31 Oct 2019

STRAUSS: Also sprach Zarathustra

From Music Alive, 8:04 pm on 31 October 2019

Strauss's paean to the development of the human race.

This audio is not downloadable due to copyright restrictions.

Performed by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Giordano Bellincampi.

Sunrise over earth

Sunrise over earth Photo: Public Domain

This spectacular work received its premiere in Frankfurt in November 1896. For the occasion, Strauss wrote a programme note that set out his lofty intention: “I wished [he wrote] to convey by means of music an idea of the development of the human race from its origin, through the various phases of its development, religious and scientific, up to [Friedrich] Nietzsche’s idea of the Superman. The whole symphonic poem is intended as a homage to Nietzsche’s genius, which found its greatest expression in his book Thus Spoke Zarathustra.” 

The unforgettable Introduction (familiar from Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey) depicts the sunrise of the very first dawn and the emergence of Nature with a capital N, and there follow another nine sections, some of which are linked.

Programme note by Indra Hughes

Recorded by RNZ in Auckland Town Hall, 31 October 2019
Producer: Tim Dodd; Engineer: Adrian Hollay