Monday, August 6, 2012

Four Years Ago Today

Four years ago today, we were in Chichester.

Quite naturally, we visited Chichester Cathedral. Of particular interest to me was the grave of one of my favorite composers, Gustav Holst, laid to rest in Chichester Cathedral.


  1. I think "Egdon Heath" is Holst's masterpiece.

  2. I barely know it. I think I've heard it only once or twice.

    But I know those brilliant military band pieces by heart!

    1. I've admired the two suites ever since the Fennell/Telarc recording was issued over 30
      years ago. I don't think these recordings have ever been surpassed. I don't think there is a better introduction to good music for young high school band players than these two suites. How can one not fall in love with harmony after playing these works?

      Alas, my niece performed the second suite in high school - and she told me she hated it (!). In fact, the whole band hated "the Song of the Blacksmith" so much that the leader had to elimiate the movement from the public performance. Today, Michele listens only to rap and hard rock.

      What a waste.

    2. My high school omitted the “Song Of The Blacksmith” movement, too. Apparently that movement is the most difficult for amateur musicians to do well, and my high school band director said there was no point in playing something that was sure to fall apart in performance.

      The Denis Wick/London Wind Orchestra recording on ASV is even better than the Fennell/Cleveland recording on Telarc. It is the best recording of the Holst suites I know, by a mile.

      The recording may or may not be available through Music Heritage Society. An original ASV version is probably hard to track down, and more expensive than necessary.

      I also love Grainger’s “Lincolnshire Posy”, Vaughan Williams’s “English Folksong Suite” not so much (great tunes, unimaginative arrangement).