Strauss – Don Juan Sequence 1

This sequence is based on the big unison Horn call from Richard Strauss’ tone poem Don Juan. Strauss wrote this piece in 1888 when he was only 24, and its success launched his remarkable career as a composer.

When I imagine Don Juan, I think of a cross between James Bond and the Count of Monte Cristo. Someone who is comfortable at a high class Viennese party but could also handle themselves in a fight.

He is suave, moves like a jaguar, and as smooth a talker as you have ever met. He is never in a rush, and always has EVERYTHING under control. 

When you play this sequence, strive for a rich, glorious sound to portray the confidence of the character, and make sure you observe ALL of the phrasing/dynamic/articulation markings on the part. Like Mahler, Strauss was a meticulous editor of his music. If we follow the markings, we are in good shape.

This sequence will help you improve your octave slurs, ease in louder dynamics, and your attention to detail. 

PS – Like my Tchaikovsky 4 Sequence 1, this melody is often colored by some entertaining lyrics. What are your favorite lyrics to sing along to this melody?

Happy Practicing!!

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