Also sprach Zarathustra (9:00)

Cover of Prelude

From Prelude and 28 other releases

Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30 (Thus Spoke Zarathustra or Thus Spake Zarathustra) is a tone poem by Richard Strauss, composed in 1896 and inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophical treatise of the same name. The composer conducted its first performance on 27 November 1896 in Frankfurt. A typical performance lasts half an hour.

The work has been part of the classical repertoire since its first performance in 1896. The initial fanfare – entitled “Sunrise” in the composer’s program notes – became particularly well known to the general public due to its use in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey. The fanfare has also been used in many other productions.

In 1944, Strauss conducted the Vienna Philharmonic in an experimental high fidelity recording of the piece, made on a German Magnetophon tape recorder. This was later released on LP by Vanguard Records and on CD by various labels. Strauss’s friend and colleague, Fritz Reiner, made the first stereophonic recording of the music with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in March 1954 for RCA Victor. The recording of the opening fanfare used for 2001: A Space Odyssey was a 1959 Decca Records session with Herbert von Karajan and the Vienna Philharmonic. The Brazilian musician Eumir Deodato covered the fanfare under the title “Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)” on his 1972 album Prelude.

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