Richard Strauss worked on large canvases, and nobody ever thought of him as a chamber music composer. The works on this release from the small but discriminating Champs Hill label span more than 60 years and hardly represent a connected creative impulse. Yet there are several finds here that make the album of interest to more than just the Strauss completist. The performances by the Oculi Ensemble are gorgeous, nowhere more than in the unusual version of the late work Metamorphosen that is on offer here. An early draft of the work was for seven strings; arranger Rudolf Léopold drew on that version as well as on the finished work in realizing it once again for septet. It's a compelling, rather interior reading that accords well with the suggestion in the booklet that Strauss may have intended this genuinely tragic work as not only a lament for the destruction wrought by the Second World War but as a kind of apology for his own early support of the Nazis. The Two Pieces for Piano Quartet, TrV 169 (1892), form another surprise. The short "Arabischer Tanz," written by Strauss after a trip to Egypt and apparently drawing on actual Arab material, is an unusual thing, and the "Liebesliedchen" (the Little Love Song), hardly known, contains one of Strauss' most simply beautiful melodies. Elsewhere, the album is nowhere less than enjoyable. There is the opening Prelude from the rather meta late opera Capriccio, a youthful string quartet movement and full-fledged string quartet that sound like Mendelssohn but suggest things to come, and an attractive Ständchen, TrV 114, and Festmarsch for piano quartet, TrV 136, the latter more than the purely ceremonial march the title might suggest. Even if the music here is uncharacteristic, there are many moments that will linger in mind.