Monday, June 30, 2014

MONDAY, JUNE 30, 2014

"Crescendo means piano,
  diminuendo means forte."
Hans von Bülow
"To create dynamic effects in music a contrast of opposites
   to be established. To get louder (crescendo) you must first start
   very soft and to get softer (diminuendo) start very loud."

Richard Strauss, Conductor
Oswald Uhl, Cello
Bayerisches Staatsorchester, 1941
Pablo Picasso: Don Quichotte
Mstislav Rostropovich, Cello
Herbert von Karajan, Conductor
Berliner Philharmoniker, 1998

Listen to individual variations by clicking on the minute indicators:
01 - Don Quixote, Op. 35 Intro
02 - Don Quixote-Sancho Panza 6:25
03 - Departure, The Adventure With The Windmills 8:44
04 - The Battle With The Sheep 11:24
05 - Sancho's Wishes, Peculiarities Of Speech And Maxims 13:09
06 - The Adventure With The Procession of Penitents 21:47
07 - Don Quixote's Vigil During The Summer Night 23:44
08 - Dulcinea 27:54
09 - Don Quixote's Ride Through The Air 29:09
10 - The Trip On The Enchanted Boat 30:25
11 - The Attack On The Mendicant Friars 32:16
12 - The Duel And Return Home 33:28
13 - Epilogue, Don Quixote's Mind Clears. Death Of Don Quixote 38:10

Honoré Daumier: Don Quixote in the Mountains
Nathan Chan, Cello
Leonard Slatkin Conductor
Juilliard Orchestra
Listen to individual variations by clicking on the minute indicators:
0:00 Introduction
5:34 Theme
("Don Quixote loses his sanity after reading novels
about knights, and decides to become a knight-errant")
6:34 Sancho Panza
7:38 Variation I, Adventure at the Windmills

10:18 Variation II, Struggle against Alifanforon, (Really A Flock of Sheep)

12:04 Variation III, Dialogue Between Knight and Squire

19:43 Variation IV, Unhappy Adventure with a Procession of Pilgrims

21:33 Variation V, The Knight's Vigil

25:40 Variation VI, The Meeting with Dulcinea

26:49 Variation VII, The Ride Through The Air

27:52 Variation VIII, The Unhappy Voyage in the Enchanted Boat

29:27 Variation IX, Battle with the Magicians

30:39 Variation X, Duel with the Knight of the Blue Moon

Don Quixote, Op. 35
("Fantastic Variations on a
Theme of Knightly Character")
was composed in 1897 by
Strauss who based it on on the novel
"Don Quixote" is absolute program music
(music that tells a story by capturing
snapshots of it, portrays a visual image,
or puts across an idea) with each episode
in the story musically told by the cello
in variation form.
He composed this work in Munich, 1897
with the premiere performance taking
place on March 8, 1898, having
as the cello soloist and
conducting the Gürzenich Orchestra of
Cologne. In addition to solo cello and
viola, the work is scored for triple winds
and contrabassoon; six horns, three
trumpets, three trombones, two tubas;
timpani, two percussionists, wind machine,
File:Ravensburg Konzerthaus Historische Klangerzeuger Windmaschine.jpg
harp, and full strings.
The music follows the action of Cervantes'
classic 17th century novel, set in Spain,
El Greco: A View of Toledo, c. 1600
about the misadventures of the elderly,
melancholy Spanish knight, Don Quixote.

Don Quixote, Mounted on his Horse Rocinante and Completely
Armed,  Leaves his House in Search of Adventures
Maison Quantin: Paris, 1883 
Strauss composed an exceptionally inventive
musical characterization (each playing their
roles with signifying tunes or personal
motives) of the main characters portraying
Quixote by a solo cello (almost like a cello
concerto) with a sizable secondary solo
viola part (along with tenor tuba, and bass
clarinet) representing his ever faithful
servant, Sancho Panza.

The format of assigning different musical
themes to each main character is how
Richard Strauss brings the story of Don
Quixote "brilliantly and unforgettably" to
life. He makes the music into a character
study rather than just a quick tour of the
novel. All of the "episodes" or musical
variations are taken directly from the
Cervantes' novel of Quixote's fantastic
knightly misadventures however Strauss
rearranged the novel's sequence of them
for purposes of structure. In a "theme and
variations" structure the main musical subject
is first presented followed by the main theme
and then different musical ideas or variations
based on the theme follow it. So, each of the
variations represents a new episode.
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Histoire de Don Quichoyye de la Manche
"Histoire de Don Quichotte de la Manche
Marguerite Reynier
 Ernest Flammarion, Éditeur: Paris,1933
"Don Quixote Sinks into Madness"

Jacqueline Du Pré -Don Quixote, Op. 35 
Introduction: Don Quixote Sinks Into Maddness
A prologue, marked “Introduction,” presents
several themes associated with the major
characters in Cervantes’ tale: Don Quixote,
the "Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance"
(actually "a gentleman verging on fifty"
named Alonso Quijano) who goes mad after
reading many books on chivalry becoming
increasingly obsessed with tales of knights
and his resolve to become one, Sancho
Panza (his side kick), and Dulcinea, the
beautiful, courteous, and imaginary lady
who is the inspiration for his quest. Dulcinea
is actually Aldonza Lorenzo, a neighboring
farm girl, who he imagines as his lady love.
He renames her Dulcinea del Toboso but
she is unaware of any of this.
Aldonza Lorenzo (Dulcinea) as an Idealized Peasant Girl
Ward:  London, 1929
Aldonza Lorenzo as a Peasant Girl Feeding
 Pigs, the Real Dulcinea del Toboso
Unione-Tipografico: Torino, 1935
Opening measures of the introduction
begin as a long episode associated
with the protagonist Quixote leading
directly into a statement of the main
themes of the composition. The first
part, marked ritterlich und galant
(knightly and gallant) is introduced by
the woodwinds. Second violins and
violas follow with Don Quixote, the
courteous gentleman. A descending
clarinet figure introduces a glimpse of
his way of thinking followed by violas
continuing with his reading of
romances of chivalry.
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"The Knight of the Doleful Countenance"
("Don Quixote, knight of the sorrowful countenance")
Jacqueline Du Pré -Don Quixote, Op. 35 
Theme: Don Quixote & Sancho Panza
Alonso Quijano, Reading Chivalry Books at his Library, Becomes
Mad (Don Quixote); Books, Armor and Arms All Around the Room
"The Adventures of Don Quixote"
Houghton Mifflin Company: Boston-New York, 1928

This leads to a romantic oboe (second
theme) melody introducing the stunning
image of Dulcinea. It suggests his courtly
love for a noble mistress, the ideal lady;
his made up vision of Dulcinea as the
fair lady of his heart.
Dulcinea del Toboso,
The Peasant Mistress of Don Quixote,
Charles Robert Leslie, 1839
Muted trumpets are then heard
reflecting a challenge to rescue
her from dangers (his dream of
doing gallant deeds) suggested
by the lower register brass and
strings representing perpetrators.
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The extent of Quixote's madness
(his beclouded brain)

Alonso Quijano Becomes Mad Reading Chivalry Books
and Decides to be an Errant 
Knight (Don Quixote)
"Histoire de Don Quichotte de la Manche"
Marguerite Reynier
E. Flammarion: Paris, 1933

is suggested by the momentary use
of mutes in all the instruments and 
strange harmonies, bordering on
the atonal.
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Lastly, Strauss introduces Sancho Panza,

Quixote’s country bumpkin sidekick/squire,
with a series of tunes beginning and the
unlikely combination of a unison tenor tuba
and rustic sounding bass clarinet, but
dominated by a solo viola imitating his
character as an endless babbling
chatterbox who is often idiotic and has
a passion for uttering tiresome proverbs
as if they were great soaring
Straussian melodies.
Sancho's Portrait Holding Some Food and a Bota of
Wine, Accompanied by his Donkey

"The History and Adventures of the Renowned Don Quixote:
from the Spanish of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Tobias Smollett
 E. Wilson: London1833

These three themes, representing
the three main characters,
Three Main Characters
are ingeniously transformed and combined
in the variations that follow, which can be
heard as a succession of musical tableaux
depicting ten episodes of Don Quixote's
adventures from Cervantes' story. As the
music becomes more and more dissonant,
we hear Quixote’s mind descend into the
insanity that launches him on his escapades.
As Quixote's dreams begin to take wing, the
music soars and struggles; there are battles
to be won, and love to be conquered.
Don Quixote Leaves his House in Search of Adventures
Mounted on Rocinante and Completely Armed

Fernandez: Sevilla, 1877
Don Quixote, Knelt Down, is Knighted by
 the Innkeeper, with a Book and a Sword
Rivington: London, 1820

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(Departure: "Adventure at the Windmills")
Jacqueline Du Pré -Don Quixote, Op. 35 - Var #1
In the first variation (Strauss' portrayal
of the famous windmill escapade),
"The Knight and his Squire Start their
Journey," we are introduced (via
woodwinds and strings) to Quixote's
unattainable love, Dulcinea and then
he sees on the plain below some thirty
or forty windmills which he takes for
monstrous giants (despite Sancho's
advice otherwise). Resolving to attack,
he charges at them with a headlong
rush on his trusty steed (snorting horns)
only to be knocked down at the first
encounter by one of the giants arms
(really windmill sails, turning in the wind).
He takes a painful fall from his horse
(listen for a descending run in cello and
harp glissando) and lands on the ground
with a thump (timpani) shattering his
lance, leading him to believe that the
giants had been transformed by a wicked
magician. After praying to Dulcinea,
dejected, he gets back on to his horse,
with Sancho's help, and continues his
quest. Listen for the groaning and
creaking of the windmills
Don Quixote, Despite Sancho's Advice, Attacks
one of the Windmills with his Lance
"Adventures of Don Quixote de la Mancha"
Lee and Shepard: 
Boston & New York, 1874


Don Quixote and Rocinante Lie Defeated on the Ground After
Being Hit by the Windmill Sail

"Don Quichotte"  
Maison Quantin: Paris1883
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("The Battle with the Sheep")
("The Victorious Struggle Against the Army of the Great Emperor Alifanfaron"
Jacqueline Du Pré -Don Quixote, Op. 35 - Var #2
The second variation is the infamous
contest, "The Victorious Battle Against
the Host of the Emperor Alifanfaron," or
"The Battle of the Sheep" in which Don
Quixote, represented now by three cellos,
perceives two mighty armies, the opposing
armies of the Emperor Alifanfaron and of
Pentapolin of the Bare Arm (which are
actually flocks of sheep), approaching from
each side behind clouds of dust (violas).
Even Sancho is persuaded that these are
not the flocks of sheep they seem. Don
Quixote charges straight into a flock whose
bleating is emulated (a fascinating musical
effect: woodwinds and muted brass flutter-
tonguing) through a succession of dissonant
minor seconds for the sheep (one of the
most celebrated pieces of pictorial orchestral
writing in all music). Don Quixote scatters
the flock without incident. (In Cervantes he
loses his teeth and breaks two ribs.)

Don Quixote and Sancho Encounter a Flock of Sheep
The Adventures of Don Quixote
Ward, Lock & Co: London1929

Don Quixote Mounted on Rocinante
Charging Against a Flock of Sheep
"Histoire de Don Quichotte de la Manche"
(The Battle with the Sheep)
Marguerite Reynier
E. Flammarion
Paris, 1933

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("Dialogue Between Knight and Squire")
(Sancho's Wishes, Peculiarities Of Speech And Maxims)

Jacqueline Du Pré -Don Quixote, Op. 35 - Var #3
Variation three, "Dialogue Between
 the Knight and Squire," is the first
 of two eloquent rhapsodies
 addressing knight errantry: honor,
 glory, and the "Ideal Lady."
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In a quiet dialogue between the
knight and his squire, Quixote extols
 the virtues of the knight errant,
 his ways and deeds.
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The doubting Sancho keeps
 interrupting him in to which
 Quixote, with righteous indignation,
 scolds him for his lack of character
 and ideals (prattling of the viola is
 interrupted by a sea of violins,
 trumpets, and the rest of the
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There is also a long, lyrical speech
 from Quixote (filled with dreams of
 hope and glory) while Sancho tries
 to restore reason. Contrasting each
 other, the viola, representing Sancho
 (earthy common sense) and the cello,
 representing Don Quixote (quixotic
 love of knight errantry of which the
 squire is almost persuaded) argue
 with increasing fervor. (This is the
 first real dialogue between solo cello
 and solo viola.) As said in Strauss's
words, this variation presents "Sancho's
 conversations, questions, demands,
 and proverbs; Don Quixote's instructing,
 appeasings, and promises."
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As the rhetoric becomes more animated,
 it grows to a climax of self-righteousness
 that is almost unbearable, but here both
 men remember the princess (Dulcinea).
 The sweet oboe solo of the "Fair Lady"
 comes again, and Sancho nods his
 assent; the life of the knight errant is
 truly noble. But still he is not satisfied.
 The bass clarinet voices one last query,
and Don Quixote rides into the next
 variation in a fit of anger.
Don Quixote's Woeful and Worn Face
Makes Sancho Call him Knight of the Sad Countenance 
"Histoire de Don Quichotte de la Manche"
Marguerite Reynier
  E. Flammarion
: Paris, 1933

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The Adventure with the Procession of Penitents
("Unhappy Adventure with a Procession of Pilgrims")
Jacqueline Du Pré -Don Quixote, Op. 35 - Var #4
Variation IV begins with another losing
battle scene (a warlike version of
Quixote's theme is played) as he seeks
to rescue a supposed fair maiden in
distress from a group of people he
mistakes for being a band of robbers
abducting her. The "robbers" are actually
a procession of penitents marching with
a portrait of the Virgin Mary, praying for
rain to end a drought that had been
afflicting the land. Their liturgical chant
is heard in the guise of a solemn chorale
of muted brass. Quixote attacks them
but fails to rescue her and in response
one of the penitents aims a blow at the
knight, trouncing him, knocking him to
the ground unconscious (as told by a
loud, low sustained D in the strings).
As the penitents exit the scene, Sancho
Panza approaches grief-stricken
believing his master to be dead.
However, realizing that Quixote might
still be alive, Sancho succeeds in
reviving him after which he promptly
falls asleep (snoring is heard from the
tuba and contrabassoon).
A Procession of Disciplinants Led by a Priest
and Carrying an Image of the Virgin Mary 
"The Adventures of Don Quixote"

Ward, Lock & Co: London, 1929

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Don Quixote's Vigil
("The Knight's Vigil During the Summer Night")
Jacqueline Du Pré -Don Quixote, Op. 35 - Var #5
The fifth variation, "The Knight's Vigil,"
almost entirely a cello solo, depicts
Quixote (after Sancho Panza falls
asleep—attentive listeners may catch
his first rude snores) keeping vigil over
his sword and armor before he is
benighted. This theme is a throw back
to one of the fondest traditions of
medieval "Courtly Love," the sleepless
night (or sleepless knight)--a sort of
amorous insomnia where the lover
spends an entire night in chaste
contemplation of his Lady.
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It is a long poetic interlude, an extended
rhapsody on his dreams of knighthood,
in the midst of his adventures, crowned
by a meditation (nobly tender music) of
a vision of Dulcinea (his imagined
virtuous and idealized lady, the "Ideal
Woman," the peasant girl to whom he
would give the title of Dulcinea del
Toboso) to give him courage (horn,
harp, violins). It shows Don Quixote
passionately pining for his Dulcinea.
There is no action, only moonlight, the
sounds of the night winds coming up,
and the music of dreams.
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Although this episode happens much
earlier in the novel than the other
variations, its placement is appropriate
musically since Strauss uses the scene
as a much-needed slow interlude.
Don Quixote Leaning on his Lance at the Inn Courtyard
During the Vigil of his Arms; the Arms and Armor

 have been Placed on a Water Trough
"The Adventures of Don Quixote"

Ward, Lock & Co: London, 1929


Don Quixote, Armed and Mounted on his Horse Rocinante,
Observes an Apparition of his Imaginary, Dulcinea on the Ski

"The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha"
SheltonGeorge Doran T: New York, 1923

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("Dulcinea's Enchantment")
("The Meeting with Dulcinea")
Jacqueline Du Pré -Don Quixote, Op. 35 - Var #6

In Variation VI, Quixote has ordered Sancho
to find Dulcinea: a real problem, since he
does not know what she looks like. When
Sancho's search (the first woman they
encounter passing by along on the road)
finds only a common country girl travelling
with two companions, he, tricking Quixote
(the music becoming briefly droll, one of
Strauss' very best jokes in 2+3/4 time ),
convinces his master (saying that the
womens' true forms have been disguised
by an enchantment) that the loud, rather
earthy and homely peasant girl, bearing
castanets, (the music portraying the women
as they really are by two oboes in a jaunty
or rustic version of the original, lovely
Dulcinea oboe theme, with added
tambourine) is his beloved, the real
object of his raptures with her two
companions being her ladies-in-waiting.
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This shattered image of Dulcinea comes
as a rude awakening to Quixote as he
attempts to pay his respects to this
supposed Dulcinea. He then fulminates
against the evil wizards who he believes
are responsible for bewitching and
transforming his goddess into this
debased state.
Don Quixote and Sancho Both Knelt Before Three Peasant Girls Mounted on Donkeys
Sancho Introduces One of Them to Don Quixote as the Enchanted Dulcinea.
"Don Quichotte en estampes mis à la portée des enfants"
par Mme. Wetzell

Langlumé et Peltier, Editeurs: Paris, 1845

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("The Ride Through the Air")
Jacqueline Du Pré -Don Quixote, Op. 35 - Var #7

Don and Sancho Panza, as guests of
the Duke and Duchess (really a group
of laughing peasants) are being
entertained (to the amusement of the
whole court) by convincing them,
blindfold, that they are traveling on a
magical wooden flying horse as the
peasants create wind with enormous
bellows to convince them of their flight.
Both squire and master are seated on
hobby-horses, imagining themselves
swept up into the sky and flying through
the air by the air bound atmosphere
effect of great, rushing winds from the
orchestra created by a harp, kettle drum,
flutes, and an ingenious wind machine,
(relative newcomer to the orchestra's
instrumentation in 1897) with timpani and
basses playing an earthbound tremolo
underneath (long-held pedal tone reminds
us that they never actually leave the ground.)
Don Quixote and Sancho, Both Blindfolded,
Mounted on  Clavileño While Duke's Servants
 Simulate its Flight  with Torches and
 Pairs of Bellows
"Don Quixote de la Mancha"Charles Jarvis
 J. B. Lippincott: 
Philadelphia, 1871
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("The Unhappy Voyage in the Enchanted Boat")
("The Adventure of the Enchanted Boat")
Jacqueline Du Pré -Don Quixote, Op. 35 - Var #8
"The Adventure of the Enchanted Boat"
is the eighth variation. In this wacky F-
Major barcarolle, Quixote and Sancho
find an oarless boat moored by the river-
bank of dangerous, rocky waters and
seeking the adventure of a new exploit
embark it allowing it to take them
downstream headed, unbeknownst to
them, toward a threatening water-mill
(heard by the oboe and violin), a surefire
deathtrap. Their lives are saved after the
boat capsizes and the two are thrown
overboard. They manage to get rescued
by a group of millers (who earlier in the
story were supposed to be devils) who
help them to shore. Quixote and Sancho
emerge drenched, dripping, and shaking
(listen for the cello to shake off droplets
with large pizzicatti) but alive and then they
utter a fervent prayer (portrayed by a wind
chorale) thanking God for their lives in a
musical passage marked religioso.
Don Quixote and Sancho, Both in a Boat in the Ebro River,
Approach a Mill; the Millers Try to Prevent the

Boat from Crashing Against the Wheel Mill Using Poles
"Don Quixote"
Retold by Edith Robarts

Ward, Lock & Co., Limited: London, Melbourne & Toronto, 1910

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("Battle with Two Magicians")
("The Attack On The Mendicant Friars")
Jacqueline Du Pré -Don Quixote, Op. 35 - Var #9
This variation begins as an excited
outburst when once again Quixote
challenges evil-doers.
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While on the road he encounters and attacks
two Benedictine monks (friars) on mule-back
(men who are engaged in conversation or
maybe prayers) whom he mistakenly imagines
to be evil magicians or wizards (conversing
musically in strict, dry academic counterpoint
by a pair of two unaccompanied bassoons
playing their hymn) that he is sure are intent
on kidnapping a princess. This time Quixote
actually manages to pull off a victory putting
them to rout (in the routing key of D minor);
pulling up their cassocks and high
tailing it away.
("Duel With the Knight of the Bright Moon")
("The Defeated Don Quixote's Journey Home")
Jacqueline Du Pré -Don Quixote, Op. 35 - Var #10
In this scene a neighbor friend, Sanson
Carasco, disguised as "The Knight of
the White Moon," challenges Quixote
to a duel (performed by forceful fanfares
from the brass and woodwinds). If he
(the neighbor) defeats him, which he
does quickly, under the terms of surrender
Quixote must suspend his knighthood and
all further adventure quests for a year and
return home quietly. Sanson, in collusion
with Don Quixote's family and other friends,
have in fact devised this as a way of leading
Quixote back into sanity and safety. The
fight is a seriously one-sided event, musically
portrayed by the solo cello pitted against the
full winds and brass, before Quixote and
Sancho begin their pathetic, heartbreaking
journey home (which is done to the
accompaniment of a slow drum beat). An
echo of the shepherd's pipes, from Variation
II recalling the low reed theme but this time
played by the English horn, is heard as
Quixote briefly considers becoming a
shepherd, but then their sad and weary path
home continues. As the two move closer to
home the music becomes more consonant
and clear indicating the return of Quixote's
sanity and a realization of the folly of
his adventures.
Encounter Between Don Quixote and the
Knight of the White Moon
 (Sansón Carrasco) on the Beach of Barcelona

"The Adventures of Don Quixote"Peter Motteux
 G. Bell and Sons, Ltd: London, 1911

Don Quixote and Sancho Return to their Village
"Don Quichotte"
Arnauld de Vressec: Paris, 1866

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(Epilogue: "Coming to his senses again"/
"Death of Don Quixote")
Jacqueline Du Pré -Don Quixote, Op. 35 - Finale
The finale, ''The Death of Don Quixote,"
shows the Quixote, sadly perhaps, in
possession of his cognitive faculties but
physically depleted (a shiver in the violins
tells of his rapidly approaching death),
meditating in relative tranquility on his
earlier escapades: the madness of his
adventures and the wisdom and folly of
both his dreams and defeats
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until "the great Creator draws his spirit,
as the sun the morning dew." He is ready
for death, and, as Cervantes writes,
quoting the notary in attendance, "Never
has a mind died so mildly, so peacefully,
so Christianly."
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The orchestra offers a brief, compassionate
eulogy reflected in the scene by six brief,
gentle measures which has the cello slide
terminally from B to B below, customarily
in performance having the soloist play-act
a little on the final death scene by slouching
forward on the chair last note as if dying
over the cello.
Don Quixote, in Bed, Dictates his Last Will to a Notary
"Leben und Thaten des sinnreichen Junker Don Quixote von La Mancha"
Alfred Dehmigke's Verlag: 
Leipzig, c1869

Alonso Quijano Dies Sane in his Bed Surrounded By
the Priest, Sancho, the Barber, the Niece and the Housekeeper
"Don Quichotte"

Arnauld de Vressec: Paris, 1866


Don Quixote by   Zurab Martiashvili
from Don Quixote Suite:
Six Characteristic Pieces, 1909
by Erich Korngold
Part 1
Part 2

Salvadore Dali: Don Quixote
1975 Marc Chagall Don Quichotte
Marc Chagall: Don Quichotte, 1975
Adolph Schroedter (1805-1875), Don Quixote holding a farmer Dulcinea del Toboso for, 1858, oil on canvas, 103 x 138 cm, Stiftung Museum Kunst Palast Dusseldorf
Adolph Schroedter:
Don Quixote Holding a Farmer for Dulcinea del Toboso, 1858
Stiftung Museum Kunst Palast Dusseldorf
Octavio Ocampo
Art by Edward Hopper (c 1899) - “Don Quixote.”
Edward HopperDon Quixotec 1899
Spanish Tiles
Colin Lanceley:
Some Adventures of Don Quixote de la Mancha, 1972
Don Quixote and Dulcinea, El Toboso, Spain
Monument to Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Guanajuato
Don Quixote/Trough, Puerto LaPice, Spain

Attacking imaginary enemies.

Tilting is jousting. 'Tilting at windmills' derives from
Cervantes' Don Quixote-first published in 1604, under
the title "The Ingenious Knight of La Mancha." The novel
recounts the exploits of would-be knight 'Don Quixote'
and his loyalservant Sancho Panza who propose to fight
injustice through chivalry. It is considered one of the
major literary masterpieces and remains a best seller in
numerous translations.  In the book, which also gives us
the adjective quixotic(striving for visionary ideals),
the eponymous hero imagines himself to be fighting
giants when he attacks windmills.

Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty
windmills that rise from that plain. And no
sooner did Don Quixote see them that he
said to his squire, 
"Fortune is guiding our affairs better than
we ourselves could have wished. Do you see
over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty
hulking giants? I intend to do battle with
them and slay them. With their spoils we
shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous
war and the removal of so foul a brood from
off the face of the earth is a service
God will bless."
"What giants?"
asked Sancho Panza.
"Those you see over there,"
replied his master,
"with their long arms. Some of them have
arms well nigh two leagues in length."

"Take care, sir,"
cried Sancho.
"Those over there are not giants but windmills.
Those things that seem to be their arms are
sails which,  when they are whirled around
by the wind, turn the millstone."