Gustav Holst (1874 – 1934) was an English composer, arranger and teacher. He composed a large number of works across a range of genres. His distinctive compositional style was the product of many influences, including the English folksong revival of the early 20th century. He played the trombone professionally, and later became a teacher—a great one, according to his colleague Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Holst began composing The Planets in 1914; the movements appeared not quite in their final sequence; "Mars" was the first to be written, followed by "Venus" and "Jupiter". "Saturn", "Uranus" and "Neptune" were all composed during 1915, and "Mercury" was completed in 1916. It is his most well known work and is frequently performed.
Each planet is represented with a distinct character; Dickinson observes that "no planet borrows colour from another. In "Mars", a combination of uneven rhythm, trumpet calls and harmonic dissonance provides battle music which Short asserts is unique in its expression of violence and sheer terror, "... Holst's intention being to portray the reality of warfare rather than to glorify deeds of heroism". In "Venus", Holst incorporated music from an abandoned vocal work, A Vigil of Pentecost, to provide the opening; the prevalent mood within the movement is of peaceful resignation and nostalgia. "Mercury" is dominated by uneven rhythms and rapid changes of theme, to represent the speedy flight of the winged messenger.
Herbert von Karajan (1908 – 1989) was an Austrian conductor. He was principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic for 35 years. He is generally regarded as one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century, and he was a dominant figure in European classical music from the 1960s until his death. Part of the reason for this was the large number of recordings he made and their prominence during his lifetime. By one estimate he was the top-selling classical music recording artist of all time, having sold an estimated 200 million records.
The sleeve is in good condition with minor signs of age.
The disc is in very good condition. Minor marks on side one and two.