I had never heard this piece until it came as one of the preset ringtones on my Japanese cellphone. Trying to fit so much intense melodicism through that tiny little speaker didn’t really do it justice though, I have to say. For a while, it even served as my alarm clock sound in the morning since I was too cheap to buy a real clock. Waking up to this sweeping theme could be at times inspiring, but mostly it just startled the hell out of me.
Tomorrow I’m taking a test for Japanese language proficiency (that I almost certainly will dekinai) and in honor of that I’d like to share these alternate lyrics for the main theme at 3:10, translation to follow.
Ganbatte, minna sama ganbaro, minna sama ganbaro!
Shoganai da kedo minna ganbatte, minna… gaman shiyou!
Sing it to yourself, hum it. Learn it, love it. I sure do! In fact, I’ll never be able to listen to Holst’s Jupiter without hearing these words in my head! Here’s what they mean, roughly…
Try your best, everyone try your best, everyone try your hardest!
Nothing can be done, but everyone try anyway, everyone… let’s endure!
Indeed, and you can bet your amai hesusu that that’s what I’ll be doing twelve hours from now.
This is a fantastic performance of a great piece. Holst was influenced by Ravel- and you can certainly hear that in the rich textures of his orchestration. To my ear, though, what is more notable is a hint of the folksy diatonic melodicism that would characterize Aaron Copland a few decades later. This music, and especially its main theme (at 3:10), has a substance to it- it’s just so melodic… but yet Holst is careful to keep this sing-songiness balanced with sections of harsh, abrupt rhythms.
So, wish me luck on my nihongo no shiken, and I’ll mo ikkai intaaneto de kaku later on. Piisu!