Happy 50th birthday, NASA! The National Aeronautics and Space Administration was founded on today’s date in 1958, and began operation on October 1.
While classical music isn’t exactly NASA’s gig, it could turn out to be an intergalactic force in the art, thanks to the recording that’s hurtling out of the solar system aboard the Voyager space probe. The record includes a variety of natural sounds, such as those made by waves, wind, thunder, and animals. It offers spoken greetings from Earth-people in fifty-five languages. And there is music from different cultures and eras, including a number of classical titles:
Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 from the Munich Bach Orchestra.
Bach, “Gavotte” from the Partita No. 3 in E, performed by Arthur Grumiaux.
Mozart, The Magic Flute, Queen of the Night aria, with soprano Edda Moser.
Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring, Sacrificial Dance, Igor Stravinsky, conductor.
Bach, Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2, Prelude and Fugue No.1 in C, Glenn Gould, piano.
Beethoven, Fifth Symphony Otto Klemperer, conductor.
Holborne, The Fairie Round, performed by David Munrow and the Early Music Consort
Beethoven, String Quartet No. 13 in B flat, Opus 130, Cavatina, Budapest String Quartet.
Here’s the complete list from NASA’s website. Not a bad mix for alien life forms to sample. Assuming they still have a turntable!