Richard Strauss: Metamorphosen, Study for 23 Solo Strings, subtitled "In memoriam" is scored for ten violins, five violas, five cellos, and three contrabasses.
The work unfolds in a single, long movement. Strauss sustains and develops a series of recurring, interrelated motives that, as the title indicates, are linked by their transformation into new material rather than—as in conventional variations—a common thematic identity. The work includes several direct references to the funeral march in the second movement of Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony; here they sound entirely appropriate and natural within the broader structure, underlying rather than emphasizing the somber nature of the work as a whole.
As one of Strauss's last works, Metamorphosen masterfully exhibits the complex counterpoint for which the composer showed a predilection throughout his creative life.
- 23 Solo Strings
- 28 minutes
- Set of Parts:
- (10 Vln, 5 Vla, 5 Vc, 3 Cb)