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Alpine Symphony From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Eine Alpensinfonie (An Alpine Symphony), Op.

64, is a large symphonic poem compo sed by Richard Strauss between 1911 and 1915. A typical performance entails upwa rds of forty-five minutes of continuous music. It depicts a full-day excursion o n a mountain in the Bavarian Alps, recalling in vivid orchestral expression the composer's own experiences hiking at age fourteen. Strauss dedicated the work to Count Nicolaus Seebach and the Royal Kapelle (Orchestra) in Dresden, the ensemb le which gave the premiere in 1915. The symphony was the first ever work to be released on CD, recorded by Herbert v on Karajan for Deutsche Grammophon. Contents 1 Instrumentation 2 Program 3 Premieres 4 Note

Instrumentation The Alpine Symphony is one of Strauss largest non-operatic conceptions, and the c omposer himself considered it his best-wrought work in terms of its orchestratio n. The Alpine Symphony is scored for the following forces: Woodwinds 4 Flutes (Fl. 3, 4 doubling Piccolos) 3 Oboes (Ob. 3 doubling English Horn) Heckelphone 2 Clarinets in B-flat Clarinet in E-flat Clarinet in C (doubling Bass Clarinet in B-flat) 4 Bassoons (Bsn. 4 doubling Contrabassoon) Brass 8 Horns in F (Hns. 5-8 doubling Wagner Tubas in F and B-flat) 4 Trumpets in B, C 4 Trombones 2 Tubas 12 Offstage Horns 2 Offstage Trumpets 2 Offstage Trombones Percussion Timpani (2 Players) Bass Drum Cymbals Tam-tam Triangle Cowbells Glockenspiel Wind Machine Thunder Machine Keyboards Organ Celesta Strings 2 Harps Violins I (18), II (16) Violas (12) Violoncellos (10)

Double basses (8) The stipulated forces (including the offstage brass) thus total 123 players. The composer further suggested that the harps and some woodwind instruments should be doubled if possible, and indicated that the stated number of string players s hould be regarded as a minimum. The use of Samuel's Aerophone is prescribed in the orchestration notes along wit h the instrumentation. This device, invented by Belgian flautist Bernhard Samuel in 1912, is a bellows operated by a foot pedal with an air hose attached to the mouthpiece of woodwind instruments and aids the player to sustain long notes wi thout interruption. Such use of contemporary instrumentation combined with the vast resources needed for this work might better reflect Strauss' style of expanding the orchestra be yond the style more closely associated with the Romantic period and into the Mod ern period. Program Although performed as one continuous movement, the Alpine Symphony has a distinc t program which describes each phase of the Alpine journey in chronological orde r. The score includes the following section titles (without numbers): Nacht (Night) Sonnenaufgang (Sunrise) Der Anstieg (the Ascent) Eintritt in den Wald (Entry into the Woods) Wanderung neben dem Bache (Walking along the Brook) Am Wasserfall (at the Waterfall) Erscheinung (a Visual Feature) Auf blumigen Wiesen (on Flowery Meadows) Auf der Alm (on the Pasture) Durch Dickicht und Gestrpp auf Irrwegen (Wrong Path through the Thicket) Auf dem Gletscher (on the Glacier) Gefahrvolle Augenblicke (Moments of Danger) Auf dem Gipfel (at the Summit) Vision (Vision) Nebel steigen auf (the Fog Rises) Die Sonne verdstert sich allmhlich (the Sun is Gradually Obscured) Elegie (Elegy) Stille vor dem Sturm (Calm before the Storm) Gewitter und Sturm, Abstieg (Thunder and storm, Descent) Sonnenuntergang (Sunset) Ausklang (the Journey Ends) Nacht (Night) Eine Alpensinfonie represents a striking example of a program symphony, where ea ch concept, idea, or experience is given a distinct Leitmotif. Additionally, the work uses vivid musical imagery to tell its story - especially during the thund erstorm sequence - and for this reason can be compared to Paul Dukas' The Sorcer er's Apprentice or many of Richard Wagner's operas. Strauss makes use of distinc tly Bavarian musical themes, yet he also employs the more modern techniques, suc h as polytonality (for instance, the use of a D minor chord against the backgrou nd tonality of B-flat minor near the beginning of the work) and the use of diato nic tone clusters (the introduction has the entire string section sustaining all seven notes of the B-flat minor scale simultaneously across four octaves). Although many critics have regarded the work as simply descriptive rather than " philosophical" in the manner of Also sprach Zarathustra, Strauss himself seems t

o have viewed it otherwise: writing shortly after he learned of Mahler's death, he expressed the intent of calling it The Antichrist, for "in it there is: moral purification through one's own strength, liberation through work, and the worsh ip of eternal, glorious nature." Premieres World Premiere: 28 October 1915, Berlin, Dresden Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer. American Premiere: April 28 1916, Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold St okowski[1] or April 27 1916, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ernst Ku nwald[2]. Note ^ While not a symphony in the strict classical sense, the work does contain man y important elements of symphonic form.