Richard Strauss Essay

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Richard Strauss was born in Munich, Germany on June 11, 1864. He was born to Franz Joseph Strauss, who was regarded as one of the best French hornists of his time, and Josepha Pscorr. Strauss composed Don Quixote, technically known as “Fantastic Variations on a Theme of Knightly Character, in the year 1987 and it was first performed on March 8, 1898 in Colgne, Germany and was conducted by Franz Wüllner. It is based on the novel “El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Moncha”, which was written by Michael Cervantes and published in two separate parts, the first in 1605 and the second in 1615. The genre for this piece is called Symphonic Poem, or Tone Poem.
A symphonic poem is a piece of orchestral music that is based on a non-musical source, for example the content of a poem, novel, perhaps a painting or even a landscape. It is believed that Franz Liszt, an Hungarian virtuoso and composer, invented the form and the term. In a lot of his compositions, Liszt uses theatrics to parallel the non-musical emotions of his sources, “...the poetic idea is simultaneously the formative element.” Liszt also said that “when ‘the music does not develop intrinsically from within, it becomes ‘literature music’.” A symphonic poem does not merely copy its source of inspiration, for example taking the literal meaning of it, but the music creates its own “self” from the inspiration.
One of the best things about this genre, is that every composer who has worked within it has approached it a different way. Remarkably, when the same composer is using the inspiration of a novel for one score and then the inspiration of a painting for another, you see that even the same composer will differentiate in their musical design depending on their source of insp...

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... Quixote” astounded people when it was first played, and it still astounds people today.

Works Cited

"Richard Strauss." Richard Strauss Online. Dr. Richard Strauss, Bösendorferstrasse 4, A-1010 Vienna / Austria / Europe, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014. .
"STRAUSS, R.: Don Quixote / Romance for Cello and Orchestra." STRAUSS, R.: Don Quixote / Romance for Cello and Orchestra. Naxos, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "Symphonic Poem (music)."Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
Posner, Howard. "La Mer." LA Phil. Los Angeles Philharmonic, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
Kopplin, Dave. "An American in Paris." LA Phil. Los Angeles Philharmonic, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
"Strauss, Richard." PBS. ©Macmillan Publishers Ltd., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.

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