“Music has been dreaming for too long; we want to wake up now. We were sleepwalking; we want to be conscious daydreamers”. It is this quote from Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra that opens the score by Richard Strauss.
This symphonic poem is freely inspired by the work of the philosopher, who had to say the following on the subject: I did not want to write symphonic music or musically translate the great work of Nietzsche. I told myself I would paint a picture of the development of the human race from its origins... right up to Nietzsche’s concept of Übermensch (Superman).
The program then continues with two pieces composed years later, The Metamorphoses, an absolute masterpiece following the disasters of the Second World War and the destruction of Munich, and Suites of waltzes for orchestra, whose elements come from the last act of the opera that made him famous almost 25 years ago: Der Rosenkavalier (The Knight of the Rose).
Photo: Mariss Jansons © Ronald Knapp
Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Gulbenkian Choir
London Philharmonia Orchestra, Charles Mackerras