Boston Landmarks Orchestra begins its 19th season ( and 13th on the Hatch Shell) by commemorating the 50th anniversary of Apollo landing on the floor of the moon. In partnership with the Museum of Science, beneath the steerage of Wayne Bouchard, the Museum’s Interim President and CEO, and Danielle Khoury LeBlanc, Director of the Museum of Science’s Charles Hayden Planetarium, Wednesday’s program explores many points of the Apollo mission, area journey, and the wonders of the universe by way of the following works: John Adams’s Brief Experience in a Quick Machine, Leroy Anderson’s Summer time Skies, Richard Strauss’s Thus Spake Zarathustra, Joaquín Rodrigo’s In Search of the Past, John Williams’s Shut Encounters of the Third Variety, and Philip Glass’s Icarus on the Fringe of Time (excerpt).
Rain Date: Thursday, July 18th. If it rains that night time as properly, the live performance might be held at First Church in Cambridge 11 Garden St.
Charles Wilcox, the Planetarium’s AV Producer, Jason Fletcher, Affiliate Producer, Wade Sylvester, Special Effects Producer, and the employees of the Planetarium have created unique video work, synchronized to the orchestra’s reside efficiency. They’ve tailored materials from the Planetarium’s full-dome science exhibits: Undiscovered Worlds; Moons: Worlds of Thriller; Dream to Discovery: Inside NASA; and Vacation spot Mars: The New Frontier. They have also used material from the Planetarium’s in depth collection of entertainment packages featuring stay musicians, entertainers, and albums by Beyoncé, David Bowie, Prince, and others.
In 1969, the moon landing stood as each an achievement and a logo. Even immediately there is a variety of opinions about what precisely those have been, and whether the pricey enterprise was value it. Definitely, the mission brought large benefits, including the furthering of scientific analysis, the event of latest applied sciences and materials, enhancements to computing methods, and the training of a brand new era of scientists.
To many, probably the most profound penalties of reaching the moon have been the modifications it delivered to the collective human psyche. For one thing, the Apollo mission dealt a essential blow to the phrase, “it might’t be completed.” It additionally had a transformative impact on our consciousness of ourselves. “Earthrise,” the photograph taken by William Anders throughout Apollo eight whereas in lunar orbit, modified perpetually how we view our planet. “Probably the most influential environmental photograph ever taken,” is how nature photographer Galen Rowell described it. On the 50th anniversary of taking that photograph, Anders stated, “We set out to explore the moon and as an alternative discovered the Earth.”
“The lasting legacy of the voyage to the moon,” Jill Lepore opines in a current piece in the New York Occasions, “lies in the marvel of discovery, the enjoyment of data, not the gee-whizzery of equipment but the knowledge of beauty and the facility of humility.” Marvel, joy, magnificence, humility. These are the qualities we explore tonight.
John Adams’ Brief Journey in a Quick Machine was composed for a launch of a unique type: the inaugural concert of the Great Woods Middle for the Performing Arts on June 13, 1986, in Mansfield, MA. It’s a shot of musical adrenaline. Brash, brightly coloured rhythmic cells dart across the orchestra in a minimalist fashion typical of Adams’ writing at that time. Based on Michael Steinberg, the work uses “a harmonic language with an emphasis on consonance in contrast to something in Western artwork music in the final five hundred years.” Commenting on the title, Adams once stated, “You understand how it’s when somebody asks you to experience in a terrific sports automotive, and you then want you hadn’t?”
Concerning the accompanying video, Charles Wilcox writes: “We experience grand views of the solar system—Jupiter and its volcanic moon Io, and Saturn’s moon Enceladus spraying liquid water out into area—proven to us by the fleet of human and robotic area missions we’ve got despatched out from Earth. We think about future missions such because the launch of NASA’s Area Launch System (within the next part of human area exploration) and potential tourist voyages to the Moon.”
Leroy Anderson was a master of miniatures, writing brief orchestral showpieces with a wit and originality that few have ever rivaled. However his extremely listenable Piano Concerto proved that he might write successfully in longer varieties as nicely. His career with the Boston Pops started when, as a Harvard undergraduate, he carried out the orchestra in his personal arrangements of Harvard songs. He was quickly writing hit after hit for Fiedler, together with Blue Tango, Fiddle Faddle, Sleigh Journey, and a number of different works that stay immensely fashionable immediately. Summer time Skies was composed in 1953. Given its title, it might be applicable for any Landmarks concert, however particularly for a celebration of the moon landing. Regardless of its winsome melodies and amiable mood, the piece is little recognized, and we will find no report that it was ever performed by Fiedler and the Pops.
The opening of Thus Spake Zarathustra by Richard Strauss is among the most famous of all orchestral passages. Stanley Kubrick used it to begin his iconic film, 2001: A Area Odyssey, the place it accompanies a sunrise as seen from area. Kubrick had it proper: Strauss’s music does characterize a dawn, mirroring the rising solar that radiates throughout the primary chapter of Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophical novel, Thus Spake Zarathustra. In all three works, the sun could be understood as a proxy for the awe-inspiring, unknowable, inhuman majesty of the universe.
Kubrick advised his collaborator Arthur C. Clarke that he needed to make a film about “man’s relationship to the universe… to create a murals that might arouse the emotions of marvel, awe… terror.” His film is an area allegory concerning the evolution of humankind’s consciousness, taking philosophical ideas from Nietzsche, a story construction from Homer, storylines from several of Clarke’s brief tales, and musical inspiration from a variety of composers, together with Strauss.
The Introduction of Strauss’s Zarathustra represents a primordial dawn. It is the Dawn of Man, and the three rising notes in the trumpets stand for the sun, or more usually for Nature. The entire symphonic poem may be regarded as a collection of makes an attempt to grasp Nature. And in the long run—spoiler alert!—every attempt is met with defeat. “Once I wrote Zarathustra,” Strauss stated in an interview in 1921, “I wanted to embody in it the battle between man’s nature… and man’s metaphysical attempts to put maintain of his nature together with his intelligence.”
Following this sensible opening, the music recedes into the bottom reaches of the orchestra to begin a piece referred to as Of the Backworldsmen. The work is split into nine sections, which are related with out pause for probably the most part. The names of the sections are taken from chapter titles in Nietzsche’s novel. This one is a play on phrases, which fortunately works in English in addition to it does in German. It feels like “backwoodsmen,” but is meant to point primitive man usually, and a state of existence governed by worry. A theme related to the Spirit of Man— the inquisitive facet of human nature—rises up in the bassoons, and again shortly thereafter in the cellos and basses. The horns quote the traditional chant Credo in unum deum because the music suggests one potential reply to human inquiry: religion; or to take Nietzsche’s view: religiosity. This is the false consolation of naïve reverence, and it leads to disappointment, not attainment.
The music loses focus as Of the Nice Longing begins. A solo viola drifts ever greater. A momentary ‘flight of fancy’ is interrupted by a dialogue between Nature—these three rising notes again, now in English horn and oboes—and a new spiritual theme in organ and winds: the Magnificat. Following the third such trade, cellos and basses challenge a brand new upwardly-thrusting theme, Longing, which ultimately overwhelms the spiritual music.
Of Joys and Passions opens with an outpouring of sound and a sometimes Straussian appassionato theme within the strings, strengthened by horns. This represents people’ first taste of freedom, especially freedom from dogma and superstition. The soaring melodies categorical the delights and sorrows of actual life. The theme of Longing stays in the lower strings. The music swells to great heights. At the peak we hear for the first time a brief theme that may assume growing importance. Trombones and tuba announce it powerfully. Strauss as soon as referred to as this theme Ekel; in English, Disgust.
The Track of the Grave consists of a collection of rising and falling phrases. The Spirit of Man rises up, followed each time by flowing, falling scales. Settling into the lowest depths of the strings, two solo basses and two solo cellos start Of Science and Studying. Right here Strauss turns to probably the most “discovered” of all musical varieties, the fugue. The primary part of the theme is a slowed-down version of Nature (the three notes heard at the very outset in the trumpets). The environment is stultifying. Voice after voice enters as the feel thickens and the quantity degree increases. The music ultimately breaks free in a line that skitters and soars—this can be a return to the ‘flight of fancy’ concept heard earlier. Now an essential new energetic theme emerges for the woodwinds in music that dances exuberantly. This music later turns into the primary theme of the Dance-Music.
In The Convalescent, Nature and Disgust each return. They alternate at first, however then “go at it,” seemingly engaged in battle. The fugal theme of Science is enlisted, and chaos and battle ensue. The music builds to a strong restatement of Nature, in what quantities to a return to the opening of all the work. We seem to have gotten nowhere.
An extended silence is adopted by a stabbing chord, and a restatement of each Spirit of Man and Disgust. Then the music abruptly rises with new conviction. This passage might correspond to any variety of pages in Nietzsche where Zarathustra experiences a sudden want toward motion. For instance: “With these phrases Zarathustra began up, not nevertheless like an individual in anguish in search of aid, but slightly like a seer and a singer whom the spirit evokes.” (Half II, Chapter 23) Strauss’s trumpet rouses the orchestra awake, recalling these strains: “Up, abysmal thought out of my depth! I’m thy cock and morning daybreak, thou overslept reptile: Up! Up! My voice shall soon crow thee awake!” (Half III, Chapter 57)
Now we come to the apex of Strauss’s construction, The Dance-Track. This is Strauss’s answer to Nietzsche’s promotion of the traditional concept of ‘eternal recurrence.’ The philosophical argument is an excessive amount of to go into right here, however it is partially an acknowledgement of the cycles of human life. To Nietzsche, everlasting recurrence was a life-affirming various to the notion of renunciation that had been advocated by a previous era of thinkers like Schopenhauer and Wagner. And what sort of dance has Strauss offered for this optimistic message? A Strauss waltz in fact! Not a waltz by the Waltz King, nevertheless. That was Johann Strauss II, to whom Richard was not associated, a minimum of not intently. This is Richard Strauss, who fifteen years later would pen the waltz-infused opera, Der Rosenkavalier. As so typically in Strauss’s tone poems, the protagonist of the musical drama is the solo violinist: here, the Landmarks Orchestra’s Concertmaster, Greg Vitale.
Now comes the ultimate defeat. We’ve travelled as distant as potential from the opening scene, with its rising solar depicting the Daybreak of Man. The beginning of the top is signaled by Principal Percussionist Robert Schulz, who strikes twelve notes on the chimes. It is now Midnight within the life cycle of humankind. Our religious odyssey is coming to an in depth.
The conclusion is a gorgeously expansive epilogue, with a melody tinged by a sad and noble nostalgia so attribute of Strauss. It’s the ‘flight of fancy’ theme, slowed to the tempo of previous age. This Music of the Night time Wanderer ushers in a new state of being, a kindred spirit to the ennobled ‘superman’ that Nietzsche had envisaged in his novel. Listening to this music immediately, it’s onerous not to consider that we nonetheless await such an enlightened human situation. However composing in 1896, Strauss appears already in agreement. Whereas the woodwinds play delicate high chords summoning a pure and peaceable state, the three rising notes of Nature are heard—not in the trumpets here, however ominously in the cellos and basses. Inscrutable Nature continues to be there, not solved, not conquered, nonetheless staring back at us.
The Houston Symphony commissioned Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo to compose a work on the event of the US Bicentennial. He had beforehand visited the Johnson Area Middle, and chose as his subject the exploration of area. In Search of the Past (A la busca del más allá) begins and ends with an extended cymbal roll. Thematic fragments come and go, emerging and disappearing “as if lost someplace in area—in the other world,” within the words of the composer. Rodrigo was a virtuoso pianist and wrote extensively for that instrument. However his most well-known work by far is his concerto for guitar and orchestra, Concierto de Aranjuez, one of the acknowledged works within the literature. Born in Valencia, Rodrigo misplaced his vision utterly at the age of three after contracting diphtheria. He composed utilizing the braille music system, developed by Louis Braille.
Charles Wilcox describes the accompanying video: “We begin with inspiring moonlit scenes from Earth and witness a total solar eclipse. Then we depart Earth and travel to the Moon, flying over its dramatically lit craters and mountains. Alongside the best way we experience the marvel of a complete lunar eclipse as seen from the Moon, and travel back in time to witness the violent delivery and asteroid bombardment of the Moon in the course of the early days of the photo voltaic system.”
Dvořák’s ‘Track to the Moon’ from the opera Rusalka has turn into recognized to a wide public, especially by way of properly publicized performances by such operatic stars as Renée Fleming and Anna Netrebko. The opera’s story is predicated on Czech fairy tales. In the ‘Music to the Moon,’ Rusalka, a water sprite, having fallen in love with a human, pleads with the moon to intervene with the mortal man on her behalf:
Silver moon upon the deep dark sky,
Via the huge night time pierce your rays.
This sleeping world you wander by,
Smiling on men’s houses and ways.
Oh moon, ere previous you glide, inform me,
Tell me, oh where does my liked one bide?
Tell him, oh inform him, my silver moon,
Mine are the arms that shall maintain him,
That between waking and sleeping he might
Consider the love that enfolds him.
Mild his path distant, mild his path,
Tell him, oh tell him who does for him stay!
Human soul, should it dream of me,
Let by reminiscence wakened be.
Moon, moon, oh don’t wane!|
Do not wane, moon.
Oh moon, do not wane!
John Williams’s music for Close Encounters of the Third Type is tightly woven into Steven Spielberg’s 1977 fantasy about speaking with other life varieties, its five-note fundamental theme being a central aspect of the plot. The suite Williams compiled from the movie score begins with otherworldly sounds demonstrating the vary of his craft as an orchestrator, sounding for all the world like one thing from midcentury experimentalists like Penderecki or Ligeti. Regularly the textures and tone assume a extra familiar type of expression, and the musical language starts to sound extra like residence. John Williams is, in fact, a revered Boston figure. And he’s endlessly tied to this venue, since he is the one dwelling composer among the many eighty-eight whose names adorn the Hatch Shell in five-inch bronze lettering.
Icarus on the Fringe of Time, in its unique type, is a 40-minute multi-media work together with a musical score by Philip Glass, narration adapted from Brian Greene’s youngsters’s guide of the identical identify, and a movie by Al Holmes and Al Taylor (Al + Al). Premiered in 2010, it’s a reimagining of the Greek fantasy of Icarus, during which Icarus travels to not the sun but to a black gap. It brings to life points of Einstein’s concepts of relativity for young readers. We perform excerpts from the unique score, with out narration, and set to a video created by the Planetarium workforce:
“From the imaginations of the area animator-artists on the Charles Hayden Planetarium come beautiful, never-before-seen vistas of area and time: nebulas seething with power and new star formation, a disk of matter swirling right into a black hole to vanish ceaselessly, increasing shells of fuel blown into area by dying stars, and unique asteroids.”
Frank Sinatra’s 1964 recording of Fly Me to the Moon, with Rely Basie and his orchestra in an association by Quincy Jones, was the first music ever heard on the moon. It was played via a cassette recorder by Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin after he stepped onto the lunar floor. Henry Mancini’s Moon River was written for Audrey Hepburn to sing in the 1961 film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It gained the Academy Award for Greatest Unique Music. Inside a yr, Andy Williams had refashioned it as his theme track and sang it on the Academy Awards the following yr. Cole Porter’s In the Still of the Night time was recorded by two outstanding bandleaders the yr it was revealed, 1937. One was Bostonian Leo Reisman, whose band Jerome Kern referred to as “The String Quartet of Dance Bands.” The opposite was Tommy Dorsey, the “Sentimental Gentleman of Swing.”
Among the biggest bandleaders of his era, Michael Andrew isn’t only an entire gentleman, however a unprecedented performer. He was the headline act on the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Middle in New York Metropolis for two years. Michael has toured extensively, and performed with orchestras throughout the country. He has also appeared as an actor on stage, in movie and on television. In 2012, he starred in a musical theater version of The Nutty Professor, directed by Jerry Lewis, with music by Marvin Hamlisch. We are thrilled that Michael is with us tonight to perform three moonlit hits from the good American songbook.
Christopher Wilkins was appointed Music Director of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra in the spring of 2011. Since then the orchestra has helped reaffirm founder Charles Ansbacher’s imaginative and prescient of creating great music accessible to the entire group.
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