Holst: Orchestral Works Volume 3 (SACD)

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Susan Gritton, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis

This is our third CD devoted to orchestral works by Gustav Holst. The series was inaugurated by Richard Hickox who sadly passed away in 2009 after having completed only Volume 1. Fortunately, Chandos was able to secure the services of its exclusive artist the acclaimed conductor Sir Andrew Davis for the second volume. Now Sir Andrew turns to The Mystic Trumpeter and the First Choral Symphony, this time conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and the Grammy-nominated soprano Susan Gritton. Composed originally in 1904 and revised in 1912, The Mystic Trumpeter received only two performances in Holst’s lifetime, and it was not revived until 1980. Holst based the work on a poem from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, and the influence of Hindu thought is clearly present throughout. Holst drafted the First Choral Symphony in 1923. The work received a mixed reception at the time, to some extent provoked by the highly varied and non-sequential choice of texts, all by Keats. The poetic variety is reflected in a score full of extremes of contrast. Holst himself said of this Symphony: ‘I think the work as a whole is the best thing I have written.’


The Mystic Trumpeter, Op. 18

First Choral Symphony, Op. 41, H155
with BBC Symphony Chorus