Holst famously stated “When I’m composing I feel just like a mathematician”. However, for his most famous composition The Planets he must have felt like an astrologer, the composer turning to his extra-musical interest of space for inspiration. Premiering in 1918, the seven-part tone poem, which evokes the characters of the then known planets of the universe, came to express the nation’s collective emotions during the First World War. The work is full of familiar episodes that have become ingrained in British culture - the menacing ‘Mars’ movement, the eerie calm of ‘Venus’, the triumphal, patriotic ‘Jupiter’ - and is one of the most celebrated pieces of the 20th century. Vaughan Williams's The Lark Ascending opens the concert - a yearning, romantic utterance that brilliantly evokes the song of the lark and contains an eloquent cadenza that wistfully suggests the beauty of nature.
Forthcoming concerts in Canterbury
May 16 2014, 19:30 - Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
Jakub Hrůša conducts Smetana and Dvořák
Mar 21 2014, 19:30 - Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
Maazel conducts Mussorgsky and Mozart featuring violinist Esther Yoo