Imogen Holst: Choral Works; Britten: Rejoice in the Lamb / Clare College Choir

Album Summary

>Holst, Imogen : Mass in A minor
>Holst, Imogen : A Hymne to Christ, for chorus
>Holst, Imogen : Psalms (3) for chorus
>Holst, Imogen : Welcome Joy and Welcome Sorrow, for chorus & harp
>Holst, Imogen : Hallo My Fancy, Whither Wilt Thou Go?, for chorus
>Britten, Benjamin : Rejoice in the Lamb, festival cantata for trumpet, ATB soloists, chorus & organ, Op. 30
Performer Conductor Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Expedition Audio Recommended
I have been listening to and enjoying this CD at intervals over the past several months. At some point, being so handily close by, it became my touchstone in the assessment of other choral albums that came my way. Of those that had to stand in comparison, few made the cut. The performances by the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge and the Dmitri Ensemble under Graham Ross are simply exemplary. ... read more ...

British composer Imogen Holst (1907-1984) was the only child of Gustav Holst. She was brought up in London and educated at the St. Paul's Girls' School, where her father was director of music. She studied composition with George Dyson and Gordon Jacob and harmony and counterpoint with Ralph Vaughan Williams at the Royal College of Music. In the autumn of 1952, Benjamin Britten invited Holst to come to Aldeburgh to help with his opera Gloriana. She stayed in Aldeburgh for the rest of her life, working as Britten's assistant for twelve years and artistic director for the Aldeburgh Festival from 1956 to 1977. Languishing in the shadow of both her father and Benjamin Britten, Holst's own compositions have not received the recognition they deserve. Graham Ross conducts the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge and the instrumentalists of The Dmitri Ensemble in these world première recordings of a selection of Holst's choral works ranging from 1927 to 1972, three of which have not been heard since their first performance. Also included is the first recording of her imaginative and skillful orchestration of Benjamin Britten's cantata Rejoice in the Lamb, made at Britten's own request.

International Record Review
Imogen Holst was a unique and much loved figure in English musical life.. this disc shows the high craftsmanship by which she set store, but also a voice of her own, honest, unpretentious, fresh, a touch eccentric... [the works] all receive admirably committed performances...

BBC Music Magazine, September 2012
These performances are poised, immaculate, and just a little lacking in light and shade: the octane-level shoots up in the Keats settings, where the choir's female contingent evidently enjoys itself.

Gramophone Magazine, October 2012
Superb ensemble singing...The four soloists and chorus nicely capture the whimsical quality of the piece under Graham Ross, who has trained the choir with its impeccable ensemble.

International Record Review, September 2012
The music on this disc shows the high craftsmanship by which she set store, but also a voice of her own, honest, unpretentious, fresh, a touch eccentric and very English, as she herself was...They all receive admirable committed performances.

MusicWeb International, September 2012
Imogen Holst's fastidiously crafted and enjoyable choral music in excellent performances ... I think this may be the first recording that Graham Ross has made with the Clare College choir since succeeding Tim Brown as Director of Music and it's good that he's combined the choir with his Dmitri Ensemble. Both the singing and playing on this disc are extremely fine and the performances are presented in excellent sound. The presentation is lavish, with a beautifully produced booklet containing several very good photographs of Imogen Holst.

The Observer, August 2012
These world premiere recordings, finely sung by Clare College Choir, remind us how neglected her own compositions, forced into second place by other duties, have been...The beautiful Welcome Joy and Welcome Sorrow, for female voices and harp, gives an insight into her own, softly nuanced, pioneering voice.

American Record Guide, January/February 2013
Much of this music had never seen the light of day, so we owe Graham Ross our thanks for having patched it together into the performing editions we can now enjoy. What he has presided over here is recommendable to several constituencies. Imogen Holst's appearance on the scene is of interest to any music lover who likes a good story ("Gustav Holst's Daughter Finds Musical Planet of Her Own). Anglophiles can renew their love for all things English, while choral aficionados home in on new repertoire and some fine singing from the folks at Clare. The musical stork delivers a surprise bundle to Papa Gustav's many fans, and admirers of Benjamin Britten gain access to a handsome new take on Rejoice In the Lamb. Imogen, it seems to me, comes up aces on all counts.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: All Hallows' Church, Gospel Oak, London (07/2011).



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Works Details

>Holst, Imogen : Mass in A minor
  • Conductor: Graham Ross
  • Ensemble: Dmitri Ensemble
  • Running Time: 20 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1927

>Holst, Imogen : A Hymne to Christ, for chorus
  • Conductor: Graham Ross
  • Running Time: 2 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1940

>Holst, Imogen : Psalms (3) for chorus
  • Conductor: Graham Ross
  • Ensemble: Dmitri Ensemble
  • Running Time: 16 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1943

>Holst, Imogen : Welcome Joy and Welcome Sorrow, for chorus & harp
  • Performer: Tanya Houghton (Harp)
  • Conductor: Graham Ross
  • Ensemble: Dmitri Ensemble
  • Running Time: 9 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1950

>Holst, Imogen : Hallo My Fancy, Whither Wilt Thou Go?, for chorus
  • Conductor: Graham Ross
  • Running Time: 6 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1972

>Britten, Benjamin : Rejoice in the Lamb, festival cantata for trumpet, ATB soloists, chorus & organ, Op. 30
  • Conductor: Graham Ross
  • Ensemble: Dmitri Ensemble
  • Running Time: 11 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1943