During the summer of 1883 Richard Strauss composed two large-format
orchestral works in traditional genres, the lengthy Concert Overture in C
minor and the Symphony in F minor op. 12, both of them also with the same
instruments. The overture is anything but a secondary effort; it also
cannot be understood as a simple »work of his youth.« Although the key and
the opening stance of the overture clearly point to Beethoven’s Coriolanus
Overture, the subliminal irritations, frictions, surprises, and saliencies
already present here become even much more apparent in the symphony. As in
the overture, so too in the symphony: the composer abstains from any sort
of allusions to content, and – even more strikingly – he does not include a
dedication, even though the work was immediately published. And the finale
pursues an unusual course, not with a breakthrough but over a festive path
leading to a hymnic theme followed by an absolutely wild conclusion.
Following our release of early chamber music by Richard Strauss, we are now
presenting two more significant early works by him!