This piece, a theme and set of variations by Richard Strauss was completed in 1878 and revised in 1879.  This revision was done at the request of his father, Franz Strauss, who found the piece to be quite difficult; however, there is speculation as to whether or not a revised version was ever completed.1  Revision or not, the piece remains quite difficult.  It begins with piano alone; the horn enters with the statement of the theme.  From this point on, there is little rest for the horn player.  This composition requires stamina, flexibility, and flawless technique to execute the large leaps and fast scalar- and arpeggiated passages.  The piece, while difficult to perform, sounds easy and effortless when executed perfectly. 


Composer Strauss, Richard
Dates (1864-1949)
Duration 11:00
Horn Range Eb3 to Bb5
Level Intermediate-Advanced
Clef Treble Clef
Techniques Lip Trill
Era/Style Romantic
Country/Region Germany
Accompaniment Available Piano
Accompaniment Difficulty Moderate


Movements Duration Level Range
I. Introduction 0:52 Intermediate-Advanced Eb3 to Bb5
II. Thema 2:02 Intermediate-Advanced Eb3 to Ab5
III. Variation I 1:00 Intermediate-Advanced Eb3 to C6
IV. Variation II 1:00 Intermediate-Advanced Eb3 to Bb5
V. Variation III 1:35 Intermediate-Advanced Eb3 to Bb5
VI. Variation IV 3:00 Intermediate-Advanced Eb3 to C6
VII. Variation V 1:43 Intermediate-Advanced Bb3 to Bb5
 1 Richard Strauss, Introduktion, Thema un Variationen, Stephan Kohler, ed.  (Mainz, Germany: Schott Music GmbH & Co., 1995).