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HOLST: Vedic Hymns / Four Songs, Op. 35 / Humbert Wolfe Settings (English Song, Vol. 6)

Composer(s):Holst, Gustav
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Vocal
Catalogue 8.557117
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Album Price
USD 6.99


Originally released by Collins Classics as part of its English Songs Series, this recording offers a fascinating selection of the 72 solo songs Holst wrote across his entire compositional career. They range from the Six Songs from 1903-04, representative of the composer’s earlier styles, through the Vedic Hymns of 1907-08, Holst’s first confident use of ancient Hindu literature, the Four Songs for voice and violin, inspired by medieval lyrics and folk music modes, to the Twelve Humbert Wolfe settings of 1929, songs of ‘love, reflection and fantasy’. The disc concludes with The Heart Worships, one of Holst’s best loved songs.


Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

Naxos have enterprisingly picked up a disc of rare Host vocal repertoire, originally issued on the Collins label. Apart from the comparatively well-known, very Holstian and mystically atmospheric Hymns from the Rig Veda, sung sensitively (if with a slightly intrusive vibrato) by Christopher Maltman, the most striking songs are the Humbert Wolfe settings, in which Philip Langridgeis in his element. But the star performer here is Susan Gritton, persuasive in the early songs but at her very finest in the Four Songs for Voice and Violin, set to medieval lyrics, with Louisa Fuller a responsive partner. Throughout, Steuart Bedford is thoroughly at home in the piano accompaniments, and the recording is excellent.


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