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Holst: Cotswolds Symphony / Walt Whitman Overture / A Winter Idyll / Japanese Suite / Indra

Gustav Holst, JoAnn Falletta, Ulster Orchestra Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Holst: Cotswolds Symphony / Walt Whitman Overture / A Winter Idyll / Japanese Suite / Indra + Holst - Orchestral Works + Holst - Double Concerto; St Paul's Suite; Brook Green Suite
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Ulster Orchestra
  • Conductor: JoAnn Falletta
  • Composer: Gustav Holst
  • Audio CD (28 May 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B007WB5D8Y
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,496 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Walt Whitman Overture, Op. 7, H42
2. Symphony in F major, Op. 8, H47 The Cotswolds
3. A Winter Idyll, H31
4. Japanese Suite, Op. 33, H126
5. Indra Symphonic Poem, Op. 13, H66

Product Description


There's so much British music around this summer, but here's some you won't have heard unless you are a Holst anorak. The Cotswold Symphony was written not long after his student days, and has echoes of Elgar and Schumann. **** --The Times, 2nd June 2012

This CD continues a tradition of U.S musicians giving first-rate performances of Holst's music. With the Ulster Orchestra, JoAnn Falletta conducts a programme of mainly early Holst, including the attractive Symphony in F, The Cotswolds. All are splendidly played and interpreted. **** --Daily Mail, 8th June 2012

There are three remaining rarities. The Walt Whitman Overture is indebted to Brahms's Second Symphony. The Cotswolds Symphony includes a powerful, Wagnerian Elegy: In Memoriam William Morris, framed by a rather flimsy first movement, a jolly Scherzo and a banal Finale. --BBC Music Magazine, July 2012

**** --The Daily Telegraph, 30th June 2012

**** --The Guardian, 6th July 2012

'the work is beautifully performed here, most notably the delicate, crystalline sounds of celesta, harp, woodwind and horn.' --Gramophone. Jeremy Dibble, August 2012

**** --The Guardian, 6th July 2012

Product Description

Walt Whitman, ouverture, op.7 - Symphonie, op. 8 "The Cotswolds" - A Winter Idyll, H31 - Japanese Suite, op.33 - Indra, op.13 / Ulster Orchestra - JoAnn Falletta, direction

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Holst 7 Jun 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is an interesting collection of what will be to most of us lesser-known Holst. The Whitman overture which opens the CD is pleasant enough; maybe I was expecting something with a bit more depth, and the Cotswolds Symphony is an enjoyable piece, easy to listen to, with a darker slow movement. The Japanese Suite is highly enjoyable, Holst's orchestration reminding us of his Planets Suite. But the piece I found profoundly satisfying on this disc was 'Indra'; Holst was influenced by the poetry and philosophy of India and wrote 'Savitri', based on Indian poetry and also 'Hymns from the Rig Veda' (which are available on an Eloquence re-issue of an Argo recording). Indra is an Indian God, and Holst's music evokes something powerful, it's a piece quite different from the preceding works on the CD and I have returned to this a number of times.

The playing by the Ulster Orchestra is excellent, and JoAnn Falletta is clearly in total sympathy with the music. I must mention too the really excellent sound quality the Naxos team of Tim Handley and Phil Rowlands have given us; plenty of space and depth to the sound, a relief after hearing so many dry, close-miked recordings these days.

All credit to Naxos for making more fine British music recordings which would have been made by EMI and Decca, when those companies mattered.

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Early Holstian treasure 27 Jun 2012
Format:Audio CD
This enjoyable release, superlatively played by the Ulster Orchestra under a conductor who is (in my opinion) one of the finest working today, wins another gold star for Naxos's adventurous recording policy - not to mention the company's sheer excellence in recording quality (here under producer Tim Handley). Where would we be without Naxos?

Coming to the music, apart from the spare, mysterious yet masterfully orchestrated Japanese Suite Op.33, none of it is mature Holst. Yet all of it is of interest, for itself as much as for Holst aficionados, and much of it lodges in the memory. This isn't the first-ever complete recording of the 'Cotswolds Symphony' Op.8, but it is far and away the best, making musical sense to a degree which should lead us to revalue the work's merit: after a rather perfunctory first movement, the three which follow (the slow movement, a Wagnerian 'Elegy to William Morris', counterweighted by a pristine, breezy scherzo and warmly melodic allegro-finale) are increasingly substantial. We can almost hear the young composer finding his audible feet - to mix my metaphors thoroughly!

The 'Walt Whitman Overture' and 'Winter Idyll' are even earlier works, but in their briefer compass even more assured than the Symphony. Most substantial of all the romantic early works here is the Symphonic Poem 'Indra', one of the first of Holst's Hindu-inspired works, and with its sweeping grandeur and evocative atmosphere not the least memorable of them.

The 'Japanese Suite' itself was beautifully done on a Lyrita recording by Sir Adrian Boult in the 1970's, but if anything JoAnn Falletta makes it hang together better than her masterly predecessor: it sounds more substantial, closer to the mystic-beautiful world of 'The Planets' than in Boult's sparer version.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming and entertaining collection 18 Aug 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Holst's other works are perhaps more widely known than the Cotswolds Symphony, one of his rarely performed pieces. The cover photo presents an idyllic scene which should go some way to attracting a wider audience and it is one of the reasons people pick up and buy CDs such as this. No harm in that. The other items on this CD also deserve attention, particularly so the Walt Whitman Overture: a lesson in technique. Technically this is a very good recording and the musical direction of the Ulster Orchestra is a joy to listen to. Well worth the recommendation and bought from Amazon UK.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Early Holst 5 Feb 2013
Format:Audio CD
There has been a recording of the Cotswolds Symphony before by Munich Symphony Orchestra and Douglas Bostock for the Classico, however I have always thought it one of the least successful of the British Symphonic Collection for the label! I always thought that the Munich band sounded at best, a little out of sorts, and at worst under-prepared for the recording, so I have longed for a British recording of the work, well we are half way there with an American conductor!
From the opening bars of the Walt Whitman-Overture you get the sense that the Ulster Orchestra are at home with the music and this is the feeling throughout the whole disc. This recording of the overture may only be a few seconds quicker than Bostock recording, but it feels so much lighter and airy which gives you a sense of a faster tempo than it is.
When it comes to the Symphony Bostock take it at a quite ponderous tempo, over 4 minutes slower than Falletta, and the quicker tempo certainly suites the music. The quicker tempi almost make the symphony sound like a completely new work, where Bostock's recording of the symphony is something of a stodgy uninteresting work with little idea of what was to come, under Falletta you do get a greater sense of purpose as well as an inkling of the great works to follow.
This is followed by A Winter Idyll, which while sympathetic to his teacher, Stanford, also shows the influence of Wagner and especially Smetana. David Atherton's recording wins out here, mainly due to a wayward note in the brass in the Falletta.
Falletta has even stronger competition when it comes to the Japanese Suite, this time in the form of Adrian Boult. The work was composed while Holst was still composing The Planets and was originally intended as a suite of dances.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive.
Beautiful and evocative music played to perfection with the Whitman Overture as a fascinating rarity that deserves greater exposure.
Published 1 month ago by Adrian Drew
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
All great. Thank you very much.
Published 1 month ago by armsteve
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by pkf
5.0 out of 5 stars Classical Music
It is a revelation to discover something completely new and this CD certainly contains the magic and beauty of Holst.
Published 9 months ago by K. C.
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice Music
I bought this because of some of the reviews I had read in various magazines and to be honest although the music is nice, not top drawer Holst maybe, I found the tuning of the... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Music Lover
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the Planets.
Holst is so much more than 'The Planet Suite'. I have many other Holst CDs and this is a well reproduced performance of several of his lesser known pieces.
Published 21 months ago by Mr. R. Middleton
4.0 out of 5 stars New found gems
This is a fascinating release of works by Holst that were unknown to me prior to my purchase of this recording. Read more
Published 22 months ago by BB
5.0 out of 5 stars A neglected masterpiece
The Tony Palmer DVD "In The Bleak Midwinter" featured among other pieces Holst's "Cotswold Symphony", a delightful masterpiece which is under-represented in the catalog - this... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Howard Wilkins
5.0 out of 5 stars holst:cotswolds symphony
the cd was ordered for a friend. it arrived on time and in good condition and i understand he is very pleased with the presant thank you
Published on 27 July 2012 by Kenneth E. Boynett
4.0 out of 5 stars Cotswold Symphony etc by Holst
The music on this CD is very well performed. Mostly early Holst with glimpses of the composers later mature style. Entertaining but not great music.
Published on 28 Jun 2012 by Norman L. Castleton
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