RECENT: Find out about composers from unusual places, including Gerard Schurmann, Giya Kancheli, Nazib Zhiganov and Nodar Gabunia, about singing in cars, and meet Jim Hutton from the RLPO and some of our regular contributors in this eighty-minute February 2021 video.
English composer Gustav Holst was born in Cheltenham on 21 September 1874 and died in London on 25 May 1934. His eventual friendship with Vaughan Williams and mutual discovery of the delights of English folksong had a strong effect upon them both. Holst's music, varied in style as it is, had a visionary quality in the best that gave it unique character.
CD Spotlight. Technical Brilliance - James Willshire plays piano music by Cecil Coles and Gustav Holst, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'James Willshire is renowned for his virtuosity and intelligence of his keyboard mastery, and all this is on display in this recital.'
Ensemble. A Delightful Addition to Christmas - Bryn Terfel in Wales, the latest Met Stars live in concert, reviewed by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. An Integral Part of Christmas - Carols from the SWR Vokal Ensemble, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... beautifully shaped and vocally refined and the voices come across clear and resonant.'
CD Spotlight. Love's Trials and Rewards - Gustav Holst's 'The Cloud Messenger', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'This colourful chamber version by Joseph Fort lends the more tender passages a new intimacy and clarity, while retaining much of the force of the original and preparing the foundations for a new life in performance.'
Ensemble. A More Intimate Approach - Mike Wheeler listens to Suppé, Dvořák and Holst at Derby Concert Orchestra's seventieth anniversary concert
Ensemble. Relaxed and Exuberant - Mike Wheeler listens to Cavendish Winds playing Mozart, Danzi, Debussy, Arnold, Vaughan Williams, Holst, Bozza, Ligeti and Gershwin
Ensemble. Blaringly Unusual - Maria Nockin listens to Pittance Chamber Music's opening concert
Ensemble. Packed With Good Things - Roderic Dunnett reports from the 2019 Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester
Vividly Projected - Mike Wheeler listens to J S Bach, Gustav Holst, George Dyson, David Bednall, Edward Bairstow, César Franck, Purcell Mansfield, Judith Weir and Marcel Dupré, played by organist Sachin Gunga
CD Spotlight. Bold Simplicity - Patrick Maxwell listens to music from Wadham College Chapel, Oxford. 'The choral sound is well produced, if at times lacking in cohesion, and the interpretations at the hands of Katharine Pardee are well handled.'
A Perfect Fool - George Colerick discusses Gustav Holst and his Richard Wagner parody
Ensemble. An Upgrade - Sinfonia Viva's string section, directed by Benedict Holland, begins the Derby Folk Festival, heard by Mike Wheeler
You spotted snakes - George Colerick muses on incidental music, with particular regard to Mendelssohn
Ensemble. A Musical and Social Bonanza - Roderic Dunnett continues his in-depth review of this year's Three Choirs Festival in Hereford
Ensemble. A Unified Whole - Mark Bebbington joins the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Barry Wordsworth for John Ireland's Piano Concerto, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Explosive Classics - A Chandos orchestral compilation, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. '... the programme is as explosive as one can hope for.'
CD Spotlight. Off the Wall? - The King's Singers' Christmas Songbook, heard by Keith Bramich. 'Each track ... is heavily arranged ...'
CD Spotlight. A Fantastic Collection - Little-known harpsichord gems, strongly recommended by Alice McVeigh. '... succeeds utterly, as does the immaculately sensitive [Penelope] Cave.'
Ensemble. Transparently a Success - Gustav Holst's 'The Cloud Messenger' impresses Roderic Dunnett
CD Spotlight. Reshaping the Classics - David Rubinstein plays Gustav Holst, heard by Andrew Schartmann. '... impressive musicality ...'
Ensemble. Welcome Rarities - James Sohre enjoyed his visit to Wexford Festival Opera
Ensemble. Consummate Professionalism - Nigel Ogden begins Derby Cathedral's series of summer organ recitals, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Expressive Nuances - Holst, Mozart and Sibelius from Tasmin Little and the European Union Chamber Orchestra, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Tension and Restlessness - More Britten, with Finzi and Holst, from Derby Bach Choir, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Generous Weekend - The third William Alwyn Festival, attended by Patric Standford
Ensemble. Monumental Effect - Three companies combine forces, experienced by Maria Nockin
CD Spotlight. Inescapably Attentive - British music for piano duo, heard by Howard Smith. '... Mercury emerges with captivating ethereal qualities.'
Ensemble. Mercurial Accounts - The Hallé Orchestra begins celebrating its ten year residency in Nottingham, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Buxom and Comely? - Music by Gustav Holst, heard by Paul Sarcich. '... music of charm and individuality.'
CD Spotlight. Glorious Singing - A recital by Alice Coote and Graham Johnson, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... interpreted with great zest and passion ...'
Playing Devil's Advocate - Bill Newman tells the story of his visit to London's St John's Smith Square to hear Idil Biret play Beethoven
Ensemble. Powerfully Expressive - Holst, Howells, Finzi and Liszt from the Derwent Singers, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Spirited Performance - Mike Wheeler listens to Voices and the Derby Concert Orchestra
Ensemble. Top Class Musicianship - Roderic Dunnett visits Gloucester for the 2010 Three Choirs Festival
CD Spotlight. Mice in the Manger - A selection of Christmas music, enjoyed by George Balcombe. '... an amazing collection.'
Ensemble. Music in the Spacing of the Spheres - A spectacular version of Holst's 'The Planets' in Cleveland, reviewed by Kelly Ferjutz