Music with Ease > Classical Music > Concert Guide: Turn of the 20th Century > Sinfonia Domestica - Richard Strauss
"Sinfonia Domestica" ("Domestic Symphony") describes a day in family life. It contains three themes, one for the father, one for the mother, and one for the child, and subsidiary themes are accepted as representing "the sisters, the cousins, and the aunts." It is a far step downwards from "Zarathustra" and "Heldenleben," and has not even the dignity of "Don Quixote" in the sheep episode, or the air ride. It lacks both quality and dignity. A great conductor, to whom Strauss sent this work, and who had introduced most of his tone poems in America, made to the author the pertinent criticism that a composer should never intrude his personality or his domestic affairs upon the public. He should have remembered Schumann's words: "A composer must not show his heart to the public."