2/13 Today in WMH: 1946. English composer Colin Matthews is born. In 2000, the British composer was commissioned to “finish” Gustav Holst’s masterpiece, The Planets. The planet Pluto had not yet been discovered when Holst wrote is most lasting work in 1916. Colin Matthew’s addition of Pluto is interesting and well composed, but just 6 years after the addition, Pluto was demoted from full planetary status by the International Astronomical Union. But the most interesting may be the little known fact that all of this doesn’t matter. Holst wrote his work to describe the mystical energies and astrological signs associated with the planets, not as a description of the physical planets. Thus is puts the creation of this masterpiece more in the company of Aleister Crowley and W.B. Yeats than that of Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking. But that doesn’t stop countless orchestras from presenting the work with accompanying NASA images.
Today in WMH: The Composer Who Sailed to the Outer Reaches.