Technically speaking, Eine Alpensinfonie (= An Alpine Symphony) is not a symphony. For after 1911, Richard Strauss rejected his original plan to write a four-movement symphony based on the theme of a Tragedy of an Artist, and instead sat down to write a one-movement symphonic poem. He concentrated on the part he had first designated as the opening movement of the symphony and in which he provided a programmatic description of “the Alps”. The first sketches were made in 1911; in 1913 the work existed in the form of a partichelo (= reduced score); and two years later, the full score was completed. Some scholars have interpreted the prolonged period of time spent by Strauss in the composition of the Alpine Symphony, with very little progress at times, as “an indication that he had exhausted his capacity to portray instrumental programme music” (Wagner). The work was lacking a “truly significant musical core thought”, which was apparent for instance from the enormously expanded length of the Alpensinfonie (not only is this Strauss’ last, but also his longest tone poem, with an average duration of about 60 minutes), as well as from its relinquishment of certain categories employed in other symphonic poems, such as humour, irony and persiflage.