Holst’s Planets

May 29, 2016, 2:00 pm

Blue Mountains Theatre

In their next concert in The Hub on Sunday 29th May, Blue Mountains Orchestra blasts into orbit to play four movements (Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Uranus) from English composer Gustav Holst’s mighty Planets Suite, written for large orchestra between 1914 and 1916, during the dark days of World War I. Mars, the Bringer of War, graphically depicts the horror of modern warfare, and Holst lost many friends in the mud and trenches of France. Each movement depicts the character of the god after whom the planet is named – Venus, the Bringer of Peace is as calm and ethereal as Mars is terrifying. Other depictions include Uranus the Magician, with his spells and trickery, and Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity, music best described as an extended and prolonged belly laugh!

Frederic Delius, an English contemporary of Holst, spent his adult life in France, where he composed all of his major works, including, in 1901, the opera ‘A Village Romeo and Juliet.’ The opera transfers  Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet story to a rural village setting, and the ‘Walk to the Paradise Garden’ is played as the lovers walk hand in hand through a beautiful landscape. Sadly, as in Shakespeare, the story does not have a happy ending, but the music is ravishingly beautiful.

Local clarinet virtuoso Alexei Dupressoir makes a welcome return as soloist in the Weber Clarinet Concerto No. 2, following his sublime performance of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto in Blue Mountains Orchestra’s September 2015 concert in The Hub. Since then, Alexei has toured with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and is currently playing in the orchestra for the Opera Australia performance of Turandot on Sydney Harbour. Alexei was Clarinet Fellow in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s prestigious Fellowship Program in 2014, and has furthered his clarinet studies in Italy, Norway and France.

Tickets can be purchased through the Box Office on 4723 5050 or online here.