Top positive review
34 of 35 people found this helpful
on 7 June 2012
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.