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Richard Strauss: The Happy Workshop; Serenade Op. 7

Richard Strauss: The Happy Workshop; Serenade Op. 7

by Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble
Richard Strauss: The Happy Workshop; Serenade Op. 7

Richard Strauss: The Happy Workshop; Serenade Op. 7

by Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble

CD

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Overview

The Richard Strauss work here titled "The Happy Workshop" had various titles; on Strauss' title page, it was the "Sonatina No. 2 in E flat major," but it later appeared as the "Symphony for Winds (Die fröliche Werkstatt," or "The Happy Workshop"). It's not clear where the ineffably charming subtitle came from; it would be odd for a publisher to have come up with it. It has been suggested that it was Strauss' own and that he was referring to Friedrich Nietzsche's Die fröliche Wissenschaft ("The Joyful Science"). Whatever the case, weighing in at 40 minutes plus in length, it is no sonatina, and it is indeed joyous. Its finale has the spirit of transcendence found in Strauss' very last works. This may seem mysterious in view of the fact that Strauss wrote it toward the end of World War II, in deep depression about the destruction of the Munich Court Theatre by Allied bombing, but there is perhaps no contradiction. It is an intricate work full of difficult writing for the winds, and part of the appeal of this work by the student Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble is that it lies at the very edge of their capabilities; director George Vosburgh has judged their capabilities well. One can certainly find cleaner readings, but few that so fully enter into the spirit of the work. Strauss dedicated the work "to the spirit of the divine Mozart at the end of a grateful life," and it does reflect a Mozartian strain that runs through Strauss' entire output and that is also illustrated by the early "Serenade, Op. 7," that Strauss wrote in the early 1880s. More than 60 years separate these two works, and the thread connecting them is another piece of charm. Strauss ultimately rejected both works, which contributed to their general neglect, but he was wrong, as composers so often are about their own works, and it is lovely to have them together on this single album.


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Product Details

Release Date: 02/11/2022
Label: Reference Recordings
UPC: 0030911174521
catalogNumber: 745
Rank: 174270

Tracks

  1. Serenade for 13 wind instruments in E flat major, Op. 7 (TrV 106)
  2. Sonatina No. 2 for 16 wind instruments in E flat major ("Happy Workshop"), o.Op. 143 (TrV 291, AV 143)

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