Music: Earthbound

An 85-voice men's chorus sang: Though they had wings on the brain, They all went flat on their nose. . . . Narrator Orson Welles reverently intoned: "Wait, I thought I heard a child crying. . . ."

The words were the kind of stuff that Norman Corwin writes—sometimes graphic, frequently inflated. In the background, Leonard Bernstein's New York City Symphony played music that had more than a touch of Shostakovich. It was the première of The Airborne Symphony, Marc (The Cradle Will Rock) Blitzstein's 50-minute history of aviation for orchestra, chorus, speaker and soloists.

He wrote The Airborne in London in 1943,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!