Sunday, 17 December 2017

Concert tours the planets

HENLEY Symphony Orchestra will be performing The Planets Suite by British composer Gustav Holst at The Hexagon in Reading, next Sunday (March 5).

Holst’s piece was based purely on astrological ideas about the planets but the reality, as explored with telescopes and spacecraft, is just as thrilling.

Holst and real life meet in the final movement, Neptune, which fades away mysteriously, reflecting our limited understanding of this incredibly distant, yet windy and cloudy, planet, visited by Voyager 2 in 1989.

Holst’s Planets Suite ends with Neptune because the piece was written before Pluto was discovered in 1930. However, Pluto was relegated to “dwarf planet” status in 2006, meaning the only planet missing from Holst’s suite is our own watery and hospitable home.

Tickets are available from members of the orchestra at £18, £16, and £12 with concessions for students and groups, via https://tinyurl
.com/zq23wsa, or by calling the box office on 01235 859210.

Dr Karen Aplin, space scientist at Oxford University and leader of the orchestra’s double bass section, will give a pre-concert talk at 6.30pm in the Hexagon’s upper foyer.

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