Don Juan (Strauss)
Don Juan, Op. 20, is a tone poem for large orchestra by the German composer Richard Strauss, written in 1888. The composer conducted its premiere on 11 November 1889 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. It marks the discovery of the composer's formal style and tonal language. The work is based on the poem Don Juan by Nikolaus Lenau, from which much of the musical work's passion is drawn. According to the composer, who wrote two days after the first performance "Well then – Don Juan had a great success, it sounded wonderful and went very well. It unleashed a storm of applause rather unusual for Weimar."
The work is scored for 3 flutes (3rd doubling piccolo), 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets in A, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns in E, 3 trumpets in E, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, triangle, cymbals, glockenspiel, harp and strings.
An orchestral score and a score for piano four hands was published by J. Aibl in Leipzig in 1890.