Sunday, 17 August 2014

Gustav Holst "The Planets" (1916)


One of my favorite all time compositions. This is a masterpiece you may not have heard of, but would certainly know a fair few songs from as they are commonplace in many big movies. Often in cinema classical music is the guiding drive for emotional and climactic scenes which many viewers seem to under appreciate. If you like classical or not, we could probably all agree in this day and age its not popular... The point i am trying to make is that its unappreciated by an audience who may not realize how often they hear it (movies & television). I don't think there is a more approachable and likeable piece than "The Planets" if you are ever curious in listening to classical.

So onto the music itself, the concept of this music is no secret, as the title would tell you, here we find 7 compositions deeply inspired by mysteries of the planets beyond our own. What i love most is that the themes don't focus on mystery and wonder, but dive into themes of exploration, conquest, honor and pride. When i listen to Holst's sounds i feel like he has been to each of the planets, and through the music is able to tell us about each of them. I can close my eyes and see the planets up close and personal. Truly a work of art.

Fun fact: Pluto was discovered in 1930 but Holst had no intention of composing a new piece for it.

Favorite Tracks: Mars, Jupiter, Neptune
Rating: 7/10 

9 comments:

  1. Oh awesome Xisuma, I rearranged the entire suite when I was in school from memory on synths :P uh.... yeah I guess i had some free time :P

    My favourite is neptune: As it ends you hear this mystical choir just faintly as you cannot hear it as it fades into nothingness, both mesmerising and mysterious. I recommend you listen to some Debussy aswell. Have a listen to Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune if you have not it is a wonderful piece based on a lovely poem :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debussy is one of my favorites :-)

      Delete
  2. I proposed to my wife before our local orchestra started playing this symphony. I joke that Mars the Bringer of War is our song.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I recently got a record with this piece. Quite lovely, definitely one of my favorites. Some consider it "Pop" classical, but bah humbug to them, I like it anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can see what they are getting at but pop wouldn't be the right lable, its just very accessible music :-)

      Delete
  4. Have you ever checked out some electronic interpretations of the Planets, like Tomita's version from the 70s, or my contemporary favourite of electronic interpretations of romantic music is from a guy called Mike Leghorn, which sounds very cinematic. (https://soundcloud.com/mike-leghorn/sets/the-planets)

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love The Planets, but I must admit Rachmaninoff gets my soul soaring more. Have you heard any by him? Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor is a favourite of mine that I go to when I need to reset myself. It's an intense journey of competing emotions and melodies. Of exquisite romantical highs and of heart-pounding raging lows. The minor key will always be my favourite, and I guess that's one reason it speaks to me thus.

    DariannaPoetess x

    ReplyDelete