Gustav Holst (1874-1934) And Imogen Holst (1907-1984)

To commemorate the centenary of Imogen Holst's birth, Donald Macleod introduces a celebration of the lives and music of Imogen and her father Gustav.



Imogen was highly regarded as a choral conductor and made many recordings of her father's works, some of which can be heard during this series.

Plus two works by Gustav Holst which involved the challenging task of translating texts from Sanskrit and Greek.

Sorrow and Joy

Purcell Singers

Imogen Holst (conductor)

Ave Maria

3rd group of Choral Hymns (Rig Veda, 3rd movement)

Holst Singers

Hilary Davan Wetton (conductor)

St Paul's Suite

City of London Sinfonia

Richard Hickox (conductor)

Hymn of Jesus

St Paul's Cathedral Choir

London Symphony Chorus

London Philharmonic Orchestra

Charles Groves (conductor).


Donald Macleod introduces the work which turned Holst into a household name, The Planets.

Bring Us In Good Ale

Holst Singers

Stephen Layton (conductor)

My Leman Is So True (Four Songs for Voice and Violin)

Susan Gritton (soprano)

Louisa Fuller (violin)


London Philharmonic Orchestra

Adrian Boult (conductor).


Today Donald Macleod introduces music from two of Holst's little known operas: a Shakespeare-inspired romp about Falstaff and the ballet music from a comic opera which took on a life of its own and went on to become one of his best known works.

Plus a concerto influenced by Stravinsky and the piece which summons up the atmosphere of Thomas Hardy's beloved Dorset landscape.

Ballet Music from The Perfect Fool

London Symphony Orchestra

Andre Previn (conductor)

Fugal Concerto

Richard Adeney (flute)

Peter Graeme (oboe)

English Chamber Orchestra

Imogen Holst (conductor)

At the Boar's Head (exc)

Pistol....David Wilson-Johnson (baritone)

Falstaff....John Tomlinson (bass)

Hostess....Elise Ross (soprano)

Doll Tearsheet....Felicity Palmer (soprano)

Bardolph....Richard Stuart (baritone)

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

David Atherton (conductor)

Egdon Heath

London Philharmonic Orchestra

Adrian Boult (conductor)

March (Moorside Suite)

BMC Band, Oxford


On the centenary of Imogen Holst's birthday, Donald Macleod devotes the programme to her life and music.

Variations on an Elizabeth Theme

BBC Symphony Orchestra

Jac Van Steen (conductor)

String Quartet No 1

Brindisi String Quartet

Five Songs for a capella female choir

BBC Symphony Chorus

Stephen Jackson (conductor)

Fall of the Leaf

Steven Isserlis (cello)

String Quintet

Endellion String Quartet.

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Donald Macleod introduces works from the final years of Gustav Holst's life: the choral piece which, for his daughter Imogen, was one of the best things he wrote, a nocturnal movement for viola and orchestra, and an evocation of a corner of West London which was home to Holst for many years.

The Wandering Scholar (excerpt)

Pierre....Robert Tear (tenor)

Louis....Thomas Hemsley (baritone)

Alison....Patricia Clark (soprano)

English Chamber Orchestra

Imogen Holst (conductor)

Choral Fantasia

Janet Baker (mezzo-soprano)

Ralph Downes (organ)

Purcell Singers

Lyric Movement

Cecil Aronowitz (viola)


London Symphony Orchestra

Richard Hickox (conductor).