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CHAN 5127
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CHAN 5127

Holst: Orchestral Works, Volume 3

The Classical Shop
release date: October 2013

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2013


BBC Symphony Orchestra

Sir Andrew Davis

Susan Gritton


BBC Symphony Chorus


Fairfield Halls, Croydon


Brian Pidgeon


Ralph Couzens

Jonathan Cooper


Record Label



Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 68:43
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The Mystic Trumpeter, Op. 18, H 71 (1904, revised 1912)

  Scena for Soprano and Orchestra  
  Edited by Colin Matthews  
1 Molto sostenuto - Allegro agitato - 6:30
  'Hark! Some wild trumpeter'. Moderato - Lento -  
  'Blow, trumpeter, free and clear'. Poco allegro - Meno mosso - Adagio - Allegretto - Andante - Più lento - Molto adagio -  
2 'Blow again, trumpeter'. Moderato - Poco allegro - 3:17
  Più allegro - Andante - Adagio  
  'O, how the immortal phantoms crowd around me!'. Moderato ma agitato - Affrettando - Moderato - Allegro moderato - Presto - Prestissimo - Allegro agitato -  
3 'Blow again, trumpeter'. Allegro - 3:14
  'O trumpeter!'. Andante - Poco animato - Molto sostenuto - Andante maestoso -  
4 Allegro moderato - 5:21
  'Now, trumpeter, for thy close'. Andante -  
  'O glad, exulting, culminating song!'. Maestoso - Pochettino animato - Poco animato - Più mosso - Andante maestoso - Adagio - Andante  

First Choral Symphony, Op. 41, H 155 (1923-24)

  for Soprano Solo, Chorus, and Orchestra  
  Prelude. Invocation to Pan  
5 Chorus: 'O Thou, whose mighty palace roof doth hang'. 3:38
  Andante -  
  I. Song and Bacchanal  
6 Part I. Solo: 'Beneath my palm trees, by the river side'. 4:33
  Andante -  
  Caroline Harrison viola  
7 Solo: 'And as I sat, over the light blue hills'. 1:37
8 Part 2. Chorus: 'Whence came ye, merry Damsels! whence came ye!'. 2:09
  Poco meno mosso - Allegretto -  
  Part 3. Solo: 'Within his car, aloft, young Bacchus Stood'.  
  [Allegretto] -  
  '''Whence came ye, jolly Satyrs! whence came ye!'''  
  Poco meno mosso -  
9 Part 5. Solo: 'Onward the tiger and the leopard pants'. 2:01
  Poco animato - Più mosso -  
  Part 6. Chorus: 'Bacchus, young Bacchus! good or ill betide'.  
  Andante maestoso  
  II. Ode on a Grecian Urn  
10 Chorus: 'Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness'. 2:58
  Molto adagio - [ ] -  
11 Chorus: 'Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard'. 2:09
  Tempo I - Poco animato - Tempo I -  
12 Chorus: 'Ah, happy boughs! that cannot shed'. 1:48
  [Tempo I] -  
13 Chorus: 'Who are these coming to the sacrifice?'. 2:00
  [Tempo I] -  
14 Chorus: 'O Attic shape! fair attitude! with brede'. 3:08
  [Tempo I] - Largo  
  III. Scherzo  
15 Part 1. Fancy. Chorus: 'Ever let the Fancy roam'. 2:56
  Allegro -  
16 Part 2. Folly's Song. Chorus: 'When wedding fiddles are a-playing'. 2:41
  Crotchet = crotchet (160) - Più mosso - Presto - Prestissimo  
  IV. Finale  
17 Part 1. Solo: 'Spirit here that reignest!'. 3:15
  Senza misura (quasi Andante) -  
  Part 2. Chorus: 'God of the golden bow'. Lento -  
  Chorus: 'Here Homer with his nervous arms'. Più mosso -  
18 Part 3. Solo: 'Then, through thy Temple wide, melodious swells'. 5:18
  Andante sostenuto -  
  Part 4. Chorus: ''Tis awful silence then again'. Lento -  
  Chorus: 'Thou biddest Shakespeare wave his hand'.  
  Vivace ma pesante - Molto pesante ma in tempo -  
  Andante -  
  Chorus: 'A silver trumpet Spenser blows'.  
  Animato - Poco lento -  
19 Part 5. Solo: 'Next thy Tasso's ardent numbers'. 3:16
  [Poco lento] - Moderato - Poco più lento -  
  Part 6. Chorus: 'But when Thou joinest with the Nine'.  
  Moderato maestoso - Allegro - Andante con moto -  
20 Chorus: 'Bards of Passion and of Mirth'. Allegretto - 4:49
  Chorus: 'Thus ye live on high, and then'.  
  [Allegretto ] - Poco meno mosso - Allegretto -  
21 Part 7. Solo: 'Spirit here that reignest!'. 2:05
  Senza misura (quasi Andante) -  
  Chorus: 'Bards of Passion and of Mirth'.  
  Sempre andante e non animato  

Chandos CHAN 5127

Holst: First Choral Symphony; The Mystic Trumpeter – Susan Gritton, BBC Symphony Chorus, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis

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 this work on a poem from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. The influence of Hindu thought is clearly present throughout the piece, while musically there are fingerprints of his later style too, particularly in the use of bitonality (two different keys used simultaneously). The ending, calm and beautifully serene, is wholly characteristic of the mature Holst’s ability to do the unexpected.

Holst drafted the First Choral Symphony in 1923, shortly after his largely unsuccessful attempt at grand opera with The Perfect Fool. The mixed reception that the Symphony received was to some extend provoked by his choice of texts. All are by Keats, but they are still vastly different one from another. Holst chose them for their ability to stimulate his musical imagination, and the fact that, verbally, they followed little or no sequence was of no great concern to him. In the texts from Endymion, for example, his exuberant side is given free rein, while Ode on a Grecian Urn reveals another side, one of calm and composure. ‘Fancy’, from Extracts from an Opera, is set as a whirling Scherzo, ‘Folly’s Song’ serving as a contrasting earthbound trio. Holst himself said of this Symphony: ‘I think the work as a whole is the best thing I have written.’

                        **** (Excellent Album)          ****(Exceptional Sound)

Michel Fleury – Classical magazine (France) – April 2014  

 "... Andrew Davis’s performance is well done in fine sound..."

Roger Hecht - American Record Guide - March/April 2014

 “…this is an excellent disc of truly excellent music…”  -  Lynn René Bayley

“… This is a recording to which I will be returning, particularly for the Choral Symphony. Warmly recommended.”  - Richard A Kaplan

Fanfare – March/April 2014

Critics Choice – Vocal

“… This is a musical treat which is a must for any lover of Holst and the British Choral tradition.”

Jeremy Dibble – Gramophone magazine – December 2013   

 “… this is a fine performance, subtly recorded to do justice  to Holst’s always sensitive and lucid orchestration.”

John Warrack – International Record Review – November 2013   

                           Performance ****       Recording ****

Daniel Jaffé - BBC Music magazine - December 2013

"... Gritton sings it [Mystic Trumpeter] ravishingly." ****

Andrew Clements - The Guardian - 18 Ocotber 2013

                         Performance *****       Sonics *****

"This is in every way possible one of the finest discs of Holst’s music that I have heard in a long time... Here Susan Gritton, in absolutely radiant voice, gives an unmatchable account of the piece. Her diction is impeccable ... the balance between her voice and the orchestra is perfect... The dynamic range of this recording is astonishing. It captures both the breathtaking pianissimos Davis achieves from his string players and the shattering organ-capped choral cliaxes - the latter prosuced without an sense of strain. The choice of Fairfields Halls Croydon as the recording venue is an excellent one as it provides a warm and spcious acoustic that both these works require..."

Graham Williams - - 28 September 2013

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