Perhaps one of the most famous openings of any classical piece, Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spake Zarathustra) was written in 1896 by Richard Strauss. The piece is a tone poem based on a book by Nietzsche. The complete piece lasts for an hour, but is not nearly as well known as its opening, which represents the sunrise. This performance features some particularly flamboyant cymbal playing!

It became famous for its use in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and is now forever associated with space:

There is also this awesome jazz version:

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