36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 202: Horn players love Richard Strauss


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 202 — Horn players love Richard Strauss
20-February-1972 (Sonntag–Sun.)


Decided to not bother trying to practice today. So I am doing a lot of reading and some catch-up work in the languages and guitar.

Saw a fantastic concert of the Wiener Symphoniker. I’m beginning to think that perhaps it might be a better orchestra than the Philharmonik. The brasses are excellent.

Played a “new work”—so, so. Tchaikovsky D-minor with violinist Mamiya...excellent violinist; and Richard Strauss’
Ein Heldenleben. My musical genius shines through, ha! Really enjoyable.


Concerts cure burn out. I guess I’m tired of the strenuous practicing of the last week and instead take it easy, including a concert at night. Unfortunately, I don’t have much detail on the concert itself. There is not enough info to determine the violinist. I think the first name was Mamiya.

I would love to go back to Vienna now, over 36 years later, and try and recreate some of my concert going of this year. Hopefully, this time, I might be able afford a seat as an adult.

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The Vienna Philharmonic is an incredible orchestra and has always been world class. With the brasses playing Viennese brass instruments, for example, the Viennese F Horn, the sound of the brasses is sometimes different than the brass sound of the double horns of an American orchestra—for example, the sound of the renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra brass section under Sir George Solti. Tonight, I’m really appreciating the Vienna orchestras and brasses tremendously.

Richard Strauss’s brass. If you’re a brass player, and especially a horn player, you know that Richard Strauss writes some amazingly difficult and incredible sounding horn parts that cover the entire horn range. That is probably why my reaction to the brasses tonight stands out as impressive. That and the eight horns in the section, the “Wagner” tubas, and extended brass section. What a sound!

Ein Heldenleben on YouTube. Here are some very interesting YouTube Ein Heldenleben links. By the way, these videos increase music sales. If I am reminded of a work by seeing one of these videos, I am more inclined to purchase a couple of CDs of Strauss’ music because of the videos. The fidelity on streaming can’t compare to a CD and so you buy the product, or purchase from iTunes or Amazon at higher bit rates.

Ein Heldenleben (Hero’s Life) in Wikipedia

Here is Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Berlin Philharmonic

Here is the gorgeous horn solo in Ein Heldenleben

Here is a horn lesson on the opening horn in Ein Heldenleben by Greg Cass


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