Free Download: Strauss - Also Sprach Zarathustra (Selections)

This week's free download consists of selections from the tone poem 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' by German composer Richard Strauss (1864-1949). Used in countless movies, TV shows and commercials, and even by Elvis Presley, the opening to 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' is one of the most iconic openings in classical music; up there with the openings to Beethoven's 'Symphony No. 5' and Copland's 'Fanfare for the Common Man', the first minute-and-a-half of the piece is instantly recognizable the world over. As a result, however, many listeners seldom venture onward to experience the rest of this powerful work. Composed in 1896, it's written in a popular style of the time: the tone poem. Tone poems are similar to movie soundtracks today in that the music was inspired by, or often set to, a particular non-musical source. In the case of 'Also Sprach Zarathustra', the music was inspired by a novel of the same name by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, which deals with a number of the author's favorite themes: self-mastery, eternal recurrence, god and man (or religion and science), and the death of certain values and the birth of newer ones. Strauss uses specific compositional tools to evoke some of these themes, particularly in regards to god (represented as the ethereal) and man (represented as beings of the natural world). The beginning of the piece is subtitled 'Sunrise' by the composer himself. Using the key of C Major (a key with no sharps or flats) to represent the ethereal, Strauss seeks to evoke a sense of wonderment at the majesty of the universe. As soon as that wonderment is over, however, the piece continues with an ever-present struggle between C Major and B Major, a key with 5 sharps that Strauss uses to represent man. The two keys are harmonically incompatible and, in a critical response to Nietzsche's novel, Strauss ends the piece with no resolution as to which of the two keys is dominant...as if to say, the question is unanswered. This recording is by the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Fiore. Continue scrolling to hear other renditions in our collection (authorized users). All users have access to the videos. A recording of note is the historical recording of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Fritz Reiner, the first stereophonic recording of the piece. 2 videos of note: 1) The New York Philharmonic recording with Giuseppe Sinopoli is a personal favorite and 2) The Leonard Bernstein Young People's Concert video is a real treat. To download, click the blue links above and select the three-dot icon in the player, or right-click the blue link and select "Save link as..."
NachtwanderliedRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
04:40
Das TanzliedRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
07:22
Der GenesendeRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
05:04
Von der WissenschaftRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
04:17
Von den Freuden und LeidenschaftRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
01:56
Von der HinterwelternRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
03:24
EinleitungRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
01:36
Das GrabliedRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
02:17
Von der großen SehnsuchtRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
01:46
Das Tanzlied - Das NachtliedRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
07:58
Der GenesendeRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
05:09
Das GrabliedRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
02:42
Prelude (Sonnenaufgang)Richard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
01:50
Von der WissenschaftRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
04:31
Von den Freuden und LeidenschaftenRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
02:05
Von der großen SehnsuchtRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
02:07
Von den HinterweltlernRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
03:27
Das NachtwandlerliedRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
05:03
VI. Von der Wissenschaft / Of Science And LearningRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
03:59
I. Einleitung/IntroductionRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
01:31
IX. Nachtwandlerlied/Song Of The Night WandererRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
04:50
VIII. Das Tanzlied / The Dance-SongRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
07:35
VII. Der Genesended/The ConvalescentRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
05:02
V. Das Grablied / The Song Of The GraveRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
02:15
IV. Von den Freuden und Leidenschaften / Of Joys And PassionRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
01:50
III. Von der grossen Sehnsuc / Of The Great LongingRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
01:43
II. Von den Hinterweltlern/Of The BackworldsmenRichard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
03:11
IX. Nachtwanderlied (The Might Wanderer's Song)Richard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
04:01
VIII. Das Tanzlied (The Dance-Song)Richard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
07:44
VII. Der Genesende (The Convalescent)Richard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
04:53
V. Das Grablied (The Song of the Grave)Richard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
02:03
IV. Von den Freuden- und Leidenschaften (Of Joys and Passions)Richard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
02:06
III. Von der großen Sehnsucht (Of the Great Longing)Richard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
01:46
II. Von den Hinterweltlern (Of the Backworldsmen)Richard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
03:34
I. Einleitung (Introduction)Richard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
02:19
VI. Von der Wissenschaft (Of Science and Learning)Richard Strauss · Also sprach Zarathustra
04:15
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