Did you know that Galileo's father composed music? Hear it on March 6, 2009 as part of Tafelmusik's Galileo Project, then afterwards have a look at the night sky with the Royal Astronomical Society.
The Galileo Project: Music of the Spheres is an orchestral concert programme [featuring] Tafelmusik’s multidisciplinary celebration of the International Year of Astronomy and the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first use of the astronomical telescope. The glorious music of Vivaldi, Handel, Bach and Vincenzo Galilei (father of the astronomer) will be interwoven with Inuit drawings of the northern lights, astronomical photographs and a narrated script taken from the writings of Galileo, Isaac Newton and other great astronomers.
Ottawa Chamber Music Society Concert 6: Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
Friday, March 6 2009
Dominion Chalmers United Church
(355 Cooper Street)
After the concert: star-gazing with the Royal Astronomical Society.
There are a variety of price bands, going as low as $15. See Ottawa Chamber Music Society - Ticketing.
UPDATE 2009-03-08: The concert was extraordinary. I was sceptical of the multimedia part, but I was looking forward to the music. My scepticism was totally unfounded - the concert is a seamless integration of spoken word, music, and images projected on an unusual circular screen. More than that: Eppur si muove - the musicians have memorised their parts entirely, which enables them to move around on the stage, like a sort of human orrery. As well they used the space of the church extremely well - including in one case Venus as the morning and evening star - two musicians up in the balconies on each side of the church. To be able to see some of the best Baroque musicians in the world perform in this amazing piece in a church just a few blocks from my house was a great privilege. I highly recommend this performance if you have a chance to see it. If not, the entire concert (including the narration) is available from the CBC as an audio stream (in Windows Media format, which may be problematic on the Mac).
I agree for the most part with Richard Todd's review in the Citizen, except his comment "Only a few of the pieces on offer had any obvious astronomical associations" is bizarre as the entire programme reveals how much of a role the planets and planetary mythology played in the music and writing of the 17th and 18th centuries. It was fascinating to hear the words of Galileo from Starry Messenger in which in very clear language he talked in one breath of art and in the next of science. The end of the concert, connecting the prediction of the return of Halley's Comet based on Newton's insights into gravity and mathematics to the ordered music of Bach, showed how truly connected the worlds of art and science can be.