Learning to Listen: Gustav Holst's The Planets

by Emily Reese, Minnesota Public Radio
February 10, 2014
LISTEN

St. Paul, Minn. — It's easy to be deceived into thinking the title to Gustav Holst's epic orchestral suite, The Planets, was inspired by astronomy.

However, Holst was an amateur astrologist, and enjoyed thinking about how the heavenly bodies interact with our Earth.

Each planet has a corresponding astrological character, and these characters were of inspiration to Holst.

"Mars: The Bringer of War" and "Neptune: The Mystic", for instance.

To see how well these descriptors match their planetary homes, I spoke with Dr. Mordecai Mark MacLow, Curator of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History.

Dr. MacLow talks about Mars:
How does Venus compare to the Earth?
I am still telling friends about what Dr. MacLow said about Mercury:
Dr. MacLow explains how Jupiter protects our Earth:
Learn about Saturn's rings from Dr. MacLow:
Why Uranus and Neptune are called "Ice Giants":
Hear the story of Pluto's reclassification:


comments powered by Disqus

On Now

Music Through The Night®
Scott Blankenship
Listen to the Stream
  • Introduction and Polonaise 1:51 Frederic Chopin
    Yo-Yo Ma, cello
    Emanuel Ax, piano
    Buy Now
  • La Cumparsita 1:45 Gerardo H. Matos Rodriguez
    Milos Karadaglic, guitar
    Buy Now
Playlist
Other MPR Radio Streams
Choral Stream
MPR News
Radio Heartland

You can now listen to Classical and Choral Music on your iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) or Android device.

Classical Notes Blog

Read more