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Classical Notes

Bringer of Jollity

Posted at 4:38 PM on July 27, 2007 by Rex Levang

I expect everyone got the Simpsons joke below, but at the risk of squelching the humor (and for any non-Holst fans) the reference is to Gustav Holst's suite, "The Planets," where most of the movements have a title in the form of "X, the Bringer of Y." To wit:

Mars, the Bringer of War
Venus, the Bringer of Peace
Mercury, the Winged Messenger
Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity
Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age
Uranus, the Magician
Neptune, the Mystic

A few years ago, the British composer Colin Matthews "completed" the suite with a movement called "Pluto, the Renewer." But I also liked the suggestion that my colleague Steve Seel made: "Pluto, the Bringer of Fleas."