A Conversation About Holst’s Mars: The Bringer Of War

By Norm Robins

Martin Majkut is a fascinating young conductor who was the third conductor to be interviewed by the Reno Chamber Orchestra for the now empty job of Music Director. His knowledge of music is encyclopedic as is his knowledge of many other things. He is one of the best-read persons I know. He is a joy to discuss things with, musical or otherwise.

He posted two tutorials recently to YouTube, one on the second movement of Dvorak’s 8th Symphony and another on Holst’s Mars: The bringer of War from his suite The Planets. Mars has so much in it. It is frightening. It sounds like the Golden Horde of Genghis Khan is at the gate and about to “cry havoc and slip loose the dogs of war” as Shakespeare put it in Julius Caesar and other plays. I felt it needed discussion. What is it about us human beings that makes this so? Maestro Majkut and I discussed it and some other things in the nearby video.

Look at these three videos. You won’t be disappointed.

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