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Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra

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Audio CD, April 9, 1996
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Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. R. Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra, Op.30 - Prelude (Sonnenaufgang)Berliner Philharmoniker 1:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. R. Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra, Op.30 - Von den HinterweltlernBerliner Philharmoniker 3:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. R. Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra, Op.30 - Von der großen SehnsuchtBerliner Philharmoniker 2:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. R. Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra, Op.30 - Von den Freuden und LeidenschaftenBerliner Philharmoniker 1:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. R. Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra, Op.30 - Das GrabliedBerliner Philharmoniker 2:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. R. Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra, Op.30 - Von der WissenschaftBerliner Philharmoniker 4:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. R. Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra, Op.30 - Der GenesendeBerliner Philharmoniker 5:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. R. Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra, Op.30 - Das Tanzlied - Das NachtliedBerliner Philharmoniker 8:00Album Only
listen  9. R. Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra, Op.30 - Das NachtwandlerliedBerliner Philharmoniker 5:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. R. Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks (Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche), Op.28Berliner Philharmoniker15:31Album Only
listen11. R. Strauss: Don Juan, Op.20Berliner Philharmoniker18:04Album Only
listen12. R. Strauss: Salome, Op.54 / Scene 4 - Salome's Dance Of The Seven VeilsBerliner Philharmoniker10:09Album Only

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Wiener Philharmoniker
  • Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
  • Composer: Richard Strauss
  • Audio CD (April 9, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001GQT
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,939 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The readings from Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic are exquisitely played and splendidly recorded. Von Karajan's way with the music is supple, suave, and dashingly characterful, and his tempos are faultlessly judged. The orchestra is at its best, remarkable for the silky transparency it brings to the texture and the fascinating detail of the solo work--not least, the flute solos by James Galway, then a member of the BPO. The recording has been optimally transferred and presents a solid image. --Ted Libbey

Customer Reviews

I really can't reccommend this recording highly enough.
D. J. Zabriskie
In these amazing performances, Karajan paints an amazing picture of the music and its philosophical inspiration.
A. Michaelson
Moreover, this recording also represents Herbert Von Karajan at his best.
Todd Ebert

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Jason on January 1, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Recorded in the Jesus-Christus-Kirche in Berlin in 1972 and 1973, Herbert von Karajan's interpretations of these essential Richard Strauss works are among the best available. Although he receives criticism for his interpretations of other composers, Karajan is a near-undisputed master of Strauss (with whom he shared similar musical aesthetics). Although his 1959 and 1960 London/Decca recordings of the same works with the Vienna Philharmonic are also excellent (and also available at a reasonable price), this recording has a bit more atmosphere.
Unfortunately, due to its fame, the very familiar introduction of "Also Sprach Zarathustra" overshadows other wonderful sections of Strauss' grand tone poem, including the waltz-like "Tanzlied." Although the introduction is (of course) played with appropriate grandeur and majesty, Karajan and the Berliners make the rest of this work equally memorable.
This recording also features two of Strauss' most famous tone poems, including the impish "Till Eulenspiegel" and passionate "Don Juan." Although the former runs the inherent risk of forced humor (the chaos Till creates at the marketplace, the "gross grimace" Till makes at self-important scholars), I've found that a less literal listening of the work makes it more enjoyable; one does not feel compelled to laugh, sit-com like, at canned humor. Barring these personal reservations about this aspect of the work, Karajan and the Berliners play wonderfully. They particularly work best in the sections when Till feels full of himself after the merriment, misery, and mischief he has created, followed immediately by his trial and execution; in this recording, the judges all sound like humorless, fascistic bullies next to poor Till's pleas; that he was "having a little fun.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 22, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This is surely the best performance of Strauss' Zarathustra I've ever listened to. Karajan, as always, is no less than perfect, and Schwalbé plays a marvelous violin solo. This original analog recording is even better than Karajan's later digital recordings of the same title.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By dv_forever on December 23, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Herbert von Karajan recorded the great Strauss tone-poem Also Sprach Zarathustra three times, each time it was exceptional and each record ranks at the top of the mountain, so to speak. The first record was in 1959 with the Vienna Philharmornic. That was the version used by Stanley Kubrick in 2001: A Space Odyssey. This version that I'm reviewing here is from 1974 with the Berlin Philharmonic and there is a final version from 1983, also with Berlin. This 1974 account is probably the best ever from Karajan and possibly anybody. Perhaps the later 1983 has deeper, richer digital sound but this 1974 account is more passionate and breaths fire. The only reason I give it four and not five stars is the recording itself. The remastering has really brightened up the aural image and it sounds quite fierce at times. The later version, coupled with the tone-poem Don Juan is on the Karajan Gold disc, catalog number 439 016-2. Make sure you get that Gold disc to compare and contrast. If you're a fan of this work, you might want to get them both as there are a few, albeit, slight differences in the 2 recordings.

On this 1974 record I'm reviewing, track 2, Of the Backworldsmen is tremendously powerful, such sweeping string sound unlike in any Zarathustra you've ever heard and let's not forget to mention the riveting timpani at the famous opening. Unbelievable! However the later version packs quite a punch too in places on account of the digital sound, but it's not as driven or intense as this earlier Karajan version.

As for the music itself, Zarathustra is one of the most evocative and fascinating of the orchestral works of Strauss, from the famous opening to the transcendent fury to come to the hushed, meditative polytonal ending, contrasting the two keys representing man and nature.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By D. J. Zabriskie on May 12, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Put aside his Nazi past, and Herbert von Karajan remains one of the most controversial conductors of the 20th century. There is still that famously aloof, arrogant personality to deal with, and then, there is the music. For some folks, Karajan's interpretations and recordings are without peer. For others, he's just TOO much... of everything... Period.
As usual, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Karajan himself put it best: "My whole purpose (in conducting an orchestra) is to achieve a momentary state of ecstasy through
music." Karajan's approach to music is, therefore, necessarily
HEROIC. That leads him to achieve results with some composers'
works that are spectacular, and just plain strange with others.
This recording is, unquestionalbly, one of the spectacular ones.
Stated simply: no one, absolutely, no one conducted the tone poems of Richard Strauss any better than Herbert von Karajan.
The affinity between composer and conductor extends beyond tempermnet and philosophy into the realm of sheer mysticism, and the music reflects this. I defy anyone to find a recording of
"Also Sprach Zarathustra" that's any better than this one. The only contender I can think of is one by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by (you guessed it!) Herbert von Karajan.
Even the notable recording by Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony sounds limp by comparison.
Clearly, Nietzsche's novella as philosophy struck an important chord in the soul of Richard Strauss, and he poured much of that soul into this composition, which is daring, dramatic, brooding
and poignant by turns. Nobody brought those qualities out of an
orchestra any better than Karajan does here.
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