24 Jul 2017

HOLST: The Planets

From Music Alive, 7:00 pm on 24 July 2017

Influenced by astrology and theosophy, Gustav Holst's pieces describe the moods or personalities of seven of the sun's planets. The pieces are not ordered by their planet's distance from the Sun, rather some commentators have seen the work as a progression through life, from tumultuous beginnings to serene old age.

These Orchestra Wellington performances are accompanied by images from NASA and ESA missions, compiled by Dr Claire Bretherton, Curator – Science, Space Place at Carter Observatory.

1 Mars, the Bringer of War

2 Venus, the Bringer of Peace

3 Mercury, the Winged Messenger

4 Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity

5 Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age

6 Uranus, the Magician

7 Neptune, the Mystic

Performed by Orchestra Wellington, with women of the Orpheus Choir, conducted by Marc Taddei.

Recorded 3 December 2016 at the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington by RNZ Concert

Producer: David McCaw, Engineer: Graham Kennedy

Gustav Holst sculpture in Cheltenham

Gustav Holst sculpture in Cheltenham Photo: Philip Halling, CC BY-SA 2.0


  • Curtain Raiser introduction to The Planets, by Matthew Crawford
  • English composer's lost manuscripts surface in Tauranga