Strauss’ “Burleske”.



Max Reger and Richard Strauss:

  • The Romantic Piano Concertos.

I listened again this morning to the “Burleske”, a composition by Richard Strauss for piano and orchestra. Perhaps it is the amazing difficulty of the piece that results in its rare performances. Personally, I think it is great.

Strauss’ Burleske is a product of that composer’s youth. This wonderful work has long been a specialty of pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin, and he plays it with an unmatched brilliance, which surely captures the essence of this humorous music.

The Max Reger concerto on this same CD also has a formidable reputation – harmonically complex and with far too many notes for the average pianist. Who better then to decipher it than Marc-André Hamelin? In his hands this rarely recorded concerto reveals both passion and a lyricism so often lost in lesser performances.

Here are the full titles of these two pieces:


  • Piano Concerto in F minor, Op. 114

Strauss, R:

Performed by Marc-André Hamelin (piano), with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Ilan Volkov conducting.

The International Record Review wrote:

“One of Hamelin’s greatest virtues…is his uncanny and apparently effortless ability, in music of this sort, to bring focus to the main lines – and to do so not by playing down the secondary elements but by making sure that they all contribute, harmonically and especially rhythmically…for all the searing virtuosity, this performance [of the Strauss] is even more notable for its fireworks… with the orchestra … exceptionally adroit.”

Here is Strauss’ “Burleske for Piano and Orchestra in D Minor” by Richard Strauss, with Claudio Abbado conducting, Martha Argerich, piano, and the Berliner Philharmoniker:



Tags: Max Reger, Richard Strauss, “Burleske”, piano concerto in F minor, Op. 114