Strauss lost his position as president of the State Music Bureau earlier. By writing this work for Japan, Germany's ally, Strauss was seeking to reinstate his name as a good German composer. Old sketch materials were used in the work, including the famous Cherry-blossom festival and the attack of the samurai.
- This work brought together Bittner's skill in opera song and the familiar Bach musical cryptogram. This isn’t our J.S. Bach, however, but David Josef Bach, music critic of the Vienna Arbeiterzeitung, created for a present given to David Bach on his 50th birthday.
- This 1972 work Dune takes the imagery of a sand dune – soft, granular – and exposes it to the effect of ‘accumulation processes.’ Think of a sand dune, blown by the wind and formed and reformed into new shapes with each whisper of the wind.
- Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 2 is a fiery work that captures the Hungarian spirit in a work of virtuoso demands – the violinist has to give us not only the dash but also the reflective in the melody. Brahms regarded the works in this collection as ‘genuine children of the…gypsies…’
- it takes the best of the best, starting with the Marschallin’s opening scene with her young lover, Octavian. The night of passion (listen to those horns!) changes to a tender melody as Octavian reappears as the Rosenkavalier, the Knight of the Rose.
- This is neither a calm and loving serenade nor a bright morning piece. It’s a piece of a disturbed night. Snatches of melody appear and disappear, and he uses pizzicato on the viola, perhaps to be a guitar. The textures change – perhaps we’re looking at the ever-changing sea with its light and shadows.
- In Paul Huang’s performance, the work is transformed from a soprano aria to work for a much lower voice at the opening. It’s not until the repetition (and ornamented) repeat, that the violin part ascends into the stratosphere. It’s an interesting way of making us re-hear a work that may be sometimes so familiar that we don’t hear it at all.
- In this performance, our two lutes accompany a singer in Johannes Bedyngham’s Fortune alas, a plea to Lady Fortune to be kinder. He asks why she should be wasting his life by keeping him in prison and accuses her of liking the fact that she can bring a man from success to failure in an instant.