Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for The Planets

Dr Bob Prescribes: Gustav Holst – The Planets

Oh my. This was going to be a straightforward review of my favorite recording of one of my favorite orchestral works, Gustav Holst’s The Planets. However, having done my research I have come face to face with an issue and an attendant moral dilemma that has caused me to question whether (or not) I should have recommended this recording and, having done so, by what justification. Gustav Holst Gustavus Theodore von Holst was born on September 21, 1874 and died on May 25, 1934, four months short of his sixtieth birthday. Despite his dauntingly Teutonic name, he was an Englishman through and through: born in Cheltenham and educated at the Royal College of Music in London, where he lived most of his life and where he died. The biographical substance of Holst’s life can be outlined with shocking ease. A small, frail, short-sighted and asthmatic child, he had to abandon his ambition to be a professional pianist due to neural inflammation in his right arm. Instead, he became a composition student of Charles Stanford at London’s Royal Academy. He failed to win a scholarship and was, according to Stanford: “hardworking but not at all brilliant.”  After graduating he took a […]

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