Friday, 23 January 2009

Gustav Holst: Orchestral Works on Chandos conducted by the late Richard Hickox

Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) Orchestral Works - Vol. 1 The Ballet from ‘The Perfect Fool’ (1918-22) The Golden Goose - a choral ballet (1926) The Lure – ballet music (1921) The Morning of the Year - a choral ballet (1926-27) Joyful Company of Singers/Peter Broadbent BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Richard Hickox CHANDOS CHSA5069

Rob Barnett at MusicWeb International has given a glowing review of this fine Chandos release of less well known music by Holst. What makes this all the more poignant is that:-
“With the death of Richard Hickox this disc will be the only volume in the intended Chandos Holst series unless another conductor takes over. This utterly splendid disc makes Richard’s passing all the more lamentable. It is in fact the finest Holst disc in years. Otherwise one needs to look back to the Lyrita recordings on SRCD 222 (Boult), 223 (Imogen Holst) and 209 (David Atherton) for anything anywhere near as good. Also don’t forget the essential Decca collection".

I guess that most Gustav Holst enthusiasts will have all the above mentioned CDs. However this music is of such interest and importance that there surely needs to be more than one recording available for listeners to explore. When one considers that there are some 67 recordings of The Planets currently available compared to just two (including the present CD) of The Lure, the urgency is put into focus.

Rob concludes his review by stating that:- “The listening experience of this disc is completed in princely style with full texts reproduced in the booklet. There’s also an attentive and authoritative note by Colin Matthews who has worked on many Holst scores including several used here.”

Please read Rob Barnett’s full review at MusicWeb International

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