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Richard Strauss: "Parade March for the King's Mounted Hunters"

Richard Strauss

Parade-Marsch Des Regiments Königs-Jäger Zu Pferde No. 1 (Parade March for the King’s Mounted Hunters)

Richard Strauss

Born: June 11, 1864, Munich, Germany

Died: September 8, 1949, Garmish-Partenkirchen, Germany

Original Instrumentation: Military Band

Duration: 3 minutes

Composed: 1905

Arranged: 1978, Don Owen

In 1904, when the eminent German composer and conductor Richard Strauss was music director of the Berlin Opera, the Crown Prince of Bavaria attended a performance of his Sinfonia Domestica. The Prince was so taken with the performance that he recommended that his father, Kaiser Wilhelm II, become familiar with Strauss’ music. Sometime thereafter, the Kaiser attended a performance of Weber’s Der Freischutz, which Strauss conducted, where the two were introduced. The Kaiser expressed his enjoyment of the performance, talked to Strauss about his music, and asked why he had not composed any marches. Strauss, whose musical temperament was leaning more toward his provocative opera Salome than military marches, carefully avoided giving a direct answer to the question, and implied that he was not all that familiar with the march genre.

This proved to be a dangerous tactic. Shortly thereafter, he was summoned to the palace where the Kaiser ordered his military bands to parade in the courtyard and play marches for a period approaching three hours, all for the benefit of educating Strauss in the form of the military march.

If this account is correct, Strauss would have better served to acknowledge the three marches he had composed early in his career, as a music student in Munich. The Kaiser’s command resulted in Strauss’ Two Military Marches, Opus 57. Following their premiere, the Kaiser awarded Strauss the Crown Order, Third Class, in recognition of his efforts. These two parade marches, completed in 1905, have a distinctly Prussian flavor, proving that Strauss must have gotten something from the Kaiser’s command performance.

- Program Note by Frank Byrne

Richard Strauss, Parade-Marsch Des Regiments Königs-Jäger Zu Pferde No. 1, arr. Fritze Brase

"The President's Own" United States Marine Band, Colonel John R. Bourgeois, conductor

Additional Resources:

Richard Strauss, Parade-Marsch Cavallerie No. 2, arr. A. Peschke

"The President's Own" United States Marine Band, Colonel John R. Bourgeois, conductor

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