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Noon Edition

Holst: The Planets, Jupiter

Without a doubt, Gustav Holst is best known for his orchestral suite "The Planets." Each movement is a description, not so much of the celestial body, but of the Greco-Roman mythological figure of the same name. Thus, Jupiter, the mythological king of the Gods is depicted as the bringer of jollity (and, as Holst does not mention, numerous illegitimate half-divine offspring…). Prior to achieving fame in the late 1910s, Holst set several portions of the Hindu Rig Veda, in which he exercised his amateur interest in SANSKRIT literature. Although Holst was never really an expert in this eastern language, he learned enough to produce his own libretti for a number of works influenced by his fascination with eastern religion.

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