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John Wiser:

> ...despite the CD availability of most of his output, Holst remains a
> one-hit wonder for "The Planets." The rest is esoterica, comparatively
> speaking.  And the rest, I'm inclined to think, is better music than
> ":The Planets," which has aspects of freakishness and monstrosity not
> typical of Holst.  For the sake of argument, I'd call the following
> figures one-hit wonders: Berlioz, Gounod, Bizet, Glazunov, Bruch.  I'm
> sure you will all have your own candidates.

True enough: Ravel and his 'Bolero' is one of the standards in this
field.  Which points to the meaninglessness of 'esoterica' to ordinary
music fans curious to search beyond the known "hits." Ravel himself,
like any true fan of his music, would send anyone who's searching for
his excellent output very far from the 'Bolero'.  Not that the Bolero's
dreck: far from it.

But I don't consider "The Planets" to be analogous: whatever you may
regard as its monstrosity may just be what gives it appeal, and, indeed,
its magnificence as music to my ear.  Conversely, the refinement or
balance of some of Holst's other works -- which might count as his "better
music" to you and perhaps others -- are often just what makes them dull
them for me.

Bert Bailey

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