Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spoke Zoroaster), tone poem for orchestra, Op. 30 (TrV 176)
Zubin Mehta's amazing 1968 recording for Decca of Richard Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra" has been reissued for this sonic spectacular from Lim, and the results of the label's K2 HD mastering are simply astonishing. Bearing in mind that this was an exceptional analog recording in the first place, and that the conversion process has preserved the performance's radiant ambience and resonance, this recording sounds just as clear and deep as any Super Audio CD or audio DVD would, but with the difference that the sound is just as warm as any LP. The performance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic is sumptuous in sonority and wide open in spatial dimensions, and the reproduction captures the distinctiveness of the instruments with uncanny fidelity. Imagine being in the center of the orchestra, hearing the individual woodwinds; being able to distinguish any particular brass instrument; audibly separating every line of counterpoint and every rhythm, no matter how softly played or seemingly insignificant; and feeling every vibration from the opening organ pedal point to the concluding contrabass pizzicati: that's really what this marvelous presentation is all about, and not just about wowing your friends with the speaker-shattering volume of the famous fanfare used in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Mehta's ecstatic interpretation is a classic, the orchestra's playing is phenomenal, and the reproduction is a knockout. What more could you want in a classical recording? Highly recommended.