In June 2020 the OrchLab team had planned to run live workshops with Garwood Foundation and St Cecilia’s Leonard Cheshire centre, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic we took our workshops online instead. As part of these sessions we had a ‘Listening Party’ where we watched specially created videos of LPO musicians making music together from their living rooms at home!
One of the pieces we featured in our Listening Party was an extract from ‘Jupiter’ from The Planets by Gustav Holst, which you can watch in the video below.
Gustav Holst – Extract from ‘Jupiter’ from The Planets
This extract comes from ‘Jupiter: The Bringer of Jollity’ which is the fourth movement of Gustav Holst’s The Planets Suite. You can listen to it on Spotify to the right of this text. The majority of this movement is very quick, lively and humorous, but there is a contrasting middle section which is much slower and reflective, which is what you will hear in this video.
Holst adapted the melody of this middle section in 1921 to fit a poem written by Sir Cecil Spring Rice beginning “I Vow to Thee, My Country”. This poem became known as a response to the suffering felt by the nation during the First World War. It quickly became a patriotic anthem, although Holst had no such intention when he originally composed the music.
Since then, the melody has also been set to new lyrics by Charlie Skarbek for the Rugby World Cup, titled ‘World in Union’.