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Explore Life beyond The Planets
on 2 January 2003
If ever there was a one hit wonder of the Classical World it is Gustav Holst. Don't miss out on his other music, especially when it is as well played and such a bargain as here.
David Lloyd Jones and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra give us a varied selection of the composers shorter orchestral works. They appear to have a natural affinity for the composer's sound world which manages to be both rich and restrained at the same time.
Holst went on trips with Vaughan Williams collecting folk tunes and his Somerset Rhapsody makesan interesting comparison with Vaughan Williams folk influenced works.
Ben Mora mixes full blooded late nineteenth century romanticism with more modern ideas.It and the bold brassy Fugal Overture are the nearest things here to The Planets Suite.
The Invocation for Cello and Orchestral is given a wonderfully searching rendition by Tim Hugh on the Cello. It is grounded in the late romantics but also seems to reach forward in time sounding not so far from Gorecki or John Tavener's The Protecting Veil.
A sense of Holst as an early 'Holy Minimalist' composer is even stronger in Edgon Heath as a simple musical figure is slowly developed, gradually appearing from the mists to achieve a beautiful resolution
I was initially disappointed to find that Hammersmith appearsin its original wind instrument version rather than the full orchestral one. But only until I heard it. Rarely has a wind band produced such a rich sound. This evocation of London near the River Thames calls to be heard next to Vaughan Williams' London Symphony.
Well, with something for lovers of the Late Romantics, Vaughan Williams,and the likes of Gorecki and John Tavener this is a disc that deserves wide attention. In fact it should appeal to anyone who enjoys the melodic side of twentieth century classical music. Don't let Holst be a one hit wonder any longer.