When he was a mere 18 years old, Richard Strauss composed the highly Romantic, one-movement Serenade for Wind Instruments, op. 7. Extremely popular among wind players to this day, this work recalls in instrumentation and structure Mozart’s “Gran Partita”, which certainly served as a model for Strauss. The serenade was not premiered in its Bavarian homeland as might have been expected, but rather in Dresden, in 1882, under the direction of the then much-esteemed conductor Franz Wüllner, who had also given the inaugural performances of Richard Wagner’s Rheingold and Die Walküre and later premiered Strauss’ tone poems Till Eulenspiegel and Don Quixote. So it was a great honour for the young Bavarian! Editor Norbert Gertsch presents this little masterwork here for the first time in Urtext quality – in full score and instrumental parts – for which not just the first edition but also the autograph manuscript was scrutinised fastidiously.
- Serenade for Wind Instruments E flat major op. 7
About the composer
One of the most important opera composers of the twentieth century. His oeuvre comprises fifteen operas, nine symphonic poems, instrumental concerti, and a large number of songs. His stage works are marked by their great variety of genre and subject matter.
|1864||Born in Munich on June 11, the son of Franz Joseph Strauss, principal horn player in the court orchestra. Receives instruction in piano, violin, and composition.|
|1885–86||Conductor at the Meiningen Court Orchestra, initially under the tutelage of Hans von Bülow.|
|1886||Music director at the Munich Court Theatre.|
|1887–1903||He increasingly devotes himself to the symphonic poem, including “Tod und Verklärung” (“Death and Transfiguration”) in C minor, Op. 24; “Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche” (“Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks”) in F major, Op. 28; “Also sprach Zarathustra,” Op. 30; “Symphonia Domestica” in F major for large orchestra, Op. 53.|
|1889–94||Music director in Weimar. First Kapellmeister in Munich in 1894, in Berlin at the Royal Court Opera from 1898–1910.|
|1905||Breakthrough with the premiere of “Salome,” Op. 54.|
|1906||Beginning of his collaboration with Hugo von Hofmannsthal on the harmonically progressive opera “Elektra,” Op. 58, premiered in Dresden in 1909.|
|1911||Sensational premiere in Dresden of “Der Rosenkavalier,” Op. 59, which refers back to operatic tradition and makes him the leading German opera composer. He decides to dedicate himself primarily to operas: “Ariadne auf Naxos,” Op. 60 (1912); “Intermezzo” Op. 72 (1924); “Die ägyptische Helena,” Op. 75 (1928); “Arabella,” Op. 79 (1933); “Die schweigsame Frau,” Op. 80 (1935); “Friedenstag,” Op. 81, and “Daphne,” Op. 82 (1938); “Die Liebe der Danae,” Op. 83 (1944).|
|1919||Director of the Vienna State Opera. Premiere there of “Die Frau ohne Schatten,” Op. 65.|
|1931||Collaboration with Stefan Zweig.|
|from 1944||Composition of his last works: Metamorphosen, for 23 solo strings, Oboe Concerto in D major, Four Last Songs.|
|1949||Death in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on September 8.|