According to these program notes, Strauss composed this work for an investiture ceremony for the Knights of St. John, a society that has existed for hundreds of years. The original orchestration calls for a large brass ensemble and timpani, but this recording includes a large brass ensemble, timpani, and organ. It is a wonderful work and the recording is quite good too, as there is a lot of power and sound that is coming from this performance, without being aggressive.
The brass ensemble comes from the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra, and this recording was released in 2003. The recording is fairly conservative in volume and their is no unnecessary edge to their sound either. Overall, not a bad performance of this wonderful piece.