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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000244.txt from 2002/02

From: "Tim Roberts" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Holst: Songs Of The West
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2002 13:07:09 -0500

On Thu, 14 Feb 2002 17:47:41 -0600, "Jim Hobby" <> wrote:
>>Mark Charette wrote:
>>Gustav Holst: Songs of the West Op 21/1 City of London Wind
>>Brand LDR 1001 CD
>I didn't spot this particular recording available for sale.

Neither did I. I did find two other recordings for sale, including a
performance by a German group from the 1997 World Music Concert.

>I found a
>number of references on the web to playing of the piece, often by a college
>band. The composer reference seems to always be "Holst/Curnow." Was this
>originally written for orchestra, and this is the "standard" (for want of a
>better word) band arrangement?

Yes. The original Songs of the West, opus 21a in 1906, was an orchestral
piece. However, I have found absolutely no references to performances of
anything other than the very nice Curnow arrangement for wind ensemble.

If you'll excuse the cliche, I find this piece to be very Holst-like. Anyone
who enjoys the two Military Suites would enjoy Songs of the West. The last
two minutes are especially exciting; he interleaves four separate folk song
melodies in an intricate and almost fugue-like section that builds up
incredible tension, peaking in a three-bar III7 chord with high woodwind
trill that resolves to a joyous triple-forte restatement of the first theme.

It contains a couple of sweet (but brief) clarinet solos in the Songs Without
Words style.

- Tim Roberts,
Providenza & Boekelheide, Inc.


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