Galactic Melodies and Myths
September 17, 2021
In-person or livestreamed to your home: 7:30pm
Denver First Church of the Nazarene
3800 E Hampden Ave, Englewood, CO 80113
Children (12 and under): $5
Explore the stars and their myths with the Arapahoe Philharmonic! Hear the thunderbolts of Jupiter in Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 (nicknamed the “Jupiter Symphony”). Dance through the stories of the Roman god Mercury with Satie. Then take a bike ride through the sky with music from “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” and feel the spirit of Galileo in John Clay Allen’s “And Yet It Moves.” This otherworldly concert is bound to sweep you off your feet!
Explore the galaxy even further by attending our preconcert or post concert planetarium show! Our friends from the Challenger Learning Center of Colorado will be in the lobby of the concert with a portable planetarium. The planetarium show is included with your ticket and will be going on in ten minute intervals before the concert from 6:30pm to 7:30pm, during intermission, and after the concert.
Not sure how to livestream? Check out our FAQ!
To protect audiences and the community from illness and to slow the transmission of COVID-19 please wear a mask during the performance.
More About Galactic Melodies and Myths
Robert Schumann claimed of Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony “about many things in this world there is simply nothing to be said—for example, about Mozart’s C-Major symphony with the fugue, much of Shakespeare, and some of Beethoven.” There truly are no words to express some concepts, which is why we have music and art.
The two most fascinating aspects of Mozart’s 41st Symphony (along with 39 and 40) include the fact that we don’t know the occasion for which they were composed, nor if Mozart ever even heard them during his lifetime, and the inventive madness with which Mozart composed the last movement. Finishing a symphony with a fugue was truly a stroke of genius. Although Mozart would have likely borrowed this idea from the likes of both Haydn’s (Michael and Franz Joseph), the sheer excitement and ecstatic energy with which Mozart brings his symphonic oeuvre to a close is unparalleled, and is something to marvel at both from the standpoint of the performers and audience.
The mythological atmosphere that the remainder of the program creates is wonderfully rich and diverse. Erik Satie’s Mercury was a collaboration with Picasso, and designed to be danced. In 1920s Paris the importance of the texture, sound, and scents of music and choreography reigned supreme to the point that choreographer Massine and composer Satie didn’t put much thought into the actual story. What I love most about this ballet (qualities shared also with music of composers like Debussy, Ravel, de Falla) is that the music is so full of character, spice, and ecstasy! The musicians of the Arapahoe Phil turn into the dancers and storytellers all at once, and become actors who fly off the stage and into our hearts.
John Williams’ score for E.T. (The Extra-Terrestrial) is one of the most innovative, expressive, and joyous film scores ever composed, and won the 1983 Academy Award for best original film score. The music brings to life the iconic themes from out of this world, and showcases the amazing bicycle chase scene, which was such exciting and original music that Steven Spielberg re-edited the film to match what John Williams composed.
Composer John Clay Allen expands our mythological universe to include the starry skies. “Eppur si muove”, or And Yet It Moves are the words Galileo uttered after being condemned by the Spanish Inquisition and the Catholic church for daring to profess that the Earth is not the center of the universe. Allen is able to capture the galactic spirit and mind of Galileo, and affirm the importance of scientific or immutable truths that balance the cosmos, and our place in them.