Music of the Stars – Live Performance Celebrating History of Astronomy

Spiral galaxy (NASA)

In May 2011, Dr Silvia De Bianchi organised the workshop, “The Harmony of the Sphere: Kant and Herschel on the universe and the Astronomical Phenomena” at UCL. This brought together research on Kant, Herschel, and astronomy. The workshop culminated in a musical programme featuring original interpretations of compositions produced to honour astronomy and astronomical reflections. The music was recorded and produced by UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies as recording 2011-05A. Please credit the artists. Thanks to Silvia De Bianchi for her efforts.

Musical programme

  • Sara Stowe – soprano, keyboards
  • Matthew Spring – lute

Sounding Space: Music of the Stars

Over the centuries music, astrology, maths and geometry have had a changing dynamic. Scholars thought the intervals between musical notes were an earthly revelation of the ordering of the universe – the `harmony of the spheres’. The measuring of music in metres and rhythms went with the celestial round of days and years. This concert for voice, lute and harpsichord features music by composers who, like John Dunstable, Vincenzo Gallileo and William Herschel, were also astronomers. Early works are juxtaposed with modern pieces inspired by thoughts of space and stars.

Programme

  1. Je veut chanter (Guillaume Dufay)
  2. Belle bonne (Baude Cordier)
  3. 9 Rarebits (Earle Brown)
  4. O Rosa Bella (John Dunstable)
  5. Since my Love has left me (John Dunstable)
  6. Canti del Capricorno (Giacinto Scelsi)
  7. Urania (Vicenzo Gallileo)
  8. Siringa (Vicenzo Gallileo)
  9. Polymnia (Vicenzo Gallileo)
  10. Star gazing (Vicenzo Gallileo)
  11. Praeludium and Allegro (William Herschel)
  12. Orphic Hymn to Uranus (Ficino)
  13. Sing aloud harmonious spheres (Anonymous)
  14. Since love hath in thine and mine eyes (John Wilson)
  15. What poor astronomers are they (John Dowland)

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