Uranus, the Magician – Music of the Planets
Uranus is the planet named after the ancient Greek god Uranus, his equivalent in Roman mythology being Caelus. In Ancient Greek literature, Uranus or Father Sky was the son and husband of Gaia, Mother Earth and together they were the parents of the first generation of Titans and the ancestors of the most important Greek gods.
The English composer Gustav Holst wrote, between 1914 and 1916, a seven-movement orchestral suite – The Planets, Op. 32. Each movement of the suite is named after a planet of the Solar System and its corresponding astrological character.
The fifth movement of the suite has the title „Uranus, the Magician“ and was written in 1915. Uranus was unknown in Antiquity and was discovered on March 13, 1781 by the British astronomer and composer William Herschel. The planet is unusual among the planets in that it rotates on its side, so that it presents each of its poles to the Sun in turn during its orbit. In astrology, Uranus is associated with new or unconventional ideas, discoveries, inventions and revolutions, freedom and originality.
Holst conceived the idea of „The Planets“ in 1913, partly as a result of his interest in astrology. The writer and journalist Clifford Bax introduced Holst to astrology, in the spring of 1913, in Majorca. Then, Holst became a devotee of the subject, studying natal charts of his friends. He also read the works of the British astrologer Alan Leo (1860-1917), author of „Practical Astrology“, „How to Judge a Nativity“, „The Key to your own Nativity“ or „What is the Horoscope and How is it Cast“.
Holst: Uranus, the Magician
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