Holst Military Suites

WEDNESDAY, February 19, 2020

Gustav Theodore Holst (21 September 1874 – 25 May 1934)…

Eventually I want to write a lot more about him, but for the moment there are three things that are very important to me.

  1. He was the best friend of Vaughn William, and both traveled all over the country collecting folk songs.
  2. He loved bands, as did his friend, so both wrote exceptional music for bands, today often called wind ensembles.
  3. He wrote “The Planets”, and that alone I think is enough to make him one of the greatest composers ever. Incidentally, he was fascinated with astrology once he discovered it, and for the rest of his life cast horoscopes for friends.

In keeping with the plan to present as much music possible in visual form, here are some great videos.

First Suite in E-Flat for Military Band…

I played in a wind ensemble just like this in my late teens at FSU, many years ago. For those of you who don’t know this, I was a euphonium player, first chair, and I taught brass for many years, all the brass instruments. Anyone who has ever played in a good band knows and loves this music. The playing here is not perfect, but it is very good, and for those who don’t know the music it is great to see the players.

Second Suite in F for Military Band…

Again, I’m picking a young group, and of course I also played this suite too.

A famous recording…

One more link to these suites, nothing to see but one of the all time reference recordings and the one I still prefer.

7 thoughts on “Holst Military Suites

  1. This reminded me of this suspenseful feeling I had when ever I’m playing a video game and the boss music plays, it also reminds a bit of star wars music. I really liked this piece.

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