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CD Review

Gustav Holst

  • A Choral Symphony
  • A Choral Fantasia
Lynne Dawson
Guildford Choral Society
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Hilary Davan Wetton
Hyperion Helios CDH55104 68m DDD
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Another straight reissue from the early 80's Hyperion catalogue this recording of Holst's enigmatic Choral Symphony compares well with the more famous Boult set (EMI). Wetton is a persuasive advocate of the score and manages to clearly enunciate the myriad and complex scoring which also includes substantial parts for brass and percussion. The overall view of the piece is symphonic and grand especially in the large choral pieces, which also reveal Holst's debt to Parry.

I enjoyed Lynne Dawson's pure voice in the moments in which the soprano is required and she is also an important part of the Choral Fantasia, which is also full of inventive momentum and brilliance.

The remastered recording sounds as clear as ever and the CD can be confidently recommended to those who wish to dip deeper into Holst's more original work apart from the overplayed and recorded 'Planets' Suite.

Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech