Love at first sight is a phenomenon that artists have explored innumerable times throughout history. Such a topic wasn’t anything new to Richard Strauss, renowned composer and founder of the famed Salzburg Festival. His depiction of love at first sight in the opera Der Rosenkavalier, however, is certainly one of his most beautiful accomplishments. After its triumphant premiere in 1910, people kept asking Strauss to create a suite of melodies from the opera.
After years of refusing to do so, Strauss finally consented and composed his Concert Suite from Der Rosenkavalier in 1944. The excerpt we just played for you is from the beginning of the suite, which contains the opening music of the opera as well as music from the beautiful “Presentation of the Rose” scene where the young hero and heroine, Oktavian and Sophie, meet and feel instant attraction to the other.