Orchestral Favourites Volume 1
The St. Paul’s Suite by Gustav Holst takes its name from the girls’ school in London which he was for many years director of music. He found great happiness in composing for his young students, this suite, which he wrote for them in 1913, suggests they must have included very proficient players. Holst’s keen interest in folk melody finds an outlet in the Finale, where two well-loved folk songs make their appearance. It is a work in a wholly happy mood which is only emphasized by the plaintive episode in the second movement, and constitutes his last gesture towards nineteenth-century romanticism.
Canon by Johann Pachelbel was originally written for three violins and continuo, it is a most skilful elaboration of the simple canon form, presenting an intricate set of variations played over an insistent eight-note ground bass.
"One only has to sample the excitingly animated account of Holst's "St. Paul's Suite" (which also has much delicay of feeling), or the ideally paced Warlock "Capriol Suite" ... to discover the calibre of this music making. The recordings were made in the Great Hall of Birmingham University which, with its warm reverberation, gives the strings a gloriously rich body of tone, supported by sumptuous cello and bass sonorities ..."
The Penguin Guide