Dresden was the place for artistic jolts in 1905.
Operagoers were treated to the sight of a severed head, formerly attached to John the Baptist, being handed up from a cistern to a salivating Salome. Thick harmonies and bold splashes of tone color poured from the orchestra to underline the gruesome scene. It was the startling sound of music breaking with tradition.
The same year that Richard Strauss’ opera “Salome” premiered in Dresden, the German city saw the birth of “Die Brucke” (“The Bridge”), a group of artists that included Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Rough brush strokes and daring bursts of color characterized their work. It was the sign of art breaking with tradition.