Strauss - Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche

Composed between 1894 and 1895, Richard Strauss' cheeky tone poem tells the tale of Till Eulenspiegel and his merry pranks.


This tricksy work by Richard Strauss is a tone poem, depicting the misadventures and pranks of the German peasant folk hero, Till Eulenspiegel. The music is cheeky and light hearted, picturing a medieval prankster doing what he does best, in the form of a musical picture.

Listen out for the opening theme, known as the 'Once upon a time' music played on a solo horn. The horn and clarinet play Till's two themes – the horn theme is a lilting melody, falling downward in three long, loud notes, and the clarinet theme is crafty and represents his trickster behaviour. Towards the end of the piece, Till has been caught and is being punished for his tricks.

Video: California State University


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