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Gustav Holst wrote The Planets in 1913. Conspicuous by its absence from his symphony is the planet earth. Someone on the forum pointed out that The Planets is not about astronomy but astrology, so who is the god/goddess of earth?

Holst died in 1934 a mere 18 years before JFK's famous speech avowing to land a man on the moon before the end of the decade. Six years later three astronauts, Borman, Lovell, and Anders, orbited the moon., sending back pictures of the earth-rise over its surface. We saw earth for the first time as a tiny blue orb against the blackness of space. Our planet stands out as the most beautiful, fragile, and habitable place in the universe. The astronauts, inspired by the sight, read from Genesis 1: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth....

Holst may be kicking himself, that he omitted the greatest planet of all. So here is my humble attempt to extol the forgotten planet, Ode to Earth, Apollo 8.

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Ray, as the late great art critic Philippe Abdul Romanelli used to say,

Art is not the product of its parts, but the product it's parts produce.

Essence trumps essentials.


     I did lower by an octave some of the higher parts you mentioned, but I will also write in some rests.  This is not like band where three or four instruments will play one part.  Thanks for the insightful comment.
Mike Hewer said:

Hi Lawrence,

I liked the variations and the new bits, the end in particular with the wind flourish is effective. The horns are a little better, but I'll put the lack of realism down to the sounds. I know you are done with this now, but re the horns, give them more rests from 143 on. The same goes for the clts. There are plenty of places where you can give horns and clts a quaver or more rest and not upset the music, in fact it would help in places. If you really need a constant horn line, consider dividing it up among 3 players with overlapping notes.

The flute solo is lovely and is enhanced by the lightening of the background. 

I still found the predictable rate of harmonic change to be a bar to full enjoyment, but all in all for me it is improved and despite reservations, an enjoyable listen.....of course the most important issue here is wether or not you felt as though your revisions based on critique here have improved the piece, because thoughts here are just others opinions.


     That sounds like an excellent ending, though now all my endings will be the same.
roger stancill said:

Hi Lawrence(of Arabia)... I didn't necessarily feel I was in the desert, but I did

get a sense or feeling of the Mediteranian.

I heard a bit of Parisian mixed with Italian,mixed with -oh say maybe Morocco.

I would thus title it, Apollo '8' mditeranian cuisine. A delicious mix of flavors as the music

transpired, but without the suggestion of space, I probably wouldn't have thought  of that.

As for the ending... I'd suggest a glass of good wine : >/              RS


      Although I couldn't use exotic time signatures in this series, I'm planning a new series based on this principle  .  Thanks for your good ideas
T.T. Gaudynski said:

Very enjoyable - even though its not in 11/8 :).  The piece does have a bit of an eastern, Mediterranean flavor which makes the overall feel somewhat familiar.  As you noted, since this piece focuses on the Earth, that is entirely appropriate.   Oddly enough, parts of the piece reminded me of the Richard Rogers score for "Victory at Sea."  I believe that Rogers used some eastern sounding elements in that score.  You continue to nail the genre!

I found the same problem in articulation in Finale , the volume setting I use to suit playback would not be good for human playback so to keep it simple I just copy and paste the work rename the copy publish version and change for human performance but not use for recording or playback . Just an idea Bob Forrest

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