Holst “The Planets” Suite – Dennis Russell Davies / San Francisco Symphony

Gustav Holst’s ‘The Planets’ has now become one of the most popular English orchestral works in the international concert repertoire. He was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, of mixed German, Swedish and Latvian origins and took to music at a very early age. He composed ‘The Planets’ between 1914 and 1916, having been inspired by the astrological characteristics of the various Roman gods after whom the seven planets at that time were named.

In this first-class performance, taken from a 1995 radio broadcast with all due acknowledgements, the American conductor Dennis Russell Davies takes the San Francisco Symphony on a thrilling ride through the solar system. The movements are as follows:

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