„Music, being identical with heaven, isn’t a thing of momentary thrills, or even hourly ones. It’s a condition of eternity.“
Gustav Holst and the chamber music
The English composer Gustav Holst is known to many music lovers for just one symphonic work: The Planets. This orchestral suite, first performed in its entirety in 1920, was certainly his greatest success during his lifetime, but it reflects only one small aspect of the composer and his intellectual world.
Holst's chamber-music works, full of consummate grace and still written in the late-romantic vein, prove that his work deserves much greater attention.
The Sextet in E Minor from 1900 for mixed strings and woodwinds, which is recorded here for the first time, fills a gap in the repertoire.
It was not until the start of our century that Helge Bartholomäus unearthed this work, composed towards the end of Holst's student days, in the British Library archives and published it. The sextet has something of the lightness of a serenade, and in many passages sounds like a double trio for woodwinds and strings. A true find!