This week’s music choice is Holst’s The Planets performed by the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the CBSO Youth Chorus at the Royal Albert Hall in 2016 as part of Prom 29. The conductor is Edward Gardner.
Gustav Theodore Holst (1874-1934) was an English composer, arranger and teacher. He was born at a time when there was no English musical tradition to draw from and little chance of favourable reception for new English music. He composed only as and when he felt the urge and did not become popular until after his death.
The Planets is a seven-movement orchestral suite that gave Holst his only taste of acclaim. It was first performed on September 29, 1918, and it was perceived as expressing the nation’s collective emotions during the war years. Jupiter, the fourth movement at 18:58 minutes in, is the source of the patriotic hymn I Vow to Thee my Country.