Born: 1874, Cheltenham, U.K.
Died: 1934, London, U.K.
"Never compose anything unless the not composing of it becomes a positive nuisance to you."
Say Holst, and you immediately think of The Planets. But his compositional output reveals a man with wide-ranging interests that helped shape a unique musical voice, influenced by Hindu spirituality and old English folksong. His 1905 opera Savitri established Holst as a revolutionary presence by rejecting the conceits of grand opera in favor of a chamber orchestra (12 players), three singers, and a story based on the Mahabarata. From his later years, works like Egdon Heath offered a revelatory approach to form, rhythm, and musical development.
St. Paul's Suite (strings, 1912-1913)
London Sinfonia, Richard Hickox (Chandos)
Egdon Heath (orchestra, 1927)
Royal Scottish National Orch.,
David Lloyd-Jones (Naxos)
Hammersmith (military band, 1930)
Eastman Wind Ensemble,
Frederick Fennell (Mercury)