The King Of Space

Today I’m thankful for “Jupiter” from The Planets by Gustav Holst.

The university choir I sang in collaborated with the local symphony to perform The Planets in concert.  There is a choral part in “Neptune” which is what we sang.  Holst wrote the suite during World War I.  The first “Neptune” chorus was recruited from a local girls’ school.

There are movements for each planet that astronomers knew about at the time.  Pluto wasn’t discovered until the 1930s, and its planetary status is still debated (planet, forever!).  The movements in the suite are not in astronomical order.  Being pedantic, this annoys me.  Each movement is intended to convey the astrological, rather than astronomical, aspects associated with its planet.  Mars almost won my heart with a massive kettle drum chorus.  Then, I heard the middle string section of Jupiter.  I got teary and have adored it ever since.  My favorite part starts around 3:07.  I have no rights to the music or video.

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