The pleasure in Also sprach Zarathustra.
Try to say Also sprach Zarathustra five times really fast. (Heck, even typing it felt like a challenge.) Although we all may not know how to pronounce Also sprach Zarathustra, we all know who made it famous…or do we?
Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film, 2001: A Space Odyssey opens with the introduction section (also titled Sunrise) of Richard Strauss’s symphonic poem, Also sprach Zarathustra (German for “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”), composed in 1896. The music was inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophical novel written in 1883, “Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None”, which portrayed the philosophical and moral evolution of Man told through the narrative of yours truly, Zarathustra, (based on the Persian prophet Zoroaster).
The introduction of Also sprach Zarathustra is so famous that it is pretty much a cliché in popular culture. Elvis Presley used it as the introduction to every show he performed from 1969 onwards. The BBC used it in their coverage of the Apollo Moon landings. Brazilian musician Eumir Deodato won a Grammy Award in 1973 for his funktified rendition. And professional wrestler Ric Flair made it his theme song for platinum white hair, feathers, and WOOOOOO!
So in the case of what came first, the chicken or the egg…Zarathustra, who’s your daddy!?!?
My conclusion: Tom Cruise.
And remember, there is way more to discover beyond the familiar first minute and 17 seconds. Boldly go forth and listen…