“There is, of course, a film-score-like quality to the music, and combining it with imagery has been done before, though not to my mind with such sophistication.”
The New York Times
“Getting to view these incredible images on the big screen is a treat…The multimedia format also seems like a winner, drawing in people who rarely attend classical concerts (ahem) as well as keeping the attention of even very young children at a family-friendly matinee performance. It’s like a grown up Fantasia, with extra scientific accuracy thrown in.”
“The London Philharmonic Orchestra brought their HD Odyssey to a packed Bridgewater Hall, giving an audiovisual feast. The music was certainly well played, and the photography was astonishing…John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine opened the concert with contagious excitement…The huge audience was significantly younger than many other Bridgewater Hall concerts, and they seemed to love every minute.”
“It was up to Copp to translate musical ideas into narrative poetry. Mission accomplished…Goose bumps from onset to the ultimate chord… The premiere was a triumph for the Houston Sympony. Orbit [The Earth] will be in high demand for ensembles seeking variety in programming to bring in new audiences.”
Houston Culture Map
“With lift-off achieved, the film of The Planets proved to be an equal blend of art and science….images were stunningly clear and often beautiful. The director, Duncan Copp, had assembled some of the best images from Nasa spacecraft and supplemented them with graphics derived from scientific data….Mission accomplished.”
The Financial Times
“…the images are sometimes quite breathtaking; such as when a probe penetrates the noxious atmosphere that surrounds Venus like the fuzz of a rotten orange, or ripples through the rings of Saturn like a harpist’s fingers…Stripped of the visuals, this would be a rousing account of the Planets Suite on its own. With them, it creates an experience that is genuinely out of this world.”
The Guardian (UK)
“Much of what appeared onscreen was unidentifiable, but no matter; the warts and veins and fragility of our planet were lovely when married with Strauss’ textured score.”
“As the musicians, led by music director Hans Graf, thundered through the music of ‘Mars, the Bringer of War,’ images of the red planet’s mountains, gullies and craters flew across the screen. The film panned over the planet’s rocky, rust-colored surface as if it were carrying you across it at low altitude. Graf drew maximum drama from the music, which the film brilliantly matched in, for example, the long crescendo leading to the climax in ‘Saturn.’
The film gave particular attention to the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, possibly the most intriguing places in the solar system, as they provide the best chance of finding extraterrestrial life. Of course, Holst was inspired by the mythological properties of the gods for which the planets were named, a narrative that sometimes clashed with astronomical reality. He wrote gentle, floating music for Venus, whose 900-degree surface temperature makes it the hottest planet in the solar system.”
The Miami Herald
Created by filmmaker Duncan Copp and produced by The Houston Symphony, this trilogy features breathtaking images of modern space exploration that showcase our solar system, far distant galaxies, nebulae and other astronomical wonders.
THE PLANETS–AN HD ODYSSEY is a spectacular presentation of Gustav Holst’s cosmic masterpiece, The Planets. Projected in HD on a giant screen over the stage, the latest images from modern space exploration provide a stunning visual canvas, as the orchestra performs Gustav Holst’s glorious musical score.
THE EARTH–AN HD ODYSSEY is the second film in the series—this time focused on Planet Earth. It includes striking high-definition images taken from NASA missions to Earth’s orbit which are accompanied by Strauss’ epic tone poem Also sprach Zarathustra—featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey—and John Adams’ electrifying Short Ride in a Fast Machine.
THE COSMOS–AN HD ODYSSEY is the final installment of the innovative film trilogy, set to the score of Dvorák’s popular Symphony No. 9, From the New World. The incredible images that accompany this beloved symphony are from cutting-edge instruments including the Hubble Space Telescope.
The videos were created by celebrated director/producer Duncan Copp in cooperation with NASA and Jet Propulsion Laboratories. Duncan Copp is best known as the producer of In the Shadow of the Moon, a 2006 documentary film on the U.S. manned missions to the Moon, which was presented by Ron Howard and introduced at the Sundance Film Festival.