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Gustav Holst’s youthful enthusiasm for Wagner is reflected in his ebullient Walt Whitman overture written in 1899. Shortly afterwards he composed the Cotswolds Symphony which embraces hints of contemporary British folk music but is dominated by the slow movement, a profound elegy for the utopian socialist William Morris. Though completed at college, A Winter Idyll shows real orchestral assurance. Indra is an accomplished tone poem revealing Holst’s interest in the legends of India, whilst the glittering and evocative Japanese Suite was written in response to a request from a Japanese dancer appearing in London.
Interest in Holst’s music continues to grow, and in particular in more outof-the-way material. British music specialists are particularly drawn to him. This disc offers youthful and mid-period Holst.
Gustav Holst: Walt Whitman, Op. 7
Walt Whitman, Op. 7
Gustav Holst: Symphony in F major, Op. 8, "The Cotswolds"
I. Allegro con brio
II. Elegy: Molto adagio (In Memoriam William Morris)
III. Scherzo: Presto - Allegretto
IV. Finale: Allegro moderato
Gustav Holst: A Winter Idyll
A Winter Idyll
Gustav Holst: Japanese Suite, Op. 33
I. Prelude: Song of the Fisherman
II. Ceremonial Dance
III. Dance of the Marionette
IV. Interlude: Song of the Fisherman
V. Dance under the Cherry Tree
VI. Finale: Dance of the Wolves
Gustav Holst: Indra, Op. 13
Indra, Op. 13
2nd June 2012
“There’s so much British music around this summer, but here’s some you won’t have heard unless you are a Holst anorak...Good performances, despite a few rough string moments.”
“JoAnn Falletta on Naxos conducts from original manuscripts, including for the first time several bars cut by Matthews. Holst fans will want to buy this disc for that reason alone...[Indra] exudes confidence and orchestral mastery. It deserves to be regularly performed.”
5th June 2012
“to judge from these works, all very impressively played by the Ulster Orchestra under its new principal conductor JoAnn Falletta, Holst's style took some years to settle down completely.”
“it is good to hear these works played with such panache”
“The sound quality of this disc is excellent - as is expected from Naxos. The Ulster Orchestra under their Principal Conductor JoAnn Falletta give an authoritative account of these scores...This CD will appeal strongly to all those people who long for more of the same when it comes to The Planets … or at least music stylistically analogous to that work.”
16th July 2012
“Falletta inspires some moments of real fire and excitement. The recorded sound is very good and the balance within the orchestra superb.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.