Gustav Holst's "The Planets" is a brilliant portrayal of the other celestial bodies outside of Earth (except for Pluto because it wasn't discovered back when Holst composed this). Mars is violent and in a military march form. Parts of it have the brassy dominating sound resembling that of Darth Vader's theme. Venus sounds like something out of a black-and-white romantic movie, high lush strings, celesta, french horn and all, a personal favorite. Mercury is a very playful sounding piece, strong emphasis on the woodwinds and strings. Jupiter is definately my favorite…
Maybe Tomita's most unified and exciting album, "The Planets" was taken out of market for a few years by court order from Gustav Holst's relatives. They claimed that Tomita had manhandled their father's great composition, and the record company withdrew some 30,000 records from the stores.
Recorded in 1973, this is widely considered one of the great Planets. Previn is outstanding here; he's not going after effects, he's making all the pieces fit together.
Early in 1914, Gustav Holst told a friend: "As a rule I only study things that suggest music to me…Recently the character of each planet suggested lots to me". This marked the beginning of the composition of his biggest orchestral work, a suite of seven movements. The first to be sketched was Mars - prophetically, for the First World War began just as he completed it. The order of the composition of the remainder was Venus and Jupiter in the autumn of 1914, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune during 1915 and Mercury in 1916. The orchestration of the complete work was also finished in 1916.