Album review: Gustavo Dudamel, Berliner Philharmoniker, Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra (Deutsche Grammophon)


Also Sprach Zarathustra is a piece that plays to the strengths of both Gustavo Dudamel, at his best on such imposing, demonstrative works, and the Berlin Philharmonic, whose association with Richard Strauss, albeit rocky at times, lasted more than half a century. Not surprisingly, the great fanfare introduction is carried off in sweeping, dramatic manner, but thereafter Dudamel brings a subtle, lilting melancholy to the "Backworldsmen" section, seguing smoothly into the pastoral Romanticism of the "Great Longing", before sprightly strings and thoughtful woodwind are skilfully deployed to convey the elevated lightness of "Science & Learning". A fine interpretation.

Download: Also Sprach Zarathustra; Till Eulenspiegels Lustige Streiche