21 September 2010

Happy Birthday, Gustav Holst

"Today marks the birthday of British composer Gustav Holst. The Holst family had wandered from Sweden, via Latvia and Russia, to settle in England. Gustav (1874 - 1934) is famous for his symphonic suite, The Planets, extracts of which have been used in many different movies and TV productions. On first rehearsal in the Royal Albert Hall the anecdote has it that the cleaning ladies were dancing in the stalls when they first heard the opening of the Jupiter movement…."
Text from Ordinary Finds, where there is always something interesting.  Embedded above is the aforementioned Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity [a hat tip to Ryan for identifying the conductor as Taijiro Iimori leading the Tokyo City Philharmonic Orchestra].  I really love Isao Tomita's performance of The Planets on a Moog synthesizer, which I ought to blog sometime.

If I wait, I'll forget it.  Here it his rendition of the Jupiter movement (not a very good video re sound or visuals, but it's all I could find):


  1. If you like classical music, have you ever listened to the Portsmouth Sinfonia (proud to say it's my home town). They were an orchestra consisting mainly of people who didn't know how to play musical instruments. Whenever I feel down, I listen to one of their tunes on YouTube and suddenly everything seems alright again. e.g.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uOpk8NwFL8

  2. That is Taijiro Iimori conducting. On the video of Holst's Mars from this same concert, there is an introduction (in Japanese) - at 0:17, Iimori's name appears on screen (the line with 5 characters). It's performed by the Tokyo City Philharmonic Orchestra. I don't speak Japanese, but I hear "Tokyo City" with a Japanese pronunciation at 0:07 (the Japanese language has no "si" sound, only a "shi" sound - the "i" is silent between unvoiced consonants, so "city" comes out as "shtee" in Japanese).


  3. Thanks, Ryan. I've incorporated your info into the text.

  4. Shackleford Hurtmore - that's very interesting (and placed on my ever-expanding "to be blogged" list). Thank you.


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