One of the SDM 09s sent out a note to everyone mentioning that MIT was putting on a small conference to celebrate the forty years since Apollo 11 landed on the moon. The closing little event was a concert put on by the Boston Pops performing Holst’s The Planets with a narration by Buzz Aldrin. It seemed like the sort of opportunity not to be passed up, so I got tickets for Kara and I.
We showed up at Symphony Hall and I was expecting a program that would basically just be all of The Planets. So I was quite surprised and pleased to look at the actual program. As I mentioned to Kara leaving, it really appealed to my geek-ness on a few levels: music geek, space geek and sci-fi geek. The selections were the following.
- Also sprach Zarathustra — what a great way to start off a concert. It does a really good job of pulling everyone in
- Blue Danube Waltz — continuing on the 2001 theme
- Selections from The Planets (notably Mars, Venus, Uranus and Jupiter). This was accompanied by a short little film and the narration by Buzz Aldrin. Very very well done. The little films were neat and provided a good backdrop to the music.
- Theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind — now we really get into the “Pops” part I guess. I really need to get to one of the Pops concerts with John Williams actually conducting.
- Premiere of a short film to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the moon landing that was commissioned by MIT and accompanied by a John Williams piece I didn’t know. The little film was cool and hopefully will end up online somewhere.
- Theme from the original Star Trek followed by the music used for the closing credits of the new movie. This was a nice touch as the original series went off the air just before the Apollo 11 mission and the new movie is right at forty years later. And apparently, Keith Lockhart was (also) a big fan of the new movie.
- Theme from Star Wars. A piece which needed no introduction.
- And what was the last thing in the program, in fine Boston Pops tradition, a sing-along. In this case, various moon-themed or moon-based songs. Always fun, impressive how many of the things chosen weren’t well known. I didn’t know half of them.
- Not in the program was a performance of John Lennon’s Imagine accompanied by the Boston Children’s Choir. This was a good touch and would have been a perfectly good way to end the concert
- But they finished off with the Stars and Stripes Forever. Which was also a good way to end the night
As always after going to things like this, I had the thought I should do things like this more often. It was a great performance and we had a great time. There’s a reason why the Boston Pops are as world-reknowned as they are — they put on a great show and appear to have fun in doing so.