HOLST: The Planets, Japanese Suite, Beni Mora
Manchester Chamber Choir, BBC Philharmonic under Sir Andrew Davis
Order Chandos 5086 @£11 + P&P or free P&P with your first order
“’Mars’, one of his best performances, is quite fast, rigidly controlled, frighteningly bleak and with a cold sound…Even the terrific climax, with ffff organ chords, has a barren quality to it…’Venus’ sounds cool, even melancholy rather than peaceful after ‘Mars’. ‘Uranus’ is splendidly done, with a harsh brass opening and a spooky delicacy in the hopping rhythms.” International Record Review
HOLST: Volume 1. The Morning of the Year, The Lure, The Golden Goose, The Ballet from ‘The Perfect Fool’
Joyful Company of Singers, BBC NOW under Richard Hickox
Richard Hickox, one of the foremost exponents of British music, embarked on this survey in July 2008 of works by Holst with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Hickox’s sudden death in November 2008 during a Chandos recording session meant that he was tragically never to complete this project and of course many others.
“All the works featured here – a ‘must’ for all Holst fans – reveal how he built steadily on the experimental paradigms of The Planets with an orchestral technique second-to-none, ‘naked’ (as Vaughan Williams once described) in its exposed, gossamer textures.” Gramophone, Disc of the month, February 2009
Order Chandos 5069 @£11 plus P&P or free P&P with your first order
HOLST: Volume 3, The Mystic Trumpeter, First Choral Symphony.
Susan Gritton, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus under Sir Andrew Davis
“This (the First Choral Symphony) is surely Holst’s greatest work. Andrew Davis is fast becoming the most incisive and authoritative interpreter of British music and this wonderful recording is testimony…This is a musical treat which is a must for any lover of Holst and the British choral tradition.” Choral Choice, Gramophone
CD notes …
The series was inaugurated by Richard Hickox who sadly passed away in 2009 after having completed only Volume 1. Fortunately, Chandos was able to secure the services of its exclusive artist the acclaimed conductor Sir Andrew Davis for the second volume. Now Sir Andrew turns to The Mystic Trumpeter and the First Choral Symphony, this time conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and the Grammy-nominated soprano Susan Gritton. Composed originally in 1904 and revised in 1912, The Mystic Trumpeter received only two performances in Holst’s lifetime, and it was not revived until 1980. Holst based the work on a poem from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, and the influence of Hindu thought is clearly present throughout. Holst drafted the First Choral Symphony in 1923. The work received a mixed reception at the time, to some extent provoked by the highly varied and non-sequential choice of texts, all by Keats. The poetic variety is reflected in a score full of extremes of contrast. Holst himself said of this Symphony: ‘I think the work as a whole is the best thing I have written.’
Order Chandos 5127 @£11 plus P&P or free P&P with your first order
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