Tonight, New York’s splendid Carnegie Hall will not only resound with beautiful music, it will glow with unearthly images.
A performance of the orchestral suite The Planets, by the English composer Gustav Holst, will be accompanied by a new video put together in cooperation with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and featuring the latest high-definition planetary images. The suite contains seven movements that correspond to seven planets: Earth isn’t included, and the disputed planet Pluto hadn’t been discovered when Holst finished the piece in 1916. As for the images, they come from missions like the Mars rover explorations, the Cassini-Huygens investigations of Saturn, Galileo’s trip to Jupiter, and the epic Voyager 1 and 2 treks across the solar system.
Maestro Hans Graf of the Houston Symphony explains the origins of The Planets: An HD Odyssey in this video:
Ironically, Holst was inspired not by the astronomical wonders seen through a telescope, but rather by the astrological clap-trap of horoscopes and star signs. Still, as long as we get to swoop over panoramas of Mars in high-definition, we’ll forgive the composer his quirks.
Discoblog: Trippy Lunar Opera: Haydn at the Hayden Planetarium