Yesterday, the elementary class went to the Kimmel Center to see the Philadelphia Orchestra perform “The Elements of the Earth”. What an amazing experience it was! The Orchestra played beautiful, enchanting symphonies as movements during a theatrical play about Sir Isaac Newton, including the five elements of earth and alchemy. It was a wonderful combination of science, theater, and, of course, music. Truly Cosmic Education at work! The students loved it, many of them feeling incredibly touched by the music, some mimicking the movements of the orchestra players and the conductor, some identifying the instruments they have been studying. What a wonderful field trip for the elementary children!
Here is a synopsis of the event from the Philadelphia Orchestra website:
Elements of the Earth: A Musical Discovery
Classical music and earth science collide in this captivating journey of Earth’s natural wonders. The Philadelphia Orchestra brings you the symphonic sounds of our vibrant planet as our world-renowned musicians are transformed into the running river of Smetana’s “The Moldau,” the tumultuous tempest in Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony, and more. Experience the Orchestra like never before with an engaging theatrical story and stunning visual art, including vivid imagery from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, which accompanies living composer Christopher Theofanidis’s ethereal work Rainbow Body.
Explore our extraordinary planet inside the secret lab of Sir Isaac Newton, one of history’s most influential scientists and (unknown to most) a passionate alchemist, as he searches for a brilliant assistant worthy of his time and tutelage. Follow the quest of a young clerk’s desire to do more than clean Newton’s lab by learning the fundamentals of alchemy—an ancient tradition that believed the universe was made from five essential elements: earth, air, water, fire, and celestial space. Can the aspiring assistant, Bartlebee, overcome his humble beginnings as a lowly floor washer and use music to solve Newton’s riddle about the Five Elements, changing his own life from ordinary into extraordinary?
Manuel de Falla “Ritual Fire Dance,” from El amor brujo
Bedřich Smetana from “The Moldau,” from Má vlast (excerpt)
Ludwig van Beethoven from Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 (“Pastoral”):
IV. Allegro (Tempest-storm)
Antonín Dvořák from Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 (“From the New
World”): II. Largo (excerpt)
Christopher Theofanidis Excerpts from Rainbow Body