WORKS: A Winter Idyll; Indra; A Song of the Night; The Lure; Dances from The Morning of the Year
PERFORMER: Lorraine McAslan (violin), Alexander Baillie (cello); LPO, LSO/David Atherton
CATALOGUE NO: SRCD209 ADD/DDD
This enterprising issue includes music from the whole span of Holst’s creative life. The Lure and Morning of the Year, both post-Planets, are refurbishments, the remaining six early works are entirely new recordings.
All these pieces are richly melodic and full of interesting and exotic effects. The opening of The Lure, for instance, is extraordinarily effective in its setting, at dusk, of an exotic location and in hinting at the menace of the flame for the moth. Indra and Sita, based on Indian folklore, are both brilliantly orchestrated and pre-echo Holst’s mature style containing thematic material which would be developed later for The Planets.
Lorraine McAslan and Alexander Baillie, respectively, bring beautiful phrasing and intonation to the lovely Song of the Night, possibly inspired by India but suggestive of a romance sweet and secure yet passionate too; and to the peaceful, nostalgic thoughts of evening in Invocation.
The Morning of the Year Dances show some remarkably complex contrapuntal invention and
rich orchestration, particularly at the exciting
climax of the fourth dance. David Atherton draws virtuoso performances from both orchestras in top form. Superb sound too. This is magic carpet entertainment, thoroughly recommended. Ian Lace