Holst, will be familiar, sadly, to most music-lovers only because of "The Planets". There is of course so much more to his oeuvre than this single piece (great though it is). The disc under review gives us an opportunity to hear some of his less public works - mostly songs but also of the only chamber work of his that I can trace on disc - the polytonal Terzetto for flute oboe and viola. Of the songs, the pick of the collection is, for me, the "Six Choruses", based on words by Helen Waddell, which Holst composed while teaching at Harvard a couple of years before his untimely death in 1934.
So, a fine collection then for anyone who wishes to explore some of the (many) byways of this great English composer's life work, some of which were most unfairly denigrated by his daughter in her many writings about her father's work while she was alive.
It is always good to hear of fellow music lovers responding positively for the first time to lesser known works, such as the Songs for Voice and Violin. Croydon Local Studies has the 1924 Columbia recording, with W. H. Reed (Croydon 'by adoption') and Dora Labette and in the days when one could borrow such treasures by arrangement with the archivist, I got to know this masterpiece. Later, I had to save up for the Argo LP of these songs with Pears, but foolishly, sold it when a collector of 'ZRGs' offered me far more for it than I had paid! Thankfully, thanks to an Amazon vendor, I have the set once more and for far less (in today's money) than I paid forty-odd years ago.