Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks

From Wind Repertory Project
Richard Strauss

Richard Strauss (trans. Mark Hindsley)

This work bears the designation Opus 28.

General Info

Year: 1895 / 197-?
Duration: c. 13:30
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Hindsley Transcriptions
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $149.00   |   Score Only (print) - $38.00


Full Score
C Piccolo (doubles Flutes)
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Rattle (large)
  • Snare Drum
  • Triangle


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, Op. 28, is a tone poem written in 1894–95 by Richard Strauss. It chronicles the misadventures and pranks of the German peasant folk hero Till Eulenspiegel, who is represented by two themes. The first, played by the horn, is a lilting melody that reaches a peak, falls downward, and ends in three long, loud notes, each progressively lower. The second, for D clarinet, is crafty and wheedling, suggesting a trickster doing what he does best.

- Program Note from Wikipedia

This symphonic rondo has been described as the most genial humoresque ever written in sound. Although the composer has declined to furnish a descriptive narrative, leaving it "to my hearers to crack the nut which the rogue has prepared for them," Wilhelm Klatte has written a lengthy analysis of the work, which may be summarized as follows:

The whimsical Till rides his horse through a crowd of market women sitting chattering in their stalls; put on the vestments of a priest and assumes an unctuous mien, but feeling uncomfortable in the disguise, tears it off. He becomes a "Don Juan" and waylays pretty women; one bewitches him, but Till's advances are treated with derision. The rogue's anger is scarcely over when a troop of worthy Philistines appears, and these good people receive his gibes. Gaily he goes on his way playing waggish pranks, but Nemesis is upon him. Till is dragged by the jailer before the criminal tribunal. Till replies calmly, and lies. He is condemned to death and fear seizes him. the rogue is then strung up and his soul takes flight. The epilogue, picking up the theme of the instruction, continues the people's murmuring and moralizing over the Till legend.

Aside from its musical evaluation and significance, Till has becomes somewhat of a virtuoso showpiece for orchestra, and it is even more of challenge for the instrumentation of the concert band.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band


State Ratings

  • Arkansas: V
  • Florida: VI
  • Georgia: VI
  • Kansas: VI
  • Louisiana: V
  • Oklahoma: V-A
  • Tennessee: VI
  • Texas: V. Complete
  • Virginia: VI


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 570.
  • Strauss, R.; Hindsley, M. (197-?) Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks [score]. [Concert Band Transcriptions}: [Urbana, Ill.]
  • Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, Wikipedia Accessed 7 October 2018