Toronto based period music ensemble Tafelmusik launches Music Viva’s 2012 programme with The Galileo Project, a concert that is quite literally ‘out of this world’. Journey through space as Tafelmusik perform astronomically themed Baroque music, amidst a multimedia presentation of images from deep outer space taken through the Hubble telescope and by Canadian astronomers.
Music from the time of Galileo (b 1564) forms the core to the programme, with works by Monteverdi (b 1567) and Merula (b 15594 or 1595), with more music of the spheres written by Rameau, Zelenka, Handel and Bach. Guiding the audience through the music is an integrated narrative presented by actor Shaun Smyth.
The Galileo Projectwas created by bassist Alison Mackay in 2009 to commemorate the International Year of Astronomy. Co-produced with the Banff Centre, the project was so popular and highly regarded that the International Astronomical Union named an asteroid after Tafelmusik.
Formed in 1979, Tafelmusik (which means ‘table music’ in German or more abstractly ‘feast of music’), perform their repertoire from memory, liberating the 19 musicians in the ensemble from the tyranny of page turns, the score and music stands. They are able to interact with each other and immerse themselves in the sound to a far greater degree, creating a very special intimacy.
Galileo himself was a polymath whose thinking was centuries ahead of his time. He was called upon to defend his beliefs in fear for his life. The foundations that he laid have influenced life as we know it even in the 21st century. Acknowledging this impact, Alison Mackay comments: “Galileo’s story is so complex, yet it’s a story that everyone can comprehend and celebrate. This celebrates the great achievements of the human spirit.”
Recognising its broad audience appeal, Tafelmusic have taken The Galileo Project around the world, and though there is a lingiustic component to the programme this is not a limitation, with a tour to China in Mandarin, to Malaysia, to Mexico, in Spanish, to Canada and the United States. In Australia, they will perform at the Perth and Adelaide Festivals as well as in Sydney.
Tickets from $30 – $109 call (02) 8256 2222 or 1300 797 118 or book on line at http://www.cityrecitalhall.com/events/id/1165/Tafelmusik/
The quote in the title of this post: “The heavenly spheres make music for us, All things join in the dance”, is taken from Gustav Holst’s “Hymn to Jesus”. Holst too composed music inspired by the celestial – his “Planets Suite”.