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'The Planets' is my favorite classical piece of all time

It's not like I don't cherish Beethoven, and Bach etc... just nothing really does it for me like Gustav Holst's masterpiece. I don't have an answer why, but my theory is that my classical ear is untrained, thus I am more inclined to the more accessible modern work. Though, I dislike most of the 20th Century compositions that I've listened to. How do you feel about The Planets/other work by Gustav Holst.

'planets' is a fun listen...a few years ago, a composer added 'pluto' as a movement and the 'completed' planets is sometime performed.  many folks know of holst through his '1st suite in Eb' and his '2nd suite in F' for military bands.


I haven't listened to the planets in a while, but I can see why it's one of the works that seems most readily accessible for classical music newcomers.  Very evocative, nicely orchestrated, quite varied and one of the best idea for a suite ever. It's still the only Holst I've heard though, maybe I'll have to try those two suites you mentionned, David.

Everyone knows "Mars," which is great and very metal (to the point that several metal bands have covered or stolen from it in some way), but the real highlights of the piece are the slower movements like "Neptune," "Saturn" and "Venus." I believe the first two of those slower pieces were even used as part of the soundtrack to the film "Alien."

Overall, it is just a great piece of music and a good transitional piece for people unfamiliar with the classical music.

Bathory covered part of Jupiter for the song Hammerheart. Very moving piece, even though Quorthon's vocals are a little shady.

I too enjoy The Planets. Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are fantastic.

The Planets are being performed at the Proms in the Albert Hall, London on the 25th July (tomorrow). It's only 5 to get in standing.  The Proms are a great way to enjoy classical music. http://bbc.com/proms has the complete schedule and also allows you to "listen again" to performances for 7 days.