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Strauss / Dudamel: Also Sprach Zarathustra (CD)

Item #: 514257

Quick Overview

Conductor: Gustavo Dudamel
Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic

Also Sprach Zarathustra, once among the less frequently performed Strauss works, now firmly ensconced in the standard repertoire, is a tone poem, i.e., a free-form symphonic piece that either tells a story or, as is the case here, suggests the moods of a literary text. It’s difficult to discern why it should have been less frequently performed than, say, the same composer’s Ein Heldenleben, the two being cut from similarly colorful cloth. Perhaps it’s the association with Friedrich Nietzsche’s knotty philosophical work of the same name that gained Zarathustra, the music, the unwarranted reputation of being “difficult.”

The composer initially disavowed any connection between his score and Nietzsche beyond being inspired by the book’s poetic imagery and, particularly, its evocative chapter headings, eight of which Strauss employed as non-specific guides in his score.
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