Is Strauss’ ‘Zarathustra’ sexist? L.A. Phil and Colburn play it two ways


Many factors that influenced the “Zarathustra” performances had nothing to do with gender, making comparisons dicey. The Colburn is a student orchestra, and “Zarathustra” was probably new to most if not all of the players. The L.A. Phil has had Strauss’ score in its repertory for 90 of the orchestra’s 100 years. In the late 1960s, the L.A. Phil all but branded itself with the “Sunrise,” thanks to Zubin Mehta’s breathtaking, best-selling recording — and, of course, “2001” mania.

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