Uranus, The Magician

(Sept 4, 2019)

Famous for 103 years…

I linked to another “planet” by Holst sometime in the last 12 months, but there are 8 planets in his suite. This also continues into Neptune, the last “planet”.

How strange that Pluto, which was not included at the time because it had not yet been discovered, is not longer considered a planet now. It got demoted to a planetoid, a word so new that my spell-checker does not recognize “planetoid” as a word. I chose this video because you get to see the players, and that is always interesting.

Here is the important thing for students learning about chords. Front and center is the augmented chord, the first chord you hear. No one used this chord more effectively than Holst.

About “The Planets

Here is the complete suite, all movements, and again I chose something for everyone to see.

This music, to my ears remains so fresh and altogether amazing that I’d wager no one hearing it for the first time would not know that it was not something composed by John Williams for Star Wars. Holst was one of the miracle orchestrators who inspired every top of film composer of the 20th and 21st centuries. Holst and Strauss are two composers who wrote film music, before there were even films.


5 thoughts on “Uranus, The Magician

    1. Michael, both a lot of diminished chords and a lot of augmented chords are unusual to the ear, at least the untrained ear. For most people they give a feeling of unease, lack of something finished. If a song or piece of music ends on one of these chords, most people say: “Wait a minutes? Is that it? Where’s the ending?” So in general they have to used with care, like spices and seasoning. Too much of these chords is usually unpleasant for most people.

  1. Very enjoyable. It was great to see the different instruments as they were playing. The ending was very interesting, quite loud at first then finally fading away to almost silence.

    1. The Planets are especially interesting in light astrology and Holst’s interest in portraying the astrological nature of each planet. He did not write a piece for Pluto. It turned out to be a good idea, now that Pluto is no longer a planet.


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