Gustav Holst was an underrated composer during his lifetime, and remains under-appreciated today (with the obvious exception of THE PLANETS). He struggled to escape the shadow of the momumental British composers that were his near-contemporaries, as well as his own less-than-stellar reputation as a conductor. Yet his music is extremely influential and rewarding, infused with both an undeniable English-ness and hints of his fascination with mystical underpinnings.
Ever since I fell in love with THE PLANETS at an early age, I've been on a quest to discover the non-PLANETS music of Holst. He wrote some wonderful band music that I played in school, as well as some magnificent string pieces. It's his choral music, however, that really holds little-known treasures.
Every note on this recording is a marvel...this is exactly what one would expect when thinking of "British" music, with all of the attendant pomp and majesty. Holst even "out-Englishes" such masters as Elgar and Vaughan Williams, yet he has a style all his own.
I recommend this to all fans of choral works...and recommend Holst to anyone who appreciates great music.