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Mars, the Bringer of War from the Planets
  • Mars, the Bringer of War from the Planets

    SKU: BBBE190324

    Expertly transcibed here for large brass ensemble by Michael Allen, Mars, the Bringer of War from The Planets is the first movement of a seven-movement suite by the English composer, Gustav Holst. Composed beginning in 1914, each movement of the suite is named after a planet of our then known solar system and its purported astrological character.


    Mars has acheived iconic musical status having been featured in popular culture due to its relentless ostinato 5/4 time rhythm, and the battle cries of armies marching to war. Colin Matthews writes that for Holst, Mars would have been "an experiment in rhythm and clashing keys," and its violence in performance "may have surprised him as much as it galvanised its early audiences." Matthews goes on to write "harmonic dissonances abound, often resulting from clashes between moving chords and static pedal-points," which Matthews compares to a similar effect at the end of Stravinsky’s The Firebird, and adds that although battle music had been written before, notably by Richard Strauss in Ein Heldenleben, "it had never expressed such violence and sheer terror".

    All seven movements from The Planets (Mars, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune), expertly transcibed by Michael Allen, are available for purchase separately or at a discount for the complete Planets Suite.

    • Instrumentation

      444.12,  tmp 3 perc -  Trumpet in E flat, Piccolo in B flat, Trumpet in C, Flugelhorn, 4 Horns, 3 Tenor Trombones, Bass Trombone, Euphonium, 2 Tubas, Timpani, 3 Percussionist (Xylophone, Suspended Cymbal, Snare Drum, Rute, Bass Drum, Tam Tam) - alternate transposed parts for trumpets and euphonium are availalble on request.

    • Duration

      7' 00"

    • Difficulty

      Grade 5 - advanced university ensemble / professional

    • File Format

      Score and Parts available as PDF downloads

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