Energetic works from early and late Richard Strauss

This release features a selection of works written at the very beginning, and at the very end of Richard Strauss’ career. In a way, it’s not surprising at the consistency of style in these works. In those later years, Strauss became increasingly nostalgic for those earlier times.

A good example is the Duett-Concertino for clarinet and bassoon with string orchestra. Though composed in 1947, it sounds like a work from the 1900s. But the Duett-Concertino is not a work Strauss could have written in his youth. The elements blend in a more refined manner. And the work, while beautiful, expresses itself in a mature, restrained fashion.

Strauss’ Romance in E-flat major for clarinet and orchestra was written in his youth. Here the clarinet part has a Mozartian flavor to it. And the gestures are bigger, the contrasts more dynamic than the Duett-Concertino.

Clarinetist Michael Collins performs both works with a smooth, mellow tone. The duet passages with Julie Price are especially appealing.

The Burleske for piano and orchestra is another youthful work. Strauss, at 24, was also deep in the study of Mozart piano concertos. The Burleske in D minor shows some of that influence. It’s almost bursting with energy and enthusiasm.

Strauss’s showy piano part does resemble Mozart in his use of scales and motifs. Michael Michale’s hands sound like they’re flying across the keyboard. He dashes off the runs and skips with swagger and abandon. It thrilling, and fun.

The Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D minor 17 was completed in 1881. Strauss was eighteen. The work is almost over the top in its unabashedly Romantic expression. The melodies are gorgeous, wrapped in rich, resonant harmonies.

Soloist Tasmine Little is outstanding. Strauss seems to include just about every technical trick — double stops, glissandi on multiple strings, wide leaps, etc. Little performs them in a manner that incorporates them into the melodic flow of the music. Her violin’s clear, singing tone helps keep this youthful work grounded — at least enough to be taken seriously.

The works may not be that familiar — but the character certainly is. If you like Strauss at all, you should seek out this recording.

Richard Strauss: Burleske; Romance; Duett-Concertino; Violin Concerto
Tasmin Little, violin; Michael Michale, piano; Julie Price, bassoon
BBC Symphony Orchestra; Michael Collins, conductor, clarinet
Chandos CHAN 20034

More Recent Posts

  • WTJU Jazz Profile: David Eisenman


    For decades, David Eisenman has served as WTJU’s Jazz Director, coordinating the department “as loosely as humanly possible,” as he puts it. He insists on responsible broadcasting, but with passion for the music and the love to share it. “Big in my playbook is diversity in the genre,” says David. “I have always attempted to make the umbrella […]

  • Stephen Pollock digs into Cherry Red, September 30

    Tags: , , , , ,

    Stephen Pollock, guitarist and leader of Cherry Red, the best Rolling Stones cover band in central Virginia, will join the Juddermeister on Induced to Judder September 30th at 9pm. Stephen will be promoting a special show the band will be performing paying tribute to Charlie Watts who recently passed away. This event will be held […]

  • WTJU Jazz Profile: Louise Largiader


    For Louise Largiader, WTJU was something of a slippery slope. First, she was a longtime listener. Then she started donating to the Marathons. Then answering phones during them. She says she never thought she’d be on the radio, but she made the jump to on-air DJ a few years ago. Here at the station, we’re so glad […]

  • WTJU Jazz Profile: Rebecca Foster


    Rebecca Foster brings eclectic music tastes to WTJU. Heck, one of the shows she hosts is even called Eclectic Woman. She also shares an hour of gospel every other Sunday morning during In The Spirit. And in more than two decades at WTJU, she has covered on-air shifts in each of our departments. Despite Rebecca’s youthful energy, she is not […]

  • WTJU Jazz Profile: Barrington Wilson


    Barrington Wilson is one of WTJU’s newest jazz hosts, becoming part of the station’s DJ lineup during the pandemic. Every other Tuesday night, he hosts Straight No Filter from 9 – 11 p.m. In anticipation of WTJU’s upcoming Jazz Marathon, we asked Barrington about his experience of WTJU. Why did you get involved at the station? My wife was […]

  • New Jazz & Blues Releases – 9/21/2021

    New Jazz & Blues Releases – 9/21/2021 New Jazz Releases Charlie Ballantine – Reflect/Introspection: The Music of Thelonious Monk (Green Mind): “Charlie Ballantine is acclaimed as one of the finest and most versatile  young guitarists on the scene today. JAZZ TIMES MAGAZINE hails his playing as “teeming with intricate grooves and maniacal precision his guitar […]