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Classical - Released June 5, 2012 | Naxos

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JoAnn Falletta and the Ulster Orchestra present a diverse program of lesser known works by Gustav Holst, the composer of the perennially popular suite The Planets. Holst's music was informed early on by the late Romantics, and traces of Johannes Brahms can be plainly heard in the Walt Whitman Overture, which Holst composed at college when he was still searching for a personal style. The Symphony in F major, "The Cotswolds," was a major step forward in developing a distinctive voice, and though it partakes of conventions in British symphonic writing, it shows a growing awareness of folk music's potential in his work. A Winter Idyll, influenced by Holst's teacher, Charles Villiers Stanford, shows much the same tentative exploration of the Walt Whitman Overture. But there is a pronounced change in flavor and mood in the Japanese Suite and the symphonic poem, Indra, which show Holst's adoption of impressionist harmonies and atmospheric orchestration, as well as a turning away from purely German influences to draw on Asian musical ideas and philosophies. Fans of Holst's music will find the last 25 minutes of the CD will put them on familiar ground, though the first 40 minutes of the album will at least provide context for his career. The orchestra delivers satisfying performances, and Falletta leads with great control and clarity, so all the pieces feel fully realized and exciting to play. © TiVo
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Classical - Released April 24, 2007 | Naxos

Booklet
Prior to this disc, Howard Griffiths was best known as a conductor of the lesser-known late-Classical/early-Romantic Austro-Germanic symphonists: Ignace Pleyel, Franz Krommer, Paul Wranitzky, and their ilk. On this 2005 Naxos disc he turns in spirited and soulful performances with the English Sinfonia of the music of English modernist Gustav Holst. By programming the well-known St. Paul and Brook Green Suites along with the less-well-known A Song of the Night for violin and orchestra and A Fugal Concerto for flute, oboe, and strings, Griffiths grants the listener familiar only with the composer's extremely well-known Planets Suite a much broader picture of Holst's achievement. The soloists are all consistently marvelous, although violist Andriy Viytovych is particularly impressive in his ardent performance of the late Lyric Movement for viola and chamber orchestra. The English Sinfonia's ensemble performances are powerfully cohesive, amazingly agile, strongly rhythmic, and, when it's called for, wonderfully atmospheric. But best of all, after years spent in the Austro-Germanic wilderness, Griffiths seems wholly sympathetic to Holst's richly intellectual, exquisitely colorful, austerely lyrical, and deeply if reservedly emotional music and his Holst performances are in the same league as Hickox, Hogwood, and perhaps even Boult. Recorded in lush sound at St. Clements Church, Islington, London, by producer Jakob Händel, these performances will gratify anyone who enjoys English modernist music in general and Holst in particular. © TiVo
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released November 1, 2003 | Naxos

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Classical - Released March 10, 1998 | Naxos

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Classical - Released December 15, 1989 | Naxos

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Classical - Released June 12, 1998 | Naxos

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