Richard Strauss rose to international acclaim as a great operatist, but he first made his name as a composer of symphonic poems, orchestral narratives which evoke the concepts and stories of great literary texts. The ecstatic Don Juan was one of his earliest and most popular efforts. Don Quixote, as sweeping and cinematic in scope as Cervantes’ novel, is wryly funny and deeply moving by turns. These two programmatic masterworks are punctuated by the romantic, rhapsodic Cello Concerto of Robert Schumann, a piece often interpreted as a personal tribute to his wife, Clara, and which has in recent times begun to receive the regular attention it deserves.
Strauss | Don Juan Schumann | Cello Concerto Strauss | Don Quixote