Holst: Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 - The Perfect Fool, The Lure, The Golden Goose & The Morning of the Year
Richard Hickox, BBC National Orchestra of Wales & Joyful Company Of Singers
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Richard Hickox's final project - reviving little-known Holst works - is a triumph
Does sentiment govern this choice as Recording of the Month? Yes and no. It is only right, I think, to pay tribute to a conductor who did so much for music in general and British music in particular. A conductor whose recordings, as a reader was good enough to point out to me the other day, are recommended more than almost any other in the Gramophone Classical Music Guide. On the other hand, this issue needs no special circumstances to make its case. It is, in all the best ways, typical Hickox. A neglected corner of the British canon gets the full works treatment – splendid and fulsome orchestral sound, with each of these works brought to glorious life. There was always an excitement about this kind of Hickox recording, a glee in being able to reawaken for the masses works that had unjustly been allowed to slumber. The BBC National Orchestra of Wales bring gleaming textures and a sense of mighty architecture to repertoire that shows that Holst was not just about The Planets. The conductor tragically died shortly after a recording session for a second volume of Holst orchestral works. Is it too much to hope that enough was set down for the sequel to be issued? In any case, there can be no finer epitaph than this. -- Gramophone [2/2009]
Born: March 5, 1948 in Stokenchurch, Buckinghamshire, En
Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s