I'm playing Gustav Holst's The Planets for an upcoming concert with the L-- Symphony. I have to admit that aside from the obligatory study of Mars in a music history class at some point, I wasn't very familiar with most of the movements... except, of course, Jupiter. Everyone knows the beautiful themes from Jupiter! After playing all of the movements in rehearsals last week, I've decided that Jupiter is my favorite.
I can't play the infamous theme without thinking not only of "I Vow to Thee My Country," but also of the hymn tune Thaxted, and in particular, the last verse of a text to that tune that I love:
that we who know your favor may serve you as our king;
and whether our tomorrows be filled with good or ill,
we'll triumph through our sorrows and rise to bless you still:
to marvel at your beauty and glory in your ways,
and make a joyful duty our sacrifice of praise.
Do you love it, too?