Holst: The Collector's Edition

Release Date: 6/19/2012
Catalog Number: 40471
Composer: Gustav Holst
Number of Discs: 6

Physical Format:

CD
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Notes and Editorial Reviews
The reasons for Holst’s relative neglect, beyond The Planets and the Band Suites, aren’t hard to fathom. He wrote no large works in conventional forms, and never repeated himself. Even the Choral Symphony on poetry by Keats, here in its finest recorded performance to date (by Boult), owes very little to precedent–Mahler’s Eighth and Elgar’s The Black Knight, perhaps–and in any case features Holst’s personal combination of “spacey” orchestral color and rhythmic complexity (sample below). The music is both personal, technically virtuosic, and however beautiful somewhat cool emotionally. There is nothing else quite like it in the early 20th century.

EMI has a distinguished Holst discography, most of which is included here. It is by no means a “complete works” collection; missing are the choral ballets, Savitri, the Japanese Suite, and other pieces recorded by labels such as Lyrita and Hyperion. However, you do get everything you need for a comprehensive overview, including Boult’s last recording of The Planets, Previn’s benchmark Perfect Fool Ballet and Egdon Heath, the band suites (including A Moorside Suite) led by Holst’s daughter Imogen, A Somerset Rhapsody, the Brook Green Suite, A Fugal Concerto, Hammersmith, the St. Paul’s Suite, the Ode to Death, Choral Fantasia, Hymn of Jesus, and Short Festival Te Deum. Virtually all of these performances (save Malcolm Sargent’s somewhat faded 1950s recording of Beni Mora) are at least as good as the best available.

Also included are two short operas: The Wandering Scholar and At the Boar’s Head, featuring iconic singers such as Robert Tear, Philip Langridge, John Tomlinson, Felicity Palmer, , and Elise Ross, conducted by Steuard Bedford and David Atherton, respectively. The one problem with this set is that it contains no texts, an obvious issue both in the works listed and in the two sets of Rig Veda Hymns and other part songs and short vocal pieces. Otherwise, there is absolutely nothing to prevent this from being the essential Holst collection on disc.

-- David Hurwitz,ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
1. The Planets, Op. 32/H 125 by Gustav Holst
Conductor: Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble: London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1914-1916 ; England
2. Egdon Heath, Op. 47/H 172 by Gustav Holst
Conductor: André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1927 ; England
3. The Perfect Fool, Op. 39/H 150: Ballet Music by Gustav Holst
Conductor: André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1918-1922 ; England
4. A Somerset Rhapsody, Op. 21 no 2/H 87 by Gustav Holst
Conductor: Norman Del Mar
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bournemouth Sinfonietta
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1906-1907 ; England
5. Brook Green Suite, H 190 by Gustav Holst
Conductor: Norman Del Mar
Orchestra/Ensemble: Bournemouth Sinfonietta
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1933 ; England
6. A Fugal Concerto for Flute, Oboe and Strings, Op. 40 no 2/H 152 by Gustav Holst
Performer: Jonathan Snowden (Flute), David Theodore (Oboe)
Conductor: Yehudi Menuhin
Orchestra/Ensemble: English Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1923 ; England
7. Beni Mora, Op. 29 no 1/H 107 by Gustav Holst
Orchestra/Ensemble: Philharmonia Orchestra
Written: 1909-1910 ; England
8. St. Paul's Suite for Strings, Op. 29 no 2/H 118 by Gustav Holst
Orchestra/Ensemble: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1912-1913 ; England
9. Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda, Op. 26: 2nd group, H 98 by Gustav Holst
Conductor: Richard Hickox
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1909 ;
10. Ode to Death, Op. 38/H 144 by Gustav Holst
Conductor: Richard Hickox
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1919 ; England
11. A Choral Fantasia, Op. 51/H 177 by Gustav Holst
Performer: Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Ralph Downes (Organ)
Conductor: Imogen Holst
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1931 ; England
12. Psalms (2), H 117: no 1, Psalm 86 by Gustav Holst
Performer: Ian Partridge (Tenor), Ralph Downes (Organ)
Conductor: Imogen Holst
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1912 ; England
13. Suite for Military Band no 2 in F major, Op. 28 no 2 by Gustav Holst
Conductor: Imogen Holst
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1911 ; England
14. Suite for Military Band no 1 in E flat major, Op. 28 no 1 by Gustav Holst
Conductor: Imogen Holst
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1909 ; England
15. Prelude and Scherzo, Op. 52/H 178 "Hammersmith" by Gustav Holst
Conductor: J.L. Wallace
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1930/1931 ; England
16. A Moorside Suite, H 173 by Gustav Holst
Conductor: Imogen Holst
Orchestra/Ensemble: BMC (Oxford) Band
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1928 ; England
17. The Homecoming, H 120 by Gustav Holst
Orchestra/Ensemble: Baccholian Singers of London
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1913 ; London, Engalnd
18. Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda, Op. 26: 4th group, H 100 - no 3, Hymn to Manas by Gustav Holst
Orchestra/Ensemble: Baccholian Singers of London
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1908-1912 ; England
19. Choral Folk Songs (6), Op. 36b/H 136: no 6, Swansea Town by Gustav Holst
Orchestra/Ensemble: Baccholian Singers of London
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1916 ; England
20. Choral Folk Songs (6), Op. 36b/H 136: no 5, I love my love by Gustav Holst
Orchestra/Ensemble: Baccholian Singers of London
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1916 ; England
21. Choral Folk Songs (6), Op. 36b/H 136: no 4, The Song of the Blacksmith by Gustav Holst
Orchestra/Ensemble: Baccholian Singers of London
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1916 ; England
22. Choral Folk Songs (6), Op. 36b/H 136: no 3, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John by Gustav Holst
Orchestra/Ensemble: Baccholian Singers of London
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1916 ; England
23. Choral Folk Songs (6), Op. 36b/H 136: no 1, I sowed the seeds of love by Gustav Holst
Orchestra/Ensemble: Baccholian Singers of London
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1916 ; England
24. Canons (8) for Equal Voices, H 187: Truth of All Truth by Gustav Holst
Orchestra/Ensemble: Baccholian Singers of London
Period: 20th Century
25. Canons (8) for Equal Voices, H 187: The Fields of Sorrow by Gustav Holst
Orchestra/Ensemble: Baccholian Singers of London
Period: 20th Century
26. Canons (8) for Equal Voices, H 187: David's Lament for Jonathan by Gustav Holst
Orchestra/Ensemble: Baccholian Singers of London
Period: 20th Century
27. Bring us in good ale, Op. 34 no 4/H 131 by Gustav Holst
Orchestra/Ensemble: King's Singers
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1916 ; England
28. A Dirge for Two Veterans, H121 by Gustav Holst
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1914 ; England
29. Choruses (6), Op. 53/H 186: no 1, Intercession by Gustav Holst
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1931-1932 ; England
30. Choruses (6), Op. 53/H 186: no 2, Good Friday by Gustav Holst
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1931-1932 ; England
31. Choruses (6), Op. 53/H 186: no 3, Drinking Song by Gustav Holst
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1931-1932 ; England
32. Choruses (6), Op. 53/H 186: no 4, A Love Song by Gustav Holst
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1931-1932 ; England
33. Choruses (6), Op. 53/H 186: no 6, Before Sleep by Gustav Holst
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1931-1932 ; England
34. Hymns (9) from the Rig Veda, Op. 24/H 90: no 2, Varuna I by Gustav Holst
Performer: Frederick Harvey (Baritone), Gerald Moore (Piano)
Conductor: Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble: London Philharmonic Orchestra
35. Festival Choruses (3), H 134: no 2, Turn back O Man by Gustav Holst
Conductor: John Birch
Orchestra/Ensemble: Chichester Cathedral Choir
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1916 ; England
36. Lullay, my liking, Op. 34 no 2/H 129 by Gustav Holst
Conductor: Jonathan Steele
Orchestra/Ensemble: London Boy Singers
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1916 ; England
37. In the bleak mid-winter by Gustav Holst
Period: 20th Century
Written: by 1906 ; England
38. Personent hodie, H 135 no 2 by Gustav Holst
Orchestra/Ensemble: Jacques Orchestra, Bach Choir
Period: 20th Century
Written: ?1916-17 ; England
39. The Hymn of Jesus, Op. 37/H 140 by Gustav Holst
Conductor: Richard Hickox
Orchestra/Ensemble: St. Paul's Cathedral Choristers
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1917 ; England
40. First Choral Symphony, Op. 41/H 155 by Gustav Holst
Performer: Felicity Palmer (Soprano)
Conductor: Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble: London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1923-1924 ; England
41. The Wandering Scholar, Op. 50/H 176 by Gustav Holst
Performer: Norma Burrowes (Soprano), Michael Langdon (Bass), Robert Tear (Tenor), Michael Rippon (Bass)
Conductor: Steuart Bedford
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1929-1930 ; England
42. At the Boar's Head, Op 42 by Gustav Holst
Performer: Felicity Palmer (Mezzo Soprano), David Wilson-Johnson (Baritone), Richard Suart (Baritone), Elise Ross (Soprano), Peter [Tenor] Hall (Tenor), John Tomlinson (Bass), Michael [bass] George (Bass), Philip Langridge (Tenor)
Conductor: David Atherton
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1924 ; England
43. Short Festival Te Deum, H 145 by Gustav Holst
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1919 ; England
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