New virtual reality recording of Beethoven 5 from Philharmonia

I had no idea (until last week) that a recording of Beethoven’s 5th symphony by the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Otto Klemperer was included on the Voyager 1 ‘Golden Record‘.

The recording is one of a slew of cultural references intended to help ‘spacefarers’ gain an understanding of life on Earth. Let’s hope they have access to a turntable when they discover it.

To mark 40 years since the the launch of Voyager 1, the Philharmonia have worked with Google and NASA to record Beethoven’s 5th symphony in Virtual Reality. Esa Pekka Salonen conducts the VR performance which will be released on Monday 25th September.

I really enjoyed the Philharmonia’s Sibelius VR experience last year – a really emotional experience sitting on the front desk of the strings and hearing the sound of an orchestra in rehearsal all around me. VR is a potent way of illustrating the impact proximity to orchestral music has.

A new, longer-format version of the original Sibelius VR experience, featuring Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony, will also be available – for free during the opening weekend of the 2017/18 Classical Season at Southbank Centre.

There will be 10 PlayStation VR headsets available at the Nordic Music Days festival from Thursday 28 September – Sunday 1 October 2017 on Level 2, Festival Hall, London.

Beethoven 5 will be released on VR on Monday 25th September via the Philharmonia’s YouTube Channel.



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