Inspired by Cervantes’s ageless tale, Strauss’s delightful tone poem is an elaborate and richly detailed portrayal of the deranged Don and his loyal sidekick Sancho Panza as represented by solo cello and viola. The work is colorfully illustrated with musical depictions of the Don’s misadventures with his unattainable love, Dulcinea; evil giants who are in fact windmills; a contest with the army of the “Great Emperor Alifanfaron,” in actuality a flock of sheep (you can’t miss them).

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