WHEN Strauss’s »Don Juan« was performed at a recent Queen’s Hall Orchestra Symphony Concert, the analytical programme of the day, by Messrs. Percy Pitt and A. Kalisch, referred to the tonepoem as »the first, and by many considered the best – one might even say the only really valuable one – of Strauss’s symphonic poems.« We do not know whether Mr. Fuller Maitland invariably writes the musical criticism for »The Times«, but it is well known that he continues to fail to rate the composer’s works justly. This is his – or someone else’s – comment on the passage in question: »Heartily as the clause between the dashes may be endorsed by discriminating musicians, they can hardly have expected the truth to be so bluntly stated in a Queen’s Hall programme, at all events for some years to come. Can it mean that the vogue of the composer’s later and more eccentric works is already passing away?« The »clause between the dashes« is, it seems clear to us, intended to be elliptical, and refers to what »many« consider: not what Messrs. Pitt and Kalisch consider. Some weeks before the concert in question Mr. Kalisch himself told us, in the course of a conversation, that he was somewhat inclined to believe that »Don Quixote« was Richard Strauss’s greatest masterpiece. Imagine a musical critic placing »Don Juan« above, for instance, »Tod und Verklärung«! We have answered for Mr. Kalisch, and have a shrewd suspicion that Mr. Pitt – excellent musician that he is – would not dream of stating that »Don Juan« is its composer’s »best« work. In future these gentlemen will have to avoid elliptical sentences in their programme notes – or, better still, they might prepare for any concert a separate and non – elliptical analytical programme for the exclusive use of the musical critic of »The Times.«
»The Times and Richard Strauss«
in: The Musical Standard. A Newspaper for Musicians, Professional and Amateur, Bd. 23, Heft 582, Samstag, 25. Februar 1905, Rubrik »Comments and Opinions«, S. 115
relevant für die veröffentlichten Bände: III/5 Don Juan
»The Times« and Richard Strauss.