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Holst: The Planets

The Cleveland Orchestra performs Holst: The Planets. Friday-Sunday, December 8-10, at Severance Hall.


Humanity teeters on the edge of self-annihilation because it no longer takes space travel seriously. Viewing Earth from outer space, where our planet resembles just a single organism, would surely transform everyone on this planet into peaceful citizens of the universe. Of course, that sounds far fuckin' out, but that's exactly the message we'll be taught when the Cleveland Orchestra, along with the Women's Voices of the Oberlin College Choir, unleash Gustav Holst's The Planets.

Composed during World War I, The Planets consists of seven tone poems -- each one evoking the celestial essence of a different planet in out solar system. Back in the '60s, in fact, just about every head from Frisco to Ashtabula smoked doobies while cranking Holst's masterwork. It's that cosmic.

But here's the catch: While the orchestra jams on The Planets, NASA images of deep space will be zapped onto a giant screen suspended above the audience. What's more, theoretical physicist Lawrence M. Krauss, author of Beyond Star Trek, will drop some serious science in his narration. So yeah, this phantasmagoric trip will totally blow away the Pink Floyd Laser Light Show.

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