Coles & Holst - Piano Music | Delphian DCD34209

Coles & Holst - Piano Music


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Label: Delphian

Cat No: DCD34209

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 23rd April 2021



Behind the lines of the Western Front, the young Scottish composer Cecil Coles sent his friend and mentor Gustav Holst a score, stained with mud and blood. Only one movement survived: the rest was believed destroyed by enemy action.Four months later Coles himself was killed in battle rescuing injured comrades.

James Willshire’s groundbreaking survey of his piano music reveals a composer finding his voice in pre-war Britain, France and Germany, a poignant and distinctive blend of ‘happy–sad’, as Nigel Osborne’s perceptive notes describe it. After the war, Holst’s own work shows him returning to his fascination with folk music with ‘fresh ears of almost shocking clarity’, in harmonic experiments that parallel those of Bartók.

The recital culminates in a compelling performance of Iain Farrington’s new arrangement of one of Holst’s orchestral masterpieces, a bleak, ambitious depiction of Thomas Hardy’s ‘untameable, inviolate’ Egdon Heath.

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