The Planets Suite In Miniature is an attempt to take the listener through Gustav Holst's Orchestral masterpiece in less than ten minutes using only five Brass Instruments. Only five of the seven most famous and recognisable melodies from the original are used, beginning, like the prototype, with Mars.
The different movements appear in the same order as Holst wrote, although the rhythmic pattern of Mars reappears on occasion. The piece ends with a clash of interest as the two most well known movements, Mars and Jupiter, compete for the right to finish. The harsh sounds of Mars are heard first before the hymnal Jupiter theme is heard over the driving rhythm of Mars. Jupiter finally triumphs with the piece ending with one final verse of the tune used for the hymn I Vow To Thee My Country.
This instantly recognisable arrangement by Thomas Chinery is both challenging and playable, and of a length that will not tire the players too much while at the same time maintaining the essence and power of the original music to ensure interest for both audience and players alike. A recording by the Argento Brass Quintet can be heard here.