By Richard Greene
This ebook is the 1st complete consultant to Holst's orchestral suite The Planets. It considers the tune intimately and locations the paintings in its ancient context, describing the situations of its composition and its meteoric upward push to well known acclaim. beginning with Holst's specific curiosity in astrology, Greene unearths a profound assertion of human personality and Holst's personal mental trip towards the paranormal nation. utilizing parallels within the verbal and visible arts, Greene weaves right here a desirable story of musical conversation.
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Additional resources for Holst: The Planets (Cambridge Music Handbooks)
So the outward journey implied by the order of 40 The character plots (1): Mars to Mercury movements is paralleled by a psychological journey, and a philosophical one as well: from the physical world to the metaphysical. How, then, does The Planets work as a musical composition, and what part does astrology play? Hoist said he had derived his characters from his astrological studies. , was not simplistic in its statements on planetary influence. Not only did it distinguish between various planetary roles (rising vs.
In musical terms, the figures presented in each movement partake of a variety of idioms and logical processes, leading to the projection of specific characters based on both real-world associations and listening psychology. " From one movement to the next, musical figures are transformed by having the main theme (and its problem) put under pressure by "characteristic" gestures and idiomatic conventions. The main theme, as a musical figure, is first heard in the opening measures of Mars, and it is seemingly too small to hold up under the weight of such a large treatment.
It can be traced to the plunging 2nds of Mars (mm. 29-34, 62—4, 133-6, 167-72); then it reappears as the cold and unstable "ticking" 2nds which open Saturn. By the end of this latter movement, the activity is once again serene, and it contributes to the stoic nature of Neptune when it returns in various guises, but most clearly in the oscillation of the final two chords. In fact, as will be seen in Chapter 5, the final section of Neptune is a summing up of most of the theoretical issues brought up in previous movements.