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Holst, G.: Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 (Hickox) - The Perfect Fool / The Lure / The Golden Goose / The Morning Of The Year
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Holst, G.: Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 (Hickox) - The Perfect Fool / The Lure / The Golden Goose / The Morning Of The Year

27 Jan 2009 | Format: MP3

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 27 Jan 2009
  • Label: Chandos
  • Copyright: (C) 2009 Chandos
  • Total Length: 1:07:36
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001P2C0SM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,573 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Michael Wadge on 16 Mar 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am very familiar with the music of Holst and the interpretations of it by Richard Hickox recorded on the Chandos label. Very sadly he died recently at the tender age of 60. As ever, the recording was impeccable and the music, most of which was already known to me but is, I suspect, not familiar to many classical music lovers, very enjoyable although not of Holst's highest quality.It was greatly enhanced by Hickox's obvious deep insight into Holst's less well known pieces and his music generally. I can recommend this CD unreservedly.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Little Known Holst 5 Feb 2009
By David A. Wend - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The disc contains lesser known music by Gustav Holst and begins with his ballet suite from his opera The Perfect Fool (1918-22). The opera has been described as inadequate, mainly because Holst did not set his libretto to his music very well. The ballet music makes a real showpiece however. There are four short movements: Andante, Dance of the Spirits of Earth, Dance of the Spirits of Water and Dance of the Spirits of Fire. In all of these can be glimpsed the Holst who composed The Planets. The music is beautifully orchestrated, tuneful and sometimes exotic. The Dance of the Spirits of Earth is a joyous dance; the Dance of Spirits of Water is a slow and dream-like movement followed by the Dance of the Spirits of Fire that has a war-like tempo with an almost constant use of percussion and gradually diminishes in volume.

The Golden Goose (1926 - 27) is based on one of the Grimm fairy tales about a princess who is unable to laugh but is cured with the titled golden goose. The bird is covered with magic feather so when someone touches him they are held fast and so is anyone who touches the person holding the goose. Jack, who is in love with the Princess, starts the dance and when the Princess laughs he drops the goose and embraces the Princess. The ballet includes a chorus that provides comment on the action. The booklet includes the scenario and the text of the chorus. The ballet failed at its premiere but makes a good concert piece. The music is begins with a rapid dance tempo shortly followed by the chorus introducing the action of the story. Folk melodies abound in the music and it is highly descriptive of the action; when Jack creeps onto the scene the music has a fitting ominous tone and the goose dance is somewhat like a jig. The ballet ends with orchestra and chorus praising Jack and the Princess.

The Lure (1921) started out as music for a play but was not performed as incidental music and was reworked as a ballet for on a commission by Alice Barney. As it turned out the ballet was not performed either and Holst withdrew the work from his list of compositions. The ballet scenario is of moths dancing around a flame. The music is based on a folk melody and despite its scenario is a lively and quite dramatic ballet. The final work, The Morning of the Year (1926 -27) was composed on a commission from the BBC Music Department. The scenario was a sort of Rite of Spring in that it was described as the mating ordained by Nature each spring. Holst makes use of a chorus representing the Voice of Nature. The music is a series of dances based on folk melodies. The Dance of Youths has a rustic quality to the melody and the Dance of the Maidens begins quietly, slowly building into a faster tempo before becoming quiet once again. The Mating Dance is lively with an almost constant rhythm by the tympani and a final flourish of brass, percussion and chorus. The suite concludes with the Dance of the Youngest Couple, a joyous dance that becomes quite and ends with a whisper from the orchestra.

This was the first volume of Holst orchestral music that Richard Hickox was recording and he died after completing the first take of the composer's Choral Symphony for the next volume. The performances on this CD are beautifully played and they stand as a tribute to the excellence of Maestro Hickox as his final recording and his devotion to British music. He will be deeply missed.
Holst is great Composer 9 Mar 2014
By J. E. Hedquist - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Holst has extremely rich orchestrations and vocal combinations. I love listening to him and Williams, the other great English composer.
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