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Richard Strauss: Don Juan, Excerpts

The story of the legendary seducer Don Juan has inspired many wonderful works of art, including paintings, a full-scale opera, and this fiendishly difficult orchestral masterpiece. Richard Strauss is famous, of course, for his orchestral "tone poems" that not only tell a story through music, but also delve deep into the emotional core of each story. In Don Juan, Strauss depicts the famous libertine in his sultry search for new amorous conquests, only to meet a tragic end. The composer conducted its premier in1889 with the orchestra of the Weimar Opera, where he served as Court Kapellmeister. Strauss wrote and conducted the piece when he was only twenty-four years old and it became an international success shortly after its debut. In fact, the virtuosic writing for every instrument of the orchestra has made this piece a favorite on orchestral audition lists!

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