Author Topic: Non-Planets Holst  (Read 49407 times)

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Offline Superhorn

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #40 on: October 11, 2008, 06:43:29 AM »
    Holst's "A Choral Symphony" is well-worth hearing, and uses poetry by Keats and others. I got to know it many years ago on an EMI LP with Boult and the LPO, and a soprano soloist whose name I can't remember.

  It deserves to be reissued, and perhaps Richard Hickox could do it for Chandos; this would be right up his alley.

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #41 on: October 11, 2008, 07:53:50 AM »
I agree. I first came accross it decades ago on a great EMI LP with Finzi's Dies Natalis (Best ever version with Wilfrid Brown and Christopher Finzi) and with a fine Psalm arrangement also by Holst. His "other work" should be much better known but it is all over-shadowed by the popularity of The Planets.

(From Sweden) I first came across these performances on a World Record Club LP. Now that really does date me :(

Offline Pierre

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #42 on: October 11, 2008, 09:43:29 AM »
    Holst's "A Choral Symphony" is well-worth hearing, and uses poetry by Keats and others. I got to know it many years ago on an EMI LP with Boult and the LPO, and a soprano soloist whose name I can't remember.

  It deserves to be reissued, and perhaps Richard Hickox could do it for Chandos; this would be right up his alley.

The soprano soloist was Felicity Palmer, nowadays a mezzo-soprano. It's a pretty fine recording, though I happen to know that Hickox is indeed planning to record the work with the BBC National Orchestra & Chorus of Wales.

Offline Pierre

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #43 on: October 11, 2008, 09:45:14 AM »
(From Sweden) I first came across these performances on a World Record Club LP. Now that really does date me :(

Same here, though I don't feel so 'dated'! (Possibly that's because I was handed this by doting parents who knew I liked the Planets when I was not yet five years old!)

Offline MDL

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #44 on: February 15, 2009, 12:14:01 PM »
The soprano soloist was Felicity Palmer, nowadays a mezzo-soprano. It's a pretty fine recording, though I happen to know that Hickox is indeed planning to record the work with the BBC National Orchestra & Chorus of Wales.

I've been warned not to post on this topic because it hasn't been touched for at least 120 days! Poor Holst. Anyway, I've had an EMI Classics CD (The Hymn of Jesus and the Choral Symphony) in my grubby mitts for a decade or so. The Hymn I loved immediately and have played frequently. The Symphony I haven't touched years. I honestly can't remember anything about it. I'm not sure, and I'm embarrassed to admit this, if I even played it all the way to the end. But I read somewhere recently somebody claiming that the Symphony is Holst's masterpiece. So I'm going to give it another go right now. If I've suddenly seen the light, I'll come back and post in about 45 minutes.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #45 on: February 15, 2009, 02:36:08 PM »
I've been warned not to post on this topic because it hasn't been touched for at least 120 days! Poor Holst. Anyway, I've had an EMI Classics CD (The Hymn of Jesus and the Choral Symphony) in my grubby mitts for a decade or so. The Hymn I loved immediately and have played frequently. The Symphony I haven't touched years. I honestly can't remember anything about it. I'm not sure, and I'm embarrassed to admit this, if I even played it all the way to the end. But I read somewhere recently somebody claiming that the Symphony is Holst's masterpiece. So I'm going to give it another go right now. If I've suddenly seen the light, I'll come back and post in about 45 minutes.

I like the Choral Symphony. "Masterpiece" is a subjective concept I think but I'll look forward to hearing what you say. As the person who started the thread I'm pleased that you revived it from cyber-space hibernation! One of Richard Hickox's last recordings was a Chandos CD of lesser-known Holst which i have much enjoyed. it also includes what I believe to be the best version of the better known 'Perfect Fool' ballet music, which is one of my favourite scores by Holst - especially the poetic central movement.
"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 Benji

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #46 on: February 15, 2009, 03:07:46 PM »
I like the Choral Symphony. "Masterpiece" is a subjective concept I think but I'll look forward to hearing what you say. As the person who started the thread I'm pleased that you revived it from cyber-space hibernation! One of Richard Hickox's last recordings was a Chandos CD of lesser-known Holst which i have much enjoyed. it also includes what I believe to be the best version of the better known 'Perfect Fool' ballet music, which is one of my favourite scores by Holst - especially the poetic central movement.

Emphatically seconded!

I also love The Lure. That disc is truly awesome, a fitting tribute to Richard Hickox. It think it really is the FIRST disc somebody looking for non-planets Holst should pick up!


Offline Dax

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #47 on: February 15, 2009, 03:16:51 PM »
No apologies for giving the thumbs up to what many may regard as a trifle, even if intriguing: the 2 movement Terzetto for flute, oboe and viola. Each instrument has a different key signature . . .

Offline MDL

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #48 on: February 16, 2009, 01:51:10 AM »
I enjoyed the Choral Symphony and there were some amazing, ear-catching stretches here and there. I still prefer the Hymn, but I look forward to giving the Symphony another go soon, especially the Ode on a Grecian Urn. According to the CD notes, Boult's 1974 recording was the first made, which seems extraordinary.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #49 on: February 16, 2009, 04:38:14 AM »
I enjoyed the Choral Symphony and there were some amazing, ear-catching stretches here and there. I still prefer the Hymn, but I look forward to giving the Symphony another go soon, especially the Ode on a Grecian Urn. According to the CD notes, Boult's 1974 recording was the first made, which seems extraordinary.

Yes, I remember it appearing on LP in my youth! Do you know 'The Cloud Messenger'? It contains some wonderful music - some of which seems to anticipate minimalism.
"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 MDL

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #50 on: February 17, 2009, 12:00:04 PM »
Yes, I remember it appearing on LP in my youth! Do you know 'The Cloud Messenger'? It contains some wonderful music - some of which seems to anticipate minimalism.

I've not heard this piece, although I remember a recording being issued with some fanfare a decade or so ago. Was it one of those long-delayed premiere recordings? Are there a few recordings to choose from now, and if so, which would you recommend?

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #51 on: February 17, 2009, 01:21:08 PM »
I've not heard this piece, although I remember a recording being issued with some fanfare a decade or so ago. Was it one of those long-delayed premiere recordings? Are there a few recordings to choose from now, and if so, which would you recommend?

No, only the Hickox version but it was issued again on an inexpensive double CD. You will end up with the Hymn of Jesus twice, but it will be worth it I think:

"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 MDL

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #52 on: February 20, 2009, 02:20:45 AM »
You will end up with the Hymn of Jesus twice, but it will be worth it I think:



Three times; I've also got the version on Decca coupled with Britten's recording of Gerontius. But that's no problem, given that I've completely lost count of the recordings I have of Mahler symphonies and Stravinsky's Rite.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #53 on: February 20, 2009, 06:06:30 AM »
Three times; I've also got the version on Decca coupled with Britten's recording of Gerontius. But that's no problem, given that I've completely lost count of the recordings I have of Mahler symphonies and Stravinsky's Rite.

Oh, that's nothing. I have about 20 recordings of Walton's First Symphony  :o
"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 Dundonnell

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #54 on: February 20, 2009, 08:16:58 AM »
Oh, that's nothing. I have about 20 recordings of Walton's First Symphony  :o

Madness! Sheer Madness!

I bet that Katy doesn't know that ;D ;D

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #55 on: February 20, 2009, 10:18:38 AM »
Madness! Sheer Madness!

I bet that Katy doesn't know that ;D ;D

How did you know that Colin? You must be a clairvoyant  :o spooky  8)
"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 MDL

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #56 on: February 20, 2009, 01:46:46 PM »
Oh, that's nothing. I have about 20 recordings of Walton's First Symphony  :o

Blimey, have there even been 20(-ish) recordings of Walton's First?!?! I've got three (Litton, Mackerras and a BBC mag freebie jobby from well over a decade ago, forget who, must dig it out). Going way off topic now, but you started it; what's your fave recording of Walton's First? I'm still finding my way with that piece and am always ready to take advice.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2009, 01:49:57 PM by MDL »

Offline Benji

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #57 on: February 20, 2009, 02:58:11 PM »
Blimey, have there even been 20(-ish) recordings of Walton's First?!?! I've got three (Litton, Mackerras and a BBC mag freebie jobby from well over a decade ago, forget who, must dig it out). Going way off topic now, but you started it; what's your fave recording of Walton's First? I'm still finding my way with that piece and am always ready to take advice.

I can't get enough of The Philharmonia's blistering account under Haitink! It's really something special - really put me under a spell the last few days.  :)

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #58 on: February 20, 2009, 04:50:16 PM »
Blimey, have there even been 20(-ish) recordings of Walton's First?!?! I've got three (Litton, Mackerras and a BBC mag freebie jobby from well over a decade ago, forget who, must dig it out). Going way off topic now, but you started it; what's your fave recording of Walton's First? I'm still finding my way with that piece and am always ready to take advice.

This is the second time that discussion of Walton's First Symphony has intruded into a thread about a completely different composer ;D ;D Still...it IS a great symphony :)

I find that I have five versions of the Walton 1st: Sir Adrian Boult, Andre Previn, Simon Rattle, Paul Daniel and the BBC disc you referred to(Tadaaki Otaka). Of these the Previn still takes some beating!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Non-Planets Holst
« Reply #59 on: February 21, 2009, 05:46:02 AM »
Sorry about Walton intrusion but here goes, I have recordings by
Boult
Harty
Sargent
Previn x 2
Mackerras
Handley x 2
Walton x 3
Haitink
Thomson
Rattle
Leaper
Karajan
Litton
Slatkin
Colin Davis
Ashkenazy

That is 20 and there may be others I have forgotten about (Daniel on Naxos, Marriner, Fremaux - that makes 23  :o)

My favourites: Walton with the New Zealand SO recorded in 1964 is very good as is the old Boult and Sargent and even older Harty (1930s). I like Ashkenazy, Haitink, Fremaux and Thomson - all excellent. I much prefer Previn's later 'Homeric' (according to Rob Barnett) version with the RPO than the much-praised LSO version.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2009, 05:50:14 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).