When time slows down – Holst’s ‘Betelgeuse’

by Ben Hogwood Picture courtesy ALMA – ESO/NAOJ/NRAO, E/O’Gorman/P.Kervella

A report on the Guardian website today asks why the great red giant star Betelgeuse is glowing so brightly and behaving so strangely. It is a fascinating read, and its remarkable conclusion is a reminder that the light we see from the star is actually 600 years old.

It brought to mind a setting by Gustav Holst of a great poem about the star by Humbert Wolfe. This is a highly unusual song, proceeding such a slow speed that the age of the star is never in doubt. Here it is, sung by tenor Philip Langridge with pianist Steuart Bedford:

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