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CD Review

Gustav Holst

Orchestral Works

  • A Winter Idyll (1897)
  • Elegy (In Memoriam William Morris) from "The Cotswolds" Symphony in F Major, Op. 8 (1899-1900)
  • Indra, Symphonic Poem Op. 13 (1903)
  • A Song of the Night Op. 19 #1 (1905)
  • Sita - Interlude from Act III Op. 23 1
  • Invocation Op. 19 #2 (1911) 2
  • The Lure, Ballet Music for Orchestra (1921) *
  • Dances from The Morning of the Year Op. 45 #2 (1927) *
1 Lorraine McAslan, violin
2 Alexander Baillie, cello
London Philharmonic Orchestra/David Atherton
* London Symphony Orchestra/David Atherton
Lyrita SRCD209 76m ADD/DDD
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This well-filled disc contains some of the lesser known works in Gustav Holst's substantial orchestral output and are preserved in magnificent Lyrita sound from the early 1980's and 90's.

David Atherton is certainly a sympathetic conductor and he brings much vigour and clarity to the beautifully evocative "A Winter Idyll" whilst the aptly titled "Song of the Night" is also one of the finest interpretations on this disc. I was also intrigued with the two hailing from Indian inspiration, "Indra", a fully-fledged tone poem and "Sita", a delightful interlude which contains some mystical elements which are also beautifully played by the violin soloist Lorraine McAslan and the London Philharmonic.

"The Lure" and the substantial "Morning of the Year" dances are played by the London Symphony and actually sound slightly fresher in their 1982 recordings than their counterparts recorded more than a decade later. Atherton is again an excellent conductor letting the music flow quite finely.

Lewis Foreman's notes are as detailed as one could expect and the whole package is another excellent addition to the fast growing Lyrita catalogue so boldly brought to life by Wyastone Estate.

Copyright © 2008 by Gerald Fenech