The Planets Op. 32, 1914-1916

- Mars, the Bringer of War
- Venus, the Bringer of Peace
- Mercury, the Winged Messenger
- Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity
- Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age
- Uranus, the Magician
- Neptune, the Mystic


"Gustav Holst seemed to consider The Planets a progression of life.

"Mars" perhaps serves as a rocky and tormenting beginning. In fact, some have called this movement the most devastating piece of music ever written!

"Venus" seems to provide an answer to "Mars," it's title as "the bringer of peace," helps aid that claim.

"Mercury" can be thought of as the messenger between our world and the other worlds.

"Jupiter" represents the "prime" of life, even with the overplayed central melody, which was later arranged to the words of "I vow to thee, my country."

"Saturn" can be viewed as indicative of Holst's later mature style, and indeed it is recorded that Holst preferred this movement to all others in the suite. Through "Saturn" it can be said that old age is not always peaceful and happy. The movement may display the ongoing struggle for life against the odd supernatural forces. This notion mat be somewhat outlandish, but the music seems to lend credence to this. "Saturn" is followed by....

"Uranus", the Magician, a quirky scherzo displaying a robust musical climax before the tranquility of the female choir in ....

"Neptune" enchants the audience."

The Planets was first performed in a private concert in 1918 with Adrian Boult conducting as a gift from Henry Balfour Gardiner, who was also responsible for the premieres of Holst's Two Eastern Pictures and The Cloud Messenger. The first complete performance of the piece was under Albert Coates in Queen's Hall in 1920."

http://www.gustavholst.info/composit...ng.php?work=18