Richard Strauss – Till Eulenspiegel [ANALYSIS]

Last updated Jan 30, 2024 | Published on May 6, 2021

Winner of a fellowship at the Bayreuther Festspiele, Mr. Griglio’s conducting has been praised for his “energy” and “fine details”. Mr. Griglio took part in the first world recording of music by composer Irwin Bazelon and conducted several world premieres like "The song of Eddie", by Harold Farberman, a candidate for the Pulitzer Prize. Principal Conductor of International Opera Theater Philadelphia for four years, Mr.Griglio is also active as a composer. His first opera, Camille Claudel, debuted in 2013 to a great success of audience and critics. Mr. Griglio is presently working on an opera on Caravaggio and Music Director of Opera Odyssey.

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Till Eulenspiegel is the name of a young boy in a fairy tale written in 1511. We don’t know if he really existed, but in the legend, he was born in a small German village and became a known trickster: someone who played practical jokes on the people in his village. The adults in the village did not like his jokes and when things went too far, Till was arrested, tried, and sentenced to death.

Pretty gruesome, especially if you think this story was meant for children.
But we need to remember in which context these stories were told: fairy tales were often about dwarves, elves, fairies, giants, mermaids, or witches.
Their inherent violent component was meant to teach children the difference between right and wrong and the importance of consequences for bad behavior or bad people.

Richard Strauss engraved by Ferdinand Schmutzer (1922)

Sure you’ve heard of the most famous collectors of these fairy tales: the Brothers Grimm.
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm collected and published hundreds of such stories including
Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, and Little Tom Thumb, who appearss, for example, in Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite.


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Till the Don Juan

Till shakes off the death premonition and goes on on another adventure.

He transforms into a Don Juan, exchanging pleasantries with the girls.

Richard Strauss Till Eulenspiegel ex 24
Richard Strauss Till Eulenspiegel ex 25


Cover image by Lucas Craig from Pexels

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Gianmaria Griglio is an intelligent, exceptional musician. There is no question about his conducting abilities: he has exceptionally clear baton technique that allows him to articulate whatever decisions he has made about the music.

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