Gustav Holst

Biography

Born: 1874   Died: 1934   Country: England   Period: 20th Century
Known primarily for his popular orchestral composition, The Planets, Gustav Holst embraced a wide variety of musical models, from Arthur Sullivan, Edvard Grieg, and Wagner to the melodic simplicity of English folk music. In his maturity, he managed to merge these various influences into a rather sparse personal style that became increasingly transparent in his later years. Perhaps his greatest talent lay in the realm of choral music; his Hymn of Read more Jesus stands as one of the finest works in the genre from the early twentieth century.

Holst's first instruction came from his father, Adolph, a piano teacher, who also made him take lessons on the violin and trombone; the father believed that these studies might alleviate the youth's asthma.

By age 12, the young Holst was composing, even dabbling in orchestration; in 1888, he won a prize in an amateur competition for his vocal work, A Christmas Carol. Thereafter he sang in the All Saints' Church choir and played violin and trombone in its orchestra. In 1892, he traveled to London and heard a Covent Garden performance of Götterdämmerung, led by Mahler. The experience opened up new compositional vistas for the young composer.

Holst entered the Royal College of Music the following year where he met fellow student Ralph Vaughan Williams, who would remain a close lifelong friend. Shortly after his arrival in London, Holst found that the neuritis in his right arm, which had afflicted him in his early youth, had worsened and now caused him to abandon ideas of a career as a concert pianist. In 1898, Holst left the RCM to take a position in the Carl Rosa Opera Company as rehearsal pianist and coach. He completed his Cotswold Symphony in 1900, and its premiere in April 1902 was a success. On June 22, 1901, Holst married Emily Isobel Harrison, whom he had met in a choir he had directed a few years before.

In late 1903, Holst took on a teaching position at James Allen's Girls' School, in South London. The following year he acquired a second post, the directorship of music at St. Paul's Girls' School, which he would retain until his death. He added another teaching post at Morley College in 1907, bogging him down and leaving little time for composition. Still, the St. Paul's Suite, written during this period (1912-1913), is among his most often-performed works.

In 1914, Holst began work on what would become his most popular composition, The Planets. The war years were extremely productive, as the composer not only completed The Planets, but also wrote Hymn of Jesus. In spring 1918, Holst began educational work for the YMCA at its various facilities on European battlefields.

He returned to London at the end of June 1919 and took a prestigious post teaching theory and composition at the RCM in 1920. The composer's fame was not only growing domestically in the early 1920s but internationally as well, as works like the Hymn of Jesus were receiving regular and acclaimed performances. By 1924, Holst's health was clearly declining, and he thus lessened his workload.

Beginning in late December 1928, Holst made a series of trips abroad that included visits to France, Italy, Sicily, and the U.S. In Boston, a duodenal ulcer was diagnosed in 1932. On May 23, 1934, he underwent surgery for the ulcer, but died two days later. Read less

Work: The Planets

Browse 26-50 of 94 Available Recordings
1 2 3 4
  • 26.
    Holst: The Planets, Op 32 / Previn, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Lim   Catalog: 58 Release Date: 07/17/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Holst
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Brighton Festival Chorus
    On sale! $42.98
    CD: $37.99
    Low Stock
    On sale!   $42.98   CD:  $37.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 27.
    Label: Heritage   Catalog: 233 Release Date: 07/17/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Holst,  Arnold Bax
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 28.
    British Music For Piano Duo / Goldstone, Clemmow
    Label: Divine Art   Catalog: 24154 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Holst
    Performer:  Anthony Goldstone,  Caroline Clemmow
    Recommendation
    CD: $14.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $14.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 29.
    Holst: The Collector's Edition
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 40471 Release Date: 06/19/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Gustav Holst
    Performer:  Jonathan Snowden,  David Theodore,  Ralph Downes,  Dame Janet Baker  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  André Previn,  Norman Del Mar,  Yehudi Menuhin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Bournemouth Sinfonietta  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $24.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $24.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 30.
    Holst: The Planets / Barney, Buzz Brass [Vinyl]
    Label: Fidelio Musique   Catalog: 028 Release Date: 05/29/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Holst
    Performer:  Mélanie Barney
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Buzz Brass
    LP: $58.99
    Low Stock
    LP:  $58.99 Add to Cart

  • 31.
    Classical Clubhouse: Big Space Adventure!
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55478 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Colin Matthews,  Gustav Holst
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    CD: $7.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $7.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 32.
    Holst: The Planets; Britten: Variations & Fugue On A Theme Of Purcell
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5053 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten,  Gustav Holst
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
    Recommendation
    CD: $17.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 33.
    Holst: The Planets (Organ Transcriptions By Peter Sykes)
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 683 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Holst
    Performer:  Hansjörg Albrecht
    Recommendation
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
    Low Stock
    SuperAudio CD:  $19.99 Add to Cart

  • 34.
    Holst: The Planets /   Nettle & Markham
    Label: Netmark   Catalog: 700 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Holst
    Performer:  Richard Markham,  David Nettle
    On sale! $18.98
    CD: $15.99
    Low Stock
    On sale!   $18.98   CD:  $15.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 35.
    Holst: The Planets / York2, Fiona York, John York, Piano - Four Hands
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 5871 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Holst,  York Bowen
    Performer:  Fiona York,  John York
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  York2 Piano Duo
    Recommendation
    CD: $18.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $18.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 36.
    British Composers - Vaughan Williams, Finzi, Holst
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 95433 Release Date: 05/03/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Gerald Finzi,  Arnold Bax,  Gustav Holst
    Performer:  David Van Asch,  Nigel Perrin,  Robin Doveton,  John Eaton  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicholas Cleobury,  Sir David Willcocks,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Christopher Finzi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  King's Singers,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $34.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $34.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 37.
    Holst: Orchestral Works Vol. 2 / Davis, BBC Philharmonic
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 5086 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Holst
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
    Recommendation
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
    Low Stock
    SuperAudio CD:  $19.99 Add to Cart

  • 38.
    Holst: The Planets / Jurowski, London PO
    Label: Lpo   Catalog: 47 Release Date: 10/26/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Holst
    Conductor:  Vladimir Jurowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $9.99
    Back Order
    CD:  $9.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 39.
    Elgar: Enigma Variations; Holst: The Planets / Adrian Boult
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 31783 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Gustav Holst
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 40.
    Holst: The Planets; Vaughan Williams / Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 38060 Release Date: 03/11/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Gustav Holst
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
    Recommendation
    ArkivCD $16.99
    Special Order
    ArkivCD:  $16.99 Add to Cart

  • 41.
    Holst: The Planets
    Label: Fidelio Musique   Catalog: 28 Release Date: 01/19/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Holst
    Performer:  Mélanie Barney
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Buzz Ensemble
    Recommendation
    CD: $18.99
    Back Order
    CD:  $18.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 42.
    Holst: The Planets;  Britten: Young Person's Guide, Etc
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64300 Release Date: 12/29/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Holst,  Henry Purcell,  Benjamin Britten
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis,  Andrew Parrott,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toronto Symphony Orchestra,  Taverner Players,  Minnesota Orchestra
    ArkivCD $17.99
    Special Order
    ArkivCD:  $17.99 Add to Cart

  • 43.
    Holst: Planets;  Britten: Young Person Guide / Pavo Jarvi, Cinncinnati So
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80743 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Holst,  Benjamin Britten
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $16.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $16.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 44.
    Icon - Leopold Stokowski - The Maverick Conductor
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 98555 Release Date: 10/20/2009   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Pietro Antonio Cesti,  Ernest Bloch,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Giovanni Palestrina  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    CD: $75.49
    Back Order
    CD:  $75.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 45.
    Simon Rattle - British Music
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 97588 Release Date: 10/20/2009   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Mark-Anthony Turnage,  Nicholas Maw,  Thomas Adčs,  Percy Aldridge Grainger  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Bream,  Thomas Allen,  Robert Tear,  Thomas Hampson  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  Birmingham Contemporary Music Group,  City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus  ... 
    CD: $75.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $75.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 46.
    Holst: The Planets / Adrian Boult, London Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 69045 Release Date: 05/22/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Holst
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Geoffrey Mitchell Choir
    ArkivCD $17.99
    Special Order
    ArkivCD:  $17.99 Add to Cart

  • 47.
    Andre Previn - The Great Recordings - The LSO Years 1971-1980
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 67969 Release Date: 05/19/2009   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Samuel Barber,  Carl Orff,  Benjamin Britten  ... 
    Performer:  André Previn,  Sheila Armstrong,  Thomas Allen,  Gerald English  ... 
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  St. Clement Danes Grammar School Boys Choir,  London Symphony Chorus
    CD: $68.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $68.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 48.
    Holst: The Planets / Seiji Ozawa, Boston Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 416456 Release Date: 12/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Holst
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New England Conservatory Chorus,  Boston Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    ArkivCD $16.99
    Low Stock
    ArkivCD:  $16.99 Add to Cart

  • 49.
    Holst: The Planets; Elgar: Enigma Variations / Boult, Barbirolli
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2079 Release Date: 12/09/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Holst,  Sir Edward Elgar
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Hallé Orchestra
    On sale! $18.98
    CD: $16.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $18.98   CD:  $16.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 50.
    Composers In Person
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 17575 Release Date: 11/24/2008   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ernö von Dohnányi,  Paul Hindemith,  Aram Khachaturian  ... 
    Performer:  Béla Bartók,  Vilma Medgyaszay,  Ferenc Szekeres,  Zoltán Székely  ... 
    Conductor:  Lawrence Collingwood,  Paul Hindemith,  Aram Khachaturian,  Arthur Honegger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Percurama Percussion Ensemble
    Recommendation
    CD: $76.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $76.99 Add CD to Cart

1 2 3 4