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Strauss was a German composer who wrote what he called "Tone Poems," which were classical pieces in one movement inspired by some kind of literary or visual art. This was inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche's book of the same name.
This is famous for its use in the 1968 movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. It was used 3 times in the movie, including the opening sequence, which is considered one of the most famous pieces of film history. Strauss' movement is about 40 minutes long; the portion used in the movie was the beginning of the piece, which is known as "Sunrise" or "Dawn."
After this was used in the movie, it became popular as entrance music for sporting events and other dramatic events. The BBC used it in their coverage of the Apollo Moon landings.
Eumir Deodato recorded A modern, Jazzy rendition which won him a Grammy in 1973. Deodato, from Brazil, has worked on over 450 albums during his career as producer, arranger and keyboardist. Among the stable of artists he has worked with are Earth Wind & Fire, Roberta Flack, Kool & the Gang and Chuck Mangione. (thanks, Charles - Charlotte, NC)
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