Information about the programme
Seven mood-paintings of uncommon sensuality and expressive power, each standing for itself like a monument. Fascinated by astrology, Gustav Holst took the planets and the qualities ascribed to them as the starting point of what he himself called his “embodiments”. But in the end the seven movements of his orchestral suite, composed between 1914 and 1916, can also be seen as general explorations of human nature. The BRSO has not played The Planets for 30 years. Now Daniel Harding is combining them with a no less vivid piece from the early 20th century: Stravinsky’s ballet score on Petrushka, the “immortal and unhappy hero of every fair in all countries”. Here we encounter a game of character types in a merry amalgam of styles that by no means shrinks from parodic exaggeration. Ever since its première in 1911 Petrushka has numbered among the composer’s most successful scores.