Richard STRAUSS: Also sprach Zarathustra, op. 30
Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spoke Zarathustra), composed by Richard Strauss, is a tone poem based on a novel by Friedrich Nietzsche written in 1885. Tone poems are works of music that reflect or tell a specific story.
Gustav Holst: The Planets
Holst had wanted to compose a large orchestral work for some time. He even had a title: Seven Pieces for Large Orchestra. But it was not until a friend introduced him to astrology that Holst found a theme that inspired him: he would call his work The Planets, but he would treat them in the astrological sense, not the astronomical.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Molto Allegro from Symphony No. 41 in C major, K. 551, “Jupiter”
Mozart wrote his last symphony in 1788 in only a few weeks. In the finale he presents a pervasive four‐note motive (C‐D‐F‐E) in a variety of ways like a diamond displayed in different ring settings. We sometimes hear it loudly in the full orchestra, at other times quietly in the strings, or passed back and forth between solo instruments. We also hear it in retrograde (played backwards) and in inversion (played upside down).
Michael Giacchino: “Into Darkness” from Star Trek
Michael Giacchino is a multiple time Grammy Award winner for “Up” and “Lost”, including awards for Best Soundtrack Album and Best Instrumental Composition. In 2010, Giacchino won the Academy Award for Best Original Score for “Up”. He also received a similar nomination in 2008 for his composition for “Ratatouille”.
John Williams: “Flying Theme” from E.T. (The Extra-Terrestrial)
John Williams: “Duel of the Fates” from Star Wars
John Williams: “Main Title” from Star Wars Suite
Nearly everyone has heard music by composer John Williams even if they don’t know it, for he has composed music for countless films, including Jaws, the Star Wars movies, Superman, the Indiana Jones movies, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, the first three Harry Potter films, and many, many more. He is also a conductor. He was the conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra for thirteen years, and still returns to conduct the Pops several times each year.