Wiener Philharmoniker Fanfare (arr Nefs)

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Richard Strauss

Richard Strauss (arr. Jacco Nefs)

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General Info

Year: 1924 / 201-?
Duration: c. 3:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Unknown
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Richard Strauss is best known for his work in two major genres: the tone poem and opera. Strauss ably carried both the Wagnerian opera tradition and the Romantic Lisztian tone poem into the twentieth century.Tod und Verkiarung, Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Also sprach Zarathustra, Salome and Elektra rank among his most notable compositions and brought Strauss lasting fame during his lifetime and afterward.

Written in 1924, Strauss penned Fanfare für die Wiener Philharmoniker for the Vienna Philharmonic’s first benefit ball, which raised money for the musicians’ pension fund. The piece was originally performed while honored guests arrived at the event, and the work has subsequently been performed every year since at the Philharmonic’s annual ball.

- Program Note by David Balandrin and Ricky Parrell

Composer Richard Strauss enjoyed a long-standing relationship with die Wiener Philharmoniker, or the Vienna Philharmonic. Between 1906 and 1944, Strauss conducted 85 concerts and opera performances with the Vienna Philharmonic, often conducting and premiering his own works. This close relationship was treasured by Strauss. In a birthday letter celebrating the orchestra’s 100th anniversary, he wrote:

Praising the philharmonic is like carrying violins to Vienna. But I cherish the brass instruments’ piano, the sheen of the harps and the implacable timpani no less ... I would like to pay tribute today with two thoughts: ‘Only one who has conducted the Vienna Philharmonic can appreciate it fully, but that remains our secret!’ You understand what I mean -- here, as on the concert stage!

While the harp is absent, Strauss does feature the brass and timpani he admired so much in his Wiener Philharmoniker Fanfare. As with most fanfares, Strauss wrote this one for a special event: the inaugural Vienna Philharmonic Ball. This gala, created out of a necessity to fundraise for the musicians’ pension funds, was held during the holiday Germans call Fasching, and many others know as either Carnival or Mardi Gras. Similarly to the fanfares used to mark the entrances of dignitaries, olympians -- and even common men, Strauss’s fanfare is still played every year at the gala, signaling the entrance of the Matron of the Ball.

- Program Note from University of Texas Wind Ensemble concert program, 26 September 2021


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer