Author Topic: Non-Planets Holst  (Read 42718 times)

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Offline relm1

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #280 on: November 07, 2020, 07:09:40 AM »
I fully understand the historical significance of a composer conducting his or her own works but acoustic recordings are a few steps too far in the past for me.

May not quite have the authority of her father but the recordings of Imogen Holst are the next best thing. Not only blood line she also studied her father's music her whole life and lived and breathed it. The bonus is excellent sound.

I also thought the recordings by holst should only be taken as curiosity and not authenticity.  There were practical limitations on his tempo to fit an LP and his interpretation was nothing like the performance feedback he gave to Adrian Boult or Henry Wood during the premiere rehearsal.  I might be wrong on this though or the details might be apocryphal but I recall reading it isn't what holst intended.

Offline Irons

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #281 on: November 07, 2020, 07:58:12 AM »
I also thought the recordings by holst should only be taken as curiosity and not authenticity.  There were practical limitations on his tempo to fit an LP and his interpretation was nothing like the performance feedback he gave to Adrian Boult or Henry Wood during the premiere rehearsal.  I might be wrong on this though or the details might be apocryphal but I recall reading it isn't what holst intended.

Good point and the same could be said of Elgar.

Edit: To fit on 78s which is a way bigger challenge.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2020, 08:02:08 AM by Irons »
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline relm1

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #282 on: November 07, 2020, 05:22:51 PM »
Good point and the same could be said of Elgar.

Edit: To fit on 78s which is a way bigger challenge.

Yes exactly!  People shouldn't refer to early recordings as authoritative.  They are practical and one should hear what the conductors who premiered the work under the composer's supervision as authoritative during the early days of recordings.  I would also say a composer performing a piano role of their own work isn't representative either except an example of their performance prowess like Rachmaninoff or Debussy.  Composers aren't also excellent conductors.  I know this first hand from my own works (I never could conduct it as I envisioned it as well as a very good conductor could) and also from world class musicians who told me how much they hated/ignored the conducting of famous composers.  A friend told me William Walton was falling over drunk while conducting them.  Leopold Stokowski in his late years was off by an entire measure at the ending so they just ignored him, etc.  Shostakovich often applauded interpretations of his work that were completely different so what was his true intent?  Probably something beyond it like the energy not the tempo or volume, etc.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2020, 05:24:27 PM by relm1 »

Offline Bruno_HolstHis

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #283 on: February 04, 2021, 10:14:40 PM »
Lately I've been listening to the Choral Symphony a lot, I've known it for a long time, but now I realized the greatness of this piece, it became my second favorite Holst piece. I hope you share a good feeling about this work, so underrated. I've heard four different recordings:

Sargent (1964)
Boult (1974)
Wetton (1993)
Andrew Davis (2009)

I particularly consider Davis' performance better, more accurate and with a wonderful soprano.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #284 on: February 04, 2021, 11:47:12 PM »
Lately I've been listening to the Choral Symphony a lot, I've known it for a long time, but now I realized the greatness of this piece, it became my second favorite Holst piece. I hope you share a good feeling about this work, so underrated. I've heard four different recordings:

Sargent (1964)
Boult (1974)
Wetton (1993)
Andrew Davis (2009)

I particularly consider Davis' performance better, more accurate and with a wonderful soprano.
Interesting - I also rate the Choral Symphony very highly - it is, perhaps, my favourite work by Holst, although I like nearly all his music. I have all those recordings. The Boult is very special to me as, for years, it was the only one I knew as I had the original LP. Someone kindly sent me the Sargent a while back and I really enjoyed that one as well. I must listen to the Davis again. I'm not quite so keen on the Wetton performance.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Bruno_HolstHis

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #285 on: February 05, 2021, 08:01:02 AM »
Interesting - I also rate the Choral Symphony very highly - it is, perhaps, my favourite work by Holst, although I like nearly all his music. I have all those recordings. The Boult is very special to me as, for years, it was the only one I knew as I had the original LP. Someone kindly sent me the Sargent a while back and I really enjoyed that one as well. I must listen to the Davis again. I'm not quite so keen on the Wetton performance.

I like Boult's recording too, it's very energetic, and the acoustic is incredible. Wetton's performance is not bad in my opinion, the choir has a better diction, I can better understand Keats' verses (Holst was really concerned with the clarity of the words) but the acoustic is not as good as Boult's recording. I really like the energy of Sargent's recording, but I have a lot to say about the rest, because it is a very old radio broadcast and in mono, I can't make many comparisons. Davis' recording corrects the problems of previous recordings and Susan Gritton does an incredible and beautiful job, but I believe that if Hickox (in memory) had recorded this, it would be the definitive recording.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #286 on: February 05, 2021, 12:38:23 PM »
I like Boult's recording too, it's very energetic, and the acoustic is incredible. Wetton's performance is not bad in my opinion, the choir has a better diction, I can better understand Keats' verses (Holst was really concerned with the clarity of the words) but the acoustic is not as good as Boult's recording. I really like the energy of Sargent's recording, but I have a lot to say about the rest, because it is a very old radio broadcast and in mono, I can't make many comparisons. Davis' recording corrects the problems of previous recordings and Susan Gritton does an incredible and beautiful job, but I believe that if Hickox (in memory) had recorded this, it would be the definitive recording.
Interesting and I like your avatar image! I must fish out the Davis recording. It's arguably his greatest composition, although Holst thought that Egdon Heath was.

Here's that fine old LP and one of its many CD manifestations:
« Last Edit: February 06, 2021, 12:01:03 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Bruno_HolstHis

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #287 on: February 05, 2021, 04:35:40 PM »
Interesting and I like your avatar image! I must fish out the Davis recording. It's arguably his greatest composition, although Holst though that Egdon Heath was.

Here's that fine old LP and one of its many CD manifestations:
Thank you, my avatar photo is a photograph of Holst in Ann Harbor, USA taken in 1923. I have many rare pictures of Holst. about the choral symphony, I hope one day to watch a performance filmed on youtube, I need to see an orchestra playing that.


Offline vandermolen

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #288 on: February 06, 2021, 12:03:31 AM »
Thank you, my avatar photo is a photograph of Holst in Ann Harbor, USA taken in 1923. I have many rare pictures of Holst. about the choral symphony, I hope one day to watch a performance filmed on youtube, I need to see an orchestra playing that.
What great photos (Holst munching a sandwich!) which I've never seen before. He normally looks very sombre in photographs. Thanks v much for posting them.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #289 on: February 06, 2021, 02:35:13 AM »
What great photos (Holst munching a sandwich!) which I've never seen before. He normally looks very sombre in photographs. Thanks v much for posting them.

+1!

Offline Irons

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #290 on: February 06, 2021, 02:56:47 AM »
I didn't realise Holst was so dashing. The pin back collar of his shirt and as for the angle of his hat.....
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #291 on: February 06, 2021, 04:17:37 AM »
I didn't realise Holst was so dashing. The pin back collar of his shirt and as for the angle of his hat.....
+1 - those photos have rather changed my view of him!!
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).