Free Downloads Resume Today: Richard Stauss' Feierlicher Einzug

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Dear Ensemble Monterey Friends - I have returned from a six-week time away, and what a surprise! When I left for this project on June 18th, I fully expected the covid situation to be under control. Was I ever wrong! I also promised that our Ensemble Monterey free downloads would continue as long the crisis did, and so here I am with today's resumption of our Monday-Wednesday-Friday downloads. I sincerely hope that these give you music worth listening to as we wait, and wait and wait, and I hope that this letter finds you all in good health and spirits.

If the spirits part isn't so good here's a little something to help. Richard Strauss' FEIERLICHER EINZUG DER RITTER DES JOHANNITERORDENS. This from the folks who brought you "fahrvergnügen." Richard Strauss, one of my very favorites, was a composer who grew up in the romantic tradition of Wagnerian Germany and lived through the horrors of two wars to finally die in 1949. Throughout his long career he remained true to the ideals and many of the practices of romanticism. He became famous at an early age and was thus hired to write various ceremonial pieces for the government. Feierlicher Einzug is one of these. The title means "ceremonial (or solemn) entry of the knights of the order of Saint John.

Here's the story: In the crusades the Order of Saint John were the battlefield physicians who accompanied the soldiers. Think MASH. The ceremonial order, founded in 1099 in Jerusalem, still exists and particularly distinguished physicians are knighted to this order in a yearly ceremony. So this music is for a long and very noble procession. Strauss did not think small. The piece is scored for large brass choir, percussion and massive pipe organ. We did this piece in May 2016 in a concert we aptly called "Fanfare."

This is not your average fanfare! It starts out slowly and softly. Don't be fooled! Turn up the volume and stand back. You have no idea how big the music gets!

Here's a hint: the store can only display so many downloads at a time, but if you scroll down to the "categories" area and click on the Ensemble Monterey logo you will see them all. This is our effort, all of us at Ensemble Monterey, to be with you even when we can't be on stage. NOTE: we intend to begin our season as scheduled on October 25th with a free streamed concert which we will perform outdoors at the beautiful Lester Family Vineyards. Stay tuned for more. Until Wednesday ...

Yours in Music - John Anderson