During the 1880s Strauss applied hisself to the genre of symphonic poems, which Strauss described as “a completely new path” for him compositionally. One of his first works in that genre was “Macbeth”, a musical portrayal of the two main characters of Shakespeare’s play, the Scottish regicide Macbeth and his wicked wife Lady Macbeth. “Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche” (Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks) chronicles the misadventures and pranks of the German peasant folk hero Till Eulenspiegel, fully revealing Strauss’s mastery in the sharp melodic characterisations and brilliant instrumentation. The work complements Brahms’s Symphony No. 2, which is imbued with a sunny, lush atmosphere. The brilliance of the grand finale is a quality rarely heard in Brahms’s.
Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Op. 28
Macbeth, Op. 23
Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73