Music: Again Strauss

It once made a burgher feel big to buy operas and plays and for a particular evening he commissioned one of each. The singers arrived, the actors arrived, but the burgher wanted his art short. Opera plus play would take too long so he ordered them run off together. On such a farcical notion did Moliere make his Bourgeois Gentilhomme. Hugo von Hofmannsthal used it for Ariadne auf Naxos for which Richard Strauss wrote the music. Last week the Strauss-von-Hofmannsthal opus, given first in Stuttgart in 1912 with Maria Jeritza, had its U. S. première—with the enterprising Philadelphia Civic Opera Company.

Ariadne,...