A Musical Space Odyssey

Classical music doesn’t have to be boring, especially when it is paired with amazing images. The Colorado Symphony will experiment with that idea in The Planets — an HD Odyssey. NASA-generated images of the planets will be projected in high definition on three screens in the circular Boettcher Concert Hall while the symphony performs Gustav Holst’s The Planets, a twentieth-century orchestral piece, big on the sound and musical theatrics. In the opening movement, “Mars, the Bringer of War,” timpani crashes and horns blare. This is not music to lean back and relax to. “It would be as if Holst had personally written a piece for you to tour around the planets,” explains symphony spokesman Alex Rhodes. “It would be like looking out of a spaceship.”

The program opens with two works by Beethoven, “Overture to the Creatures of Prometheus” and Piano Concerto No. 1, with former music director Jeffrey Kahane on piano. No images will be projected during these two pieces.

There will be three performances at Boettcher Hall, in the Denver Performing Arts Complex: Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets, $19 to $82, and information are available at www.coloradosymphony.org or 303-623-7876.
Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2011


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