Don Juan

(Aug 21 2019)

Famous for 131 years

Richard Strauss, 1864-1949,  wrote movie music before movies were invented. In other words, his sweeping, Romantic way of composing, complete with so many different, colorful instruments in every way foreshadowed the music of great film composers of the 20th and 21st century. He had a very long life for a composer of that time and actually lived long enough so that he could have written film scores

Don Juan is a musical composition that is “programmatic”, meaning that it suggest a story. You can look up that story, and it’s a bit confusing as to just what it is really about, but it falls into the “swashbuckling” genre in terms of the sound. When John Williams wrote the music to Star Wars, he was so close to Strauss’s orchestration ideas and style that you could easily believe that Stauss was Williams’s teacher, and in a way he was, not through direct influence but rather because he studied Strauss’s music very carefully.



5 thoughts on “Don Juan

    1. I have always like the Don Juan Overture, and part of it is because I am also a brass player. Struass wrote very well for brass. But to be honest I’ve never liked the ending, which to me is kind of “meh”.

  1. It was interesting to read “foreshadowed the music of great film composers of the 20th and 21st century” …. because while I was listening I was also picturing those old black and white movies with their passionate scenes, always accompanied by music meant to transport emotions, and usually succeeding.


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