Holst’s suite “The Planets” will occupy the second part of this dramatic programme with the LSO conducted by Mark Elder. It begins with Vaughan Williams “Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus” and Brahms’ “Double Concerto” in which the soloists will be Roman Simovic (violin) and Tim Hugh (cello).
The ladies of the LSC will form the wordless chorus in the final movement of “The Planets, “Neptune the Mystic”. Holst stipulates that the women’s choruses are “to be placed in an adjoining room, the door of which is to be left open until the last bar of the piece, when it is to be slowly and silently closed”, and that the final bar (scored for choruses only) is “to be repeated until the sound is lost in the distance”. Holst’s daughter, Imogen, after the initial 1918 run-through, remarked that the ending was “unforgettable, with its hidden chorus of women’s voices growing fainter and fainter . . . until the imagination knew no difference between sound and silence.”