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Vienna Philharmonic: Holst’s “The Planets”

Our first featured CD for the year comes from the vault. In a 1962 recording, the great Maestro Herbert von Karajan conducts Gustav Holst’s masterpiece, The Planets. He leads the Vienna Philharmonic and Vienna State Opera Chorus.

The Planets covers the night sky in 7 movements, which may seem strange given that there are 9 planets… or more correctly, 8 planets and the newly demoted planetoid, Pluto. But at the time, Pluto had not yet been discovered, AND, since the work is more astrological than astronomical, Earth is not included. Holst was a believer in astrology, and his intention was to convey the influences of these heavenly bodies on the psyche.

Rounding out the CD is another classic from a few years before The Planets. Richard Strauss composed his tone poem on the great lover Don Juan in 1888. And after it’s late 1889 premiere, it quickly became an international success.

And our quick pick this week brings us back to current day with a late 2008 release from pianist Simone Dinnerstein. Her sophomore album “The Berlin Concert” features music from Bach, Beethoven and contemporary composer, Philip Lasser.

Music Heard On This Episode

Gustav Holst (1874-1934): The Planets
Herbert von Karajan/The Vienna Philharmonic — Holst: The Planets [ORIGINAL RECORDING REMASTERED] (Decca, 2007)
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album cover
Gustav Holst (1874-1934): The Planets
Herbert von Karajan/The Vienna Philharmonic — Holst: The Planets [ORIGINAL RECORDING REMASTERED] (Decca, 2007)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Twelve Variations on a Chorale by J.S. Bach
Simone Dinnerstein, p. — The Berlin Concert (Telarc, 2008)
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album cover
David Wood

Originally from Leavenworth, Kansas, David Wood moved to Bloomington in 2005. He received his Bachelor of Music from Kansas State University, and his Master of Music from the University of North Texas. He studied ensemble direction at the Jacobs School of Music's Early Music Institute and joined WFIU in 2006 as an announcer. In 2008 he became WFIU's Music Director and also served as Art Bureau Chief from 2008-2013. David’s interests include Irish music and language (particularly traditional singing), music and religion, running, the outdoors, and, of course, classical music!

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