Holst: The Planets; Egdon Heath; The Perfect Fool; St. Paul’s Suite; Fugal Concerto

Holst: The Planets; Egdon Heath; The Perfect Fool; St. Paul’s Suite; Fugal Concerto
Herrmann; Boult; Fennell; Hogwood; Howarth
Catalogue No.

A collection of prized Decca recordings of the music of Holst, including a rare – and controversial! – recording by film score supremo Bernard Herrmann, released internationally for the first time on CD. Also included are two orchestral works (The Perfect Fool and Egdon Heath) conducted by Sir Adrian Boult, recorded in 1961 and much praised at his first appearance and its subsequence recurrences on CD. Much of Holst’s life was spent teaching and the St. Paul’s Suite was written for his pupils to play in their school orchestra. The finale – where Holst cleverly counterpoints ‘The Dargason’ with ‘Greensleeves’ is an arrangement of the parallel movement in his Second Suite for military band, composed two years earlier. The legendary recording by Frederick Fennell and the Eastman Wind Ensemble of the two Suites, made in 1955, here reappears, and is complemented with another suite for brass band, the Moorside Suite, commissioned by the BBC and the National Brass Band Festival Committee.


CD 1
The Planets, Op. 32
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Bernard Herrmann

CD 2
The Perfect Fool – Ballet Music, Op.39 10’43
Egdon Heath, Op. 47
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Adrian Boult

A Moorside Suite
Grimethorpe Colliery Band
Elgar Howarth

Suite No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 28a
Suite No. 2 in F major, Op. 28b
Eastman Wind Ensemble
Frederick Fennell

St. Paul’s Suite, Op. 29 No. 2
A Fugal Concerto, Op. 40 No. 2
Julia Bogorad, flute
Kathryn Greenbank, oboe
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
Christopher Hogwood

Recording information

Recording Producers: Tony D’Amato, Gavin Barratt (The Planets); Ray Minshull (Egdon Heath, The Perfect Fool); Paul Myers (St. Paul’s Suite, Fugal Concerto); James Mallinson (Moorside Suite); Wilma Cozart Fine (Suites Nos. 1 & 2)
Balance Engineers: Arthur Lilley (The Planets); Kenneth Wilkinson (The Perfect Fool); Jonathan Stokes (St. Paul’s Suite, Fugal Concerto); Michael Mailes (Moorside Suite); C. Robert Fine (Suites)
Recording Locations: Eastman Theater, Rochester, New York, United States, May 1955 (Suites Nos. 1 & 2); Kingsway Hall, London, UK, March 1961 (Egdon Heath, The Perfect Fool), February 1970 (The Planets); Town Hall, Huddersfield, United Kingdom, June 1976 (Moorside Suite); Ordway Music Theater, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA, May 1992 (St. Paul’s Suite, Fugal Concerto)


‘Holst’s The Planets was a natural for Herrmann, and he captured its grandeur perfectly. This album really does justice to audiophile equipment with big speakers. If Led Zeppelin or classic Beatles sound good cranked-up, this sounds better! Masterful from performance to recording, this is big, clean sound … this album (and performance) is the holy grail for this composition.’ (The Planets) Review from Amazon.com

Egdon Heath is a masterpiece of evocation, the counterpart in sound of the sombre scene of Thomas Hardy’s tale The Return of the Native … and I cannot imagine a better performance than this one with the London Philharmonic Orchestra’ Gramophone

‘Outer portions of The Perfect Fool ballet music have superb sparkle and bite, while the poise of the central “Dance of Spirits of Water” is surely no less memorable.’ Gramophone

‘an unqualified success’ (Suites 1 & 2) Gramophone