"There is no other work of his where he strung together music of such diversity on such a large scale: the invention that he displays in these ‘seven pieces’ is outstanding." Colin Matthews
Premiered in 1918 at the Queen’s Hall in London to a small audience just weeks before the end of the First World War, Holst’s seven-movement work ‘The Planets’ has gone on to become one of the most recognisable orchestral pieces of the 20th century.
Colin Matthews (editor) explains, “There is no other work of his where he strung together music of such diversity on such a large scale: the invention that he displays in these ‘seven pieces’ is outstanding.”
This new limited facsimile edition of Holst’s ‘The Planets’ is published for the first time in full colour and with a new introduction from Colin Matthews, providing unique insights into the piece through the original handwritten manuscript.
- Original introduction by Imogen Holst
- ‘The Planets’ (1918 manuscript)
- Textual collation by Colin Matthews
- Appendices of the facsimile arrangements for two pianos of Mars and organ duet of Neptune
About the edition
Holst composed ‘The Planets’ between 1914 and 1917, during which time he struggled with painful neuritis in his arm, meaning that part of the score was finished with the help of amanuenses. This edition highlights and explains the differences in handwriting through commentary from Holst’s own daughter Imogen from 1974.
The textual collation by Colin Matthews for this edition explores the differences between the original performance manuscript and the published score, while a full introduction written by Imogen Holst provides context about the genesis of the piece and early performances and recordings. This edition also includes two appendices of Holst’s own autograph arrangements which help to further illustrate how Holst worked with his assistants to prepare the score.
Presented for the first time in full colour and with only a limited number available, this stunning hardback is a true collector’s edition.
Read more in a new interview with Colin Matthews, where he explores more about the piece and what it was like working with Imogen Holst on the original facsimile.