Venue Details: Portsmouth Guildhall
- Mozart : Symphony No.41 "Jupiter"
- Holst : The Planets
- Conductor : Kirill Karabits
- Soloist: Bournemouth Symphony Chorus Ladies
In music, the name “Jupiter” brings two works to mind: the fourth movement of Gustav Holst’s orchestral suite, and Mozart’s final symphony. The former is clearly an astronomical reference, though Holst’s music does suggest the character of each god who inspired those seven planetary names. In the case of the Mozart it is more abstract, linked to the late 18th-century aesthetic of the sublime: the ultimate in artistic achievement, music of an exalted greatness beyond compare. Mozart’s extraordinary complexity and superb craft reach their peak in what has been described as one of the towering artistic masterworks of Western civilization.
The Planets remains by far Holst’s most popular work. Indeed, its popularity came to distress him during his lifetime. Doubtless in his later years, he achieved things that were more profound, more perfectly realised in structure, and even more deeply personal in their expression, but The Planets is the first fully effective statement of his maturity; its conception has a boldness, excitement and epic sweep that remain immediately impressive after a hundred hearings. It is one of the 20th-century’s great colouristic showpieces. Vaughan Williams once said that the work was “the perfect equilibrium” of Holst’s nature - the melodic, precise and structured, combined with the mystic and unexplainable.