Thursday, January 1, 2015

OP. 30
By Richard Strauss
Introduction: Sunrise
Edvard Munch: The Sun, 1916
OP. 30
Georg Solti, Conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Edvard Munch: Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900 ), 1906
Introductory Speech:
"Having attained the age of thirty, Zarathustra left his
home and the lake of his home and went into the
mountains. There he rejoiced in his spirit and his
loneliness, and for ten years did not grow weary of it.
But at last his heart turned one morning he got up
with the dawn, stepped into the presence of the Sun
and thus spake unto him: 'Thou great star! What
would be thy happiness, were it not for those for
whom thou shinest?"
Nietzsche's imagery of Zarathustra retreating into
the wilderness may have been borrowed from
"The Allegory of the Cave" in Plato's Republic. In
it Plato says that an enlightened thinker is like a
man who gradually struggles free of the chains of
illusion in an underground cave and who learns by
ascending to the world above and viewing things
in the light of day, finally discovering the essence
of truth by gazing at the sun itself
The introduction to the story (symbolized by the
dawning of a "Sunrise") is musically portrayed by
the German composer Richard Strauss (1864-1949)
in his tone poem composition of the same name,
with a simple but impressive fanfare introduction
in which there is a solemn trumpet motive [based on
the first three notes of natural overtone series
(called the Nature-motif in intervals of a fifth
and octave, as C-G-C)] which leads to a great climax
(the rising of the sun) for full orchestra and organ
on the chord of C major.

This initial fanfare (also entitled "Sunrise") became
particularly well known to the general public due to
its use in Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film
2001: A Space Odyssey,
and as the theme music of the Apollo program.
The fanfare has also been used in many other
productions like at the beginning of Toy Story 2.
I imagined what it might have looked like
if I saw a sunrise for the first time in a long
while and this picture came to mind
(even though it is about a sunset):

Edvard Munch: Scream
Here are some other takes on "The Scream"
that I found interesting and amusing:

Arnold Schoenberg,
Composer (1874-1951):

Self Portrait
Andy Warhol - The Scream (After Munch), 1984
Andy Warhol: The Sream (After Munch). 1984