Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Gustav Holst

Today we honor Gustav Holst (1874-1934) for creating his orchestral suite The Planets. I think anyone who has played a brass instrument has played or at least heard the "Mars" piece of this suite, but the whole thing is lovely.

Holst spent most of his life in England. His family had a history of composition and musical talent; both his father and grandfather were paid musicians and composers. Holst started to learn the piano as a young child, but due to a nerve condition, he gave it up for the trombone.

Holst seems like he was quite unusual for his time. As an adult, he became interested in Socialism and Hinduism. He was a vegetarian and passionately translated works from their original language to English. If he did not know a language, Holst learned the language by attending college classes. For instance, he translated four Sanskrit works to English and at least one Greek piece to English too.

So, today we honor Gustav Holst for making us all richer with his orchestral suite The Planets. Though I cannot aggregate the monetary wealth he's brought with his music, when I typed his name into Amazon, four pages of items came up. That's some serious value. Not only has the joy of good music made us richer, but the ongoing commercial use (see below) has made some of us richer on a monetary level as well!

Sources:
Gustav Holst on Wikipedia
Holst's music on Amazon
Gustav Holst


This Reese Cups commercial features the "Jupiter" portion of The Planets. Personally, I cannot argue with the combination of candy and good music!

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