I detect in this Strauss/Liszt controversy an element that we have
encountered in previous discussions, for example the "atonal music is
evil" thread. Mr. Peters has said that he dislikes Strauss and Liszt.
Fine. He has stated that he believes he can hear vanity in their music.
Also fine. However, I would make so bold as to suggest that the tone
of some of his posts has been interpreted (and email is such a terrible
vehicle for conveying tone) as meaning that this music is objectively
bad in a way that should be apparent to others. Just as there is a great
difference between saying "I hate atonal music" (a personal opinion)
and "atonal music is bad" (a categorical assertion), there is a great
difference between saying "I dislike Liszt's music because it sounds
full of vanity to me" and "Lizst's music is bad because it is full of
vanity." The latter statements imply that if you disagree and like the
music, you are wrong. On the other hand, no one can tell Mr. Peters
that he *doesn't* hear vanity in the music. Ultimately, it's just too
subjective. All you get are Straussians hearing "the music you like is
garbage" and Mr. Peters hearing "your musical perceptions are imaginary."
Nobody ends up getting much out of it.
On the previous topic in this thread, Strauss as Nazi/hero, I would
simply suggest that most humans are neither villains nor heroes, and
perhaps Strauss was one of these.