Gustav Holst – Mercury, The Winged Messenger
This song is rated: 1 Pill – entry-level for music novices
Dr. cheerlubber again.
Back again with another classical Sunday post. Today we feature Mercury, The Winged Messenger by Gustav Holst, movement number three of his The Planets suite, undoubtedly his most well-known work. While his most famous composition of his career is probably Mars, Bringer of War from the same suite (which was no doubt the inspiration for every early, epic space opera movie score), I enjoy the light-hearted Mercury just as much. Still easing you guys into classical with another short song, but this time featuring a full orchestra, whereas the past two Sunday classical posts featured small ensembles. Don’t worry, I’ll get around to introducing you to full symphonic movements shortly enough (get excited!). c:
Mercury, The Winged Messenger is quick and light and you can perfectly imagine the messenger god flitting frantically to and fro (hooray for alliteration!). He flies in and out through just about every section of the symphony, always keeping things moving. I have to say my absolute favorite part of this piece comes when the full orchestra starts building into a crescendo starting around 1:26, and when the cellos come in at 1:36 with a racing line. It’s quite subtle in the scheme of things but in my opinion, it’s the cellos that launch the orchestra into the song’s climax. I actually only really picked up on the line about a year ago, surprisingly enough, (after having been somewhat familiar with the piece for quite some time). The melodic theme that the violins and the trumpets belt out is great too, but there’s something about that cello line that gets me excited. You may have to listen for it a couple times before you recognize it, but I think you’ll see what I mean by it’s the cellos that are responsible for that climax. Orrr you’ll see that I’m just a bit odd and that line is of no consequence to you at all. Things quiet down quickly again after that, although don’t slow down, and the rest of the song simply follows Mercury around as he finishes delivering the last of his messages, just like any other typical workday.
This may be more analysis than you ever wanted to hear on a short classical piece (not like you’re really listening to this anyway), but oh well. This blog is as much for me to get my ideas and thoughts out as it is for you to consider them.