"Conductor JoAnn Falletta once again, as in this recording of music by Marcel Tyberg, demonstrates a versatility and an instant affinity to the composer at hand, and delivers a solid and uncluttered account. Well worth hearing as a precursive road map to ‘The Planets’."
Jean-Yves Duperron - Classical Music Sentinel - August 2012
"I have always been a fan of the music of Gustav Holst, so every new recording of his lesser-known works is of great interest to me, especially when the performances are as superb as those delivered by JoAnn Falletta and the Ulster Orchestra on Naxos."
Merlin Patterson - Fanfare - November 2012
"...Many years ago I recall talking to a lady at the Glasgow Promenade Concerts. We had just heard a fine performance of the ubiquitous The Planets. She suggested to me that it was unfortunate that there was not more music like this in the composer’s catalogue. The present CD to a large extent remedies this deficiency. The sound quality of this disc is excellent—as is expected from Naxos. The Ulster Orchestra under their Principal Conductor JoAnn Falletta give an authoritative account of these scores. It would be invidious to suggest which recording was ‘better’ than the other. Holst enthusiasts will demand this new CD to sit alongside the earlier releases. It is encouraging that Naxos has chosen to record these relatively rare, but extremely worthy pieces. This CD will appeal strongly to all those people who long for more of the same when it comes to The Planets ... or at least music stylistically analogous to that work."
John France - MusicWeb-International.com - August 2012
"...it is good to hear these works played with such panache by the Ulster Orchestra under their new principal conductor, JoAnn Falletta, who gives the Cotswolds Symphony a more vigorous outing than does Douglas Bostock with the Munich SO. The slightly later symphonic poem Indra, Op 13 (1903), though still stylistically inchoate, reveals a major step forwards in terms of the exotic material used to reflect the subject of the Indian legend. Even more exotic, however, is the much more characteristic Japanese Suite, Op 33 (1916), a fascinating precursor to The Planets. Infused with techniques and sounds that arose from sounds [Holst] drew from hearing Stravinsky for the first time, the work is beautifully performed here, most notably the delicate, crystalline sounds of celesta, harp, woodwind and horn."
Jeremy Dibble - Gramophone magazine - August 2012
"...jaunty, appealing stuff, and the pieces all get persuasive and debonair renditions by the Ulster Orchestra under the baton of JoAnn Falletta. The one real standout here is the “Cotswolds” Symphony of 1900—or at least, its slow movement, a broad, gloriously Bruckneresque elegy for the artist and socialist William Morris. The rest of the symphony, an early work, is comparatively flimsy, but the slow movement is a small masterpiece of majesty and emotional power..."
Joshua Koshman - San Francisco Chronicle - August 2012
"This is a disc of early works, Romantic in the tradition of [Holst’s] fellow countrymen Parry and Stanford. Heavily influenced by Wagner, the Walt Whitman Overture (1899) is a dramatic and buoyant ode to the American poet, whose blend of the transcendental and the realistic was attractive to the young Holst. Even better is the Cotswolds Symphony… Filled with delightful English folk themes and centered by a touching Elgarian elegy to the textile designer, artist and utopian socialist William Morris, this work reveals Holst to be an important composer. A sense of nationalistic pride pervades this work, appropriate for a youth in an age when the British empire was at its zenith. A Winter Idyll (1897) successfully integrates drama with melody ... The symphonic poem Indra (1903) reflects Holst’s interest in Indian philosophy. Resplendent with beautiful melodies and a ferocious battle sequence, it summarizes the works on this disc of early Holst orchestral works: dramatic and beautiful; music ravishingly orchestrated and delightful to the ear. JoAnn Falleta and the Ulster Orchestra perform it with gusto and affection, and the recording is excellent." ****
Robert Moon - AudiophileAudition.com - July 2012
"... all of these earlier releases are at least equalled if not surpassed by these superlative performances under Falletta, who makes it clear that she is certain that this music needs absolutely no apology to be made for it. The orchestral playing is better than in the Bostock recordings made in Munich, extremely valuable as those were; Bostock is considerably slower in the symphony. Falletta has a more sympathetic touch than Atherton... we should be most grateful for this superb compilation which, I hope, will introduce purchasers to some really worthwhile and rewarding music. I wish it all possible success."
Paul Corfield Godfrey - MusicWeb-International.com - July 2012
Artistic 9 Sound Quality 9
"...This disc contains a wealth of relatively unfamiliar music, although all of it has been recorded before. Holst’s “The Cotswolds” Symphony deserves credit for its untraditional approach to form: it’s basically a lively and unpretentious framework for the touching second-movement Elegy (In memoriam William Morris). The Walt Whitman Overture… [is] a lively and slightly anonymous piece that’s good, clean fun. A Winter Idyll, the earliest work on the disc, begins with a surprisingly violent gesture and then quickly calms down, but never loses focus or lacks freshness. The two major works, though, are the Japanese Suite (contemporaneous with The Planets) and the tone poem Indra. Here the mature composer is obvious, nowhere more so than in the Dance of the Marionette…with its repeated rhythms and delicate writing for the glockenspiel. The performances are first rate in all respects…JoAnn Falletta gets an enthusiastic response from the Ulster Orchestra, and her interpretive choices (tempos especially) sound unerringly right. The engineering is clean and clear; it suits the music. A fine disc."
David Hurwitz - ClassicsToday.com - July 2012
"... The orchestra delivers satisfying performances, and Falletta leads with great control and clarity, so all the pieces feel fully realized and exciting to play."
Blair Sanderson - Allmusic.com - July 2012
"...The Ulster Orchestra responds excellently to its recently appointed conductor. The brass section is especially notable, heroic horns, fearless trumpets and—Holst’s own instrument—growly trombones…the recorded sound is spacious, lucid and dynamically expansive. There is no doubt that a distinctive partnership is being forged between JoAnn Falletta and the Ulster Orchestra. Future releases are keenly anticipated."
Colin Anderson - ClassicalSource.com - 2012
"...[Holst’s] Walt Whitman overture is a bright and energetic piece which shows Holst as an accomplished orchestrator and like the Cotswold Symphony provides some fine parts for the orchestra brass section. JoAnn Falletta and the Ulster Orchestra have produced an important sound document charting Holst’s early work and the performances are strong with some fine brass playing, particularly in the symphony. Well worth exploring if you are a fan of Holst and English musical rarities."
James Norris - Audiophilia - June 2012
"...There are three remaining rarities. The Walt Whitman Overture is indebted to Brahms’s Second Symphony. The Cotswolds Symphony includes a powerful, Wagnerian ‘Elegy: In Memoriam William Morris’, framed by a rather flimsy first movement, a jolly Scherzo and a banal Finale."
Daniel Jaffé - BBC Music Magazine - July 2012
Music **** Sound ****
Thomas Schulz - Fono Forum magazine - October 2012
No User Reviews Found.