Friday 25 August 2006

Alas! Pluto. Thou hast been diminished amongst thy peers

Holst the mystic

Lovers of classical music must have for years wondered who would write a movement to complete Gustav Holst’s The Planets for Pluto.

Gustav Holst wrote a movement for all planets, except the Earth, where he lived and by then Pluto had not been discovered, he then refused to write one for Pluto, even though Pluto was discovered in his lifetime.

However, if you note that the movement for Neptune is called The Mystic, one might just surmise that Holst had seen further into space and time to realise that Pluto would be demoted from a planet to a dwarf.

There would be recriminations for that dramatic change, but for now, we have a complete collection reflected by the Planets as envisaged by Gustav Holst.

The planet that most excites me is Jupiter, The Bringer of Jollity and the score for that patriotic song and Anglican hymn – I vow to thee, My country – it was so movingly performed at the wedding and funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales.

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