Isao Tomita, the renowned Japanese synth composer, is known for his own pieces as well as his reorchestrations of classical works into new eletronic atmospheric pieces. Tomita seems to be either loved or hated, provoking electronic music enthusiasts or classical music purists alike. His redux of Gustav Holst's The Planets (1914-1916) so angered Holst's daughter Imogen that she successfully sued for a court order which kept this pop version of her father's suite banned. Some 30,000 records were removed from stores. Tomita's Planets (1976) was only re-released after her death in 1984.
Tomita's Planets and his other renderings of famous classical pieces, such as Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, or Claude Debussy's Arabesque No. 1, could be the soundtrack for space exploration. Tomita's version of the Arabesque was famously used as the opening music for Jack Horkheimer's long-running beloved amateur star-gazing show on PBS, Star Hustler, now called Star Gazer. Obviously for some, Tomita's use of the synthesizer and electronic music media automatically designated his work as popular and 'not serious.' But there is something here that has nothing to do with bastardizing classical styles. It's about recasting great works in the context of new realities. Tomita resonates now because he seamlessly blends past and future. His classical reworkings are incarnate examples of time existing in two dimensions at once.
Tomita's Version of Holst's "Mars"
Tomita's Version of Debussy's Arabesque No. 1
Star Hustler, Keep Looking Up! Halley's Comet is Coming! 1985