some stellar conductors: on medici.tv, you can listen to the best music whenever you want, wherever you like! 

The greatest artists of our time perform Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40 on medici.tv, the best classical streaming platform

Come and listen to Strauss’ A Hero’s Life! In his novel Dedalus or A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce describes the transition to adulthood and the personal growth of a young Irish man, a sort of alter ego of Joyce himself. And yet, Dedalus is not only a reflection of his author: he reaches a universal and prototypical dimension. It is thus interesting to note that the original title of the work was Stephen Hero. In fact, Strauss employs the same artistic approach as Joyce, as the title of his Op. 40 testifies it: A Hero’s Life (“Ein Heldenleben”). In the words of the composer himself: “[my hero] is not a single literary or historical figure, he is more like an ideal—freer and more generic—of great and bold heroism.” Set off on an adventure: on medici.tv, you are the protagonist of your own story. Craft your own tale by deriving inspiration from A Hero’s Life!