Gustav Holst

~ Person


Gustav Theodore Holst (born Gustavus Theodore von Holst; 21 September 1874 – 25 May 1934) was an English composer, arranger and teacher. Best known for his orchestral suite The Planets, he composed a large number of other works across a range of genres, although none achieved comparable success. His distinctive compositional style was the product of many influences, Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss being most crucial early in his development. The subsequent inspiration of the English folksong revival of the early 20th century, and the example of such rising modern composers as Maurice Ravel, led Holst to develop and refine an individual style.

There were professional musicians in the previous three generations of Holst's family and it was clear from his early years that he would follow the same calling. He hoped to become a pianist, but was prevented by neuritis in his right arm. Despite his father's reservations, he pursued a career as a composer, studying at the Royal College of Music under Charles Villiers Stanford. Unable to support himself by his compositions, he played the trombone professionally and later became a teacher—a great one, according to his colleague Ralph Vaughan Williams. Among other teaching activities he built up a strong tradition of performance at Morley College, where he served as musical director from 1907 until 1924, and pioneered music education for women at St Paul's Girls' School, where he taught from 1905 until his death in 1934. He was the founder of a series of Whitsun music festivals, which ran from 1916 for the remainder of his life.

Holst's works were played frequently in the early years of the 20th century, but it was not until the international success of The Planets in the years immediately after the First World War that he became a well-known figure. A shy man, he did not welcome this fame, and preferred to be left in peace to compose and teach. In his later years his uncompromising, personal style of composition struck many music lovers as too austere, and his brief popularity declined. Nevertheless, he was a significant influence on a number of younger English composers, including Edmund Rubbra, Michael Tippett and Benjamin Britten. Apart from The Planets and a handful of other works, his music was generally neglected until the 1980s, when recordings of much of his output became available.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2016 The Planets Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Owain Arwel Hughes 1
2016 The Sound of Simon Rattle Berliner Philharmoniker, Simon Rattle 1
2017 Kinder Klassik - Märchen Various Artists 1
A Sound Spectacular Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin, Walter Süsskind, Jerzy Semkow 1
British Band Classics Eastman Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Frederick Fennell 1
British Band Classics Eastman Wind Ensemble, Frederick Fennell 1
Discover the Classics: Love and Romance Various Artists 1
English Experience Various Artists 1
English String Music English Sinfonia, John Farrer 1
Lotus (flute and strings quartet) Lotus 1
Lux Aeterna Various Artists 1
Pictures in Brass Chicago Brass Choir 1
Plays european Standards Lionel belmondo trio 1
Sine Nomine in Concert Sine Nomine International Touring Choir 1
The Holly and the Ivy The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge 1
The Royal Philharmonic Collection - Highlights Album 2 Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 1
The Twelve Days of Christmas Eric Crees 1

Album + Audiobook

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1989 Philips Classics' Highlights '89 Various Artists 1
2004 Classical Blast - The most EXHILARATING music in the universe! Various Artists 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1978 Sir Adrian Boult Conducts Marches Sir Adrian Boult 1
1979 Tomita's Greatest Hits 冨田勲 3
1981 Music of Cosmos: Selections From the Score of the Television Series Cosmos by Carl Sagan Various Artists 4 6
1984 Karajan Festival Herbert von Karajan 1
1984 Telarc Sampler, Volume 2 Various Artists 1
1987 Classikon Klassik von A - Z Various Artists 2
1987 Pie Jesu: Choral Favourites Various Artists 1
1987 Telarc Sampler, Volume 4 Various Artists 1
1988 Les Triomphes du Classique Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan 1
1988 The Classic Experience Various Artists 1
1988 The Essential Karajan Herbert von Karajan 1
1989 A Sample of the London Symphony Orchestra London Symphony Orchestra 1
1989 Fright Night: Music That Goes Bump in the Night Various Artists 2
1989 The Spirit of England William Boughton, English Symphony Orchestra, English String Orchestra 1
1989 Time-Life Treasury of Classics Various Artists 1
1990 England's Greatest Hits Various Artists 1
1990 Essential Classics Various Artists 1
1990 The Classic Experience II Various Artists 1
1990 Virgin Classics 1991 Collection Various Artists 1
1991 Classic CD, Volume 9 Various Artists 1
1991 A Passion For Power Various Artists 2
1991 Discover the Classics: Power and Glory Various Artists 1
1991 Heavy Classix Various Artists 3
1991 The Classical Collection, Volume 2: 50 of the World’s Musical Masterpieces Various Artists 1
1991 The Essential Classics Various Artists 1
1992 The Telarc Collection, Volume 2 Various Artists 1
1992 Festival Classico, Vol. 1 & 2 Various Artists 1
1992 The Essential Guide to Classics Various Artists 1
1992 The Greatest Hits of the Classics, Volume 4 Various Artists 1
1992 The HMV Collection Sampler Various Artists 4
1993 Sonic Boom Various Artists 1
1993 British Music on Lyrita from Quad Various Artists 1
1993 Classic Experience IV Various Artists 1
1993 Classical Music for the Reader Various Artists 1
1993 Karajan Gold: À la découverte de la Collection Karajan 1
1993 Sensual Classics II Various Artists 2
1993 Symphony on the Green Various Artists 1
1993 Telarc Collection, Volume 7 Various Artists 1
1994 Classical Highlights Vol. 1 Various Artists 1
1994 Power Classics Various Artists 1
1994 A Flavour of Pickwick for 1994 Various Artists 1
1994 25 TV Commercial Classics Various Artists 1
1994 Greatest Hits: Marches Various Artists 1
1994 100% Classics Various Artists 1
1994 A Treasury of All-Time Classics Various Artists 1
1994 Classic Creepies Various Artists 1
1994 Classical Moments Various Artists 1
1994 Classical Moods: Tranquility Various Artists 1
1994 Classical Thunder I Various Artists 4 1
1994 Classical Thunder III Various Artists 1
1994 Discover the Sound of Dutoit, Montréal Charles Dutoit, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal 1
1994 Hardcore Classics Various Artists 1
1994 Montréal Enchantement Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Charles Dutoit 1
1994 Montréal Passion Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Charles Dutoit 1
1994 Toronto Symphony Orchestra 1994/95 Season: Musically Speaking Toronto Symphony Orchestra 1
1995 Face the Music Torvill & Dean 1
1995 300 Years of Classical Music Various Artists 1
1995 The American Orchestra Various Artists 1
1995 Classic Classics: The Greatest Music From the Greatest Artists Various Artists 3 1
1995 Klassiska Favoriter, Volume 2 Various Artists 3
1995 100% Classics, Volume 2 Various Artists 1
1995 British Music on Hyperion Various Artists 1
1995 Great Orchestral Melodies Various Artists 1
1995 Strike Up the Band Various Artists 1
1995 The Best Classical Album in the World... Ever! Various Artists 3
1995 The English Tradition Various Artists 1
1995 The Idiot's Guide to Classical Music Various Artists 1
1996 Classic CD, Volume 71: The World’s Greatest Ballet Music Various Artists 1
1996 The Classic Connection Various Artists 1
1996 The Flag Series: England Various Artists 1
1996 Piano by Candlelight Favorites Various Artists 1
1996 Adagio: Music for Silent Moments Various Artists 1
1996 Classic Classics, Volume 3 Various Artists 1
1996 Classic Joy Various Artists 1
1996 Expressions of Love Various Artists 1
1996 Richard Hickox - Exclusively On Chandos Richard Hickox 1
1996 The Sunday Times Music Collection: The Orchestra, Volume 1: Great Orchestral Works Various Artists 1
1996 Thunderous Classics Various Artists 1
1997 Extraterrestrial Classics Various Artists 1
1997 The Joy of Christmas New York Philharmonic, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Leonard Bernstein 1
1997 A World of Dreams Various Artists 1

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