Gustaw Holst - "The Planets"

To Hear the Universe – or a cosmic show at the modern Focus building

2/12/2018 (Sunday) at 17:00

On 2 December, 120 members of the Polish Radio Orchestra and the Warsaw University Academic Choir, conducted by Michał Klauza, will perform Gustav Holst's suite “The Planets” and fragments of Richard Strauss's tone poem “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” in the Focus building in Warsaw. Well-known popularisers of astronomy from Toruń – Jerzy Rafalski and Piotr Majewski – will provide the commentary to projection of space photographs and animations on cinema screen. This will be the second event in the “Power of the Classics” series at Focus builduing.

Guided by Gustav Holst's suite “The Planets”, the audience will embark on a musical journey to the outer limits of the Universe, visiting all the planets of the Solar System along the way. The modern interior of the Focus office building will be illuminated by starlight, thanks to special light effects synchronized with the live music.

The work, which marked the turning point in Gustav Holst's career, was received with great enthusiasm and to this day remains his most successful composition. “The Planets” is one of the most frequently performed works of any British composer. It brought fame to its author, and a permanent place in the history of music. Gustav Holst's suite is an extraordinary blend of music, astronomy and astrology, which attracted the composer's interest at the beginning of the 20th century. The work, scored for a symphonic orchestra and women's choir, lasts for approx. 50 minutes and consists of seven self-standing parts – Mars, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Each part describes a planet and its meaning in astrology. The choir, which appears in the finale, represents the voices of angels singing in the distant Empyrean Heaven of God; the music gradually fades away into the infinity of the Universe.

The wonderful journey to the world of classical music and into the uncharted regions of outer space will begin with the most famous fragment of Richard Strauss's tone poem “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”, best known today as the opening theme of Stanley Kubrick's “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Its spine-tingling first notes represent the harmony and infinity of the cosmos.

Experience the interplanetary journey, during which the beauty of classical music will enhance the charm of the modern architecture of the Focus office building and will inspire reflections on the vastness of the Universe.

More information and tickets, priced from zloty 49 to 299, are available on webpage:

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