Jakob Fichert & Mark Hutchinson piano
Holst The Planets
A special performance of The Planets Suite played by pianists Jakob Fichert and Mark Hutchinson on Holst’s own grand piano, newly restored by its makers John Broadwood & Sons. This piano was purchased in 1913 by St Paul’s Girls’ School in Hammersmith for Gustav Holst, its Director of Music, who used it when composing The Planets. The concert will be introduced by Broadwood’s Chairman, Dr Alastair Laurence.
Holst's fame rests largely on his orchestral suite The Planets, written in stages before and during the First World War while he was working as the Director of Music of St Paul’s Girls’ School in Hammersmith. He was afflicted with neuritis, which both ruled out a career as a pianist and also made the physical act of composition difficult. He relied heavily on other members of the school’s musical staff, in particular pianists Vally Lasker and Nora Day. They acted as amanuenses to the great composer, assisting him with first working out the suite in full in two-piano form. In 1913 the school had purchased a new Broadwood grand piano for Holst’s composition room which was used by the three musicians as the suite began to take shape. Not only assisting Holst with the process of orchestration under his instruction, Lasker and Day also collaborated in this version for four hands on one piano, published in 1923.
£10; concessions £8; students £3