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The lightness and “breaking of the dawn” emotion of the second movement, Venus The Bringer of Peace, is contrasted amongst the heavens of this suite. It is light and airy and I like really liked it although not as much as the first piece.
The 3rd movement, Mercury The Winged Messenger, uses the greek mythology to create a flighty almost lyrical piece in which the dominance of Mars is reheard in certain momentary sections, yet the air of Mercury prevails. In contrast to the militaristic 5/4 pulse of Mars, the ¾ time of Mercury is delightful and joyous and pleasant to listen to as well.
Jupiter is a piece which rests on traditional english folk themes and enhanced orchestration elements to create sonority without being bogged down by military motifs seen in Mars. Jupiter brings to mind certain English hymns and is emotionally uplifting.
Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age, lives up to its title and is plodding and almost mechanical. The theme element is haunting and uncomplicated using elongation over movement in its undercurrent. My least favorite of the movements, its rather plodding nature is almost sleep inducing.
In stark and violent contrast, Uranus The Magician, evokes the images of dark magic while echoing the thematic elements of Paul Dukas Sorcerer and even Dvorak Slovakian Dances. Along with Mars, this movement engages the listener to pay close attention to the enlarged orchestra and its powerful sound.
In the terminal movement, Neptune the Mystic, evokes the tonality of distance and finality and the end of all things. Not content with evoking leaving everyone happy, the composer leaves with the distant voices of the female choir in dissonant tones evoking the far away planet that is Neptune. In addition to the usual large orchestra elements, the ENTIRE piece adds organ, 2 extra flutes (Piccolo and bass Flute),
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