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Holst: The Planets, Jupiter

Here’s a hint: Roman gods take a rocket ship to the stars.

Gustav Holst‘s most popular composition is unquestionably his orchestral suite entitled The Planets.  The idea of a multi-movement orchestral suite depicting astrological characters came to Holst as early as 1913.  By 1914, he had completed “Mars, the Bringer of War,” well before the outbreak of hostilities in August of that year.  Venus and Jupiter were the next two movements to be composed, followed in order by Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and lastly, Mercury. The original title of The Planets had nothing to do with heavenly bodies – the title was simply Seven Pieces for Large Orchestra perhaps a nod to Schoenberg’s Fünf Orchesterstücke.

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