So I figure anyone who’s an ex-symphonic band/wind ensemble geek like me (alto and soprano sax, baby!) has probably run into Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” suite at some point. But what I didn’t know until KaixJu pitched us "The Ring of Saturn" was that Holst originally wrote the pieces for two pianos, and then later expanded them into the symphonic versions.
If you’re curious what Mr. Rahal is getting all worked up about here, this is what “Saturn” sounds like for solo piano.
But this is what high-spirited Miriam would rather be playing: Jupiter for solo piano
Loving that band/orchestra/ensemble people relate! :) I first heard Jupiter when I was in middle school band and fell in love with it, not realizing there were other pieces written for the other planets. I didn’t hear the full suite until college and was surprised by the diversity and eeriness of some of the later pieces. I really felt there was something special about Saturn and found out that it was actually Holst’s favorite piece. However Jupiter was an audience favorite and became a lyrical patriotic song for Great Britain.
Another piece definitely worth listening to is Neptune, and I would highly recommend hearing it played by a live orchestra! Holst’s instructions were to place the choir in a separate room. At the end, the door to the room slowly closes, the voices gradually fading.
Holst wrote the piano versions while teaching at St. Paul’s Girls’ School in London, the setting for our comic :)
The Great War and the Music of the Spheres.
The first chapter of “The Ring of Saturn” Is free to read! http://sparklermonthly.com/comic_issue/the-ring-of-saturn-chapter-1/
Here’s a little Miriam to celebrate!
If you like Victorian Romance Emma, Downton Abbey, Holst’s “The Planets”, or are a music nerd like us, our comic is perfect for you :)
Come and witness Miriam’s metamorphosis as a musician in a time of turmoil in our 3 part comic!