Some composers really deserve their reputation as artists whose fame rests on a single work, but with Holst the popularity of The Planets really has obscured the large quantity of good music he wrote in other forms. Part of the problem also stemmed from his daughter, Imogene, who was severely critical of her father's work and whose baleful influence persists to this day. These three choral ballets contain a large measure of delightful and wholly characteristic music. It's crime that we have had to wait until now for a complete recording of them, and fortunately these performances make a strong case for many more.
EMI Classics presents a magnificent collection that celebrates the life and career of English composer Gustav Holst. Containing an outside selection of Holst s greatest works including his most famous orchestral suite The Planets, the rare The Perfect Fool, as well as the Walt Whitman inspired Ode to Death. This 6-CD collector s edition provides a chance for all classical music aficionados to listen and experience his timeless compositions
Gustav Holst's "The Planets" is a brilliant portrayal of the other celestial bodies outside of Earth (except for Pluto because it wasn't discovered back when Holst composed this). Mars is violent and in a military march form. Parts of it have the brassy dominating sound resembling that of Darth Vader's theme. Venus sounds like something out of a black-and-white romantic movie, high lush strings, celesta, french horn and all, a personal favorite. Mercury is a very playful sounding piece, strong emphasis on the woodwinds and strings. Jupiter is definately my favorite…
This latest recording by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and its Music Director Paavo Järvi features two of the best known orchestral works to come out of England in the twentieth century, Gustav Holst's popular suite for orchestra, “The Planets” and The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra by Benjamin Britten.
Maybe Tomita's most unified and exciting album, "The Planets" was taken out of market for a few years by court order from Gustav Holst's relatives. They claimed that Tomita had manhandled their father's great composition, and the record company withdrew some 30,000 records from the stores.
Recorded in 1973, this is widely considered one of the great Planets. Previn is outstanding here; he's not going after effects, he's making all the pieces fit together.
Early in 1914, Gustav Holst told a friend: "As a rule I only study things that suggest music to me…Recently the character of each planet suggested lots to me". This marked the beginning of the composition of his biggest orchestral work, a suite of seven movements. The first to be sketched was Mars - prophetically, for the First World War began just as he completed it. The order of the composition of the remainder was Venus and Jupiter in the autumn of 1914, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune during 1915 and Mercury in 1916. The orchestration of the complete work was also finished in 1916.