Alex Ross posted this image from the hand of Alban Berg, a graphic depiction of the careers of the two pre-eminent late-Romantic composers. Ross wonders if Berg would have changed his mind if he had heard the Four Last Songs and Capriccio. I know Ross is a fan of Strauss, as are many people, and I don’t begrudge that. I, however, absolutely loathe Strauss, and it was a performance of Capriccio that cemented that loathing for me. I admire his skill as a composer in setting down notes and handling material, but I find his aesthetic and personal values, as he expresses them in his music, absolutely repulsive, and to my ears the opera is about an artist seeking to please his social superiors in the Nazi party that he wished to join. Berg was right.