Magazine article Gramophone

Davis Picks Up on Hickox's Unfinished Last Recording

Magazine article Gramophone

Davis Picks Up on Hickox's Unfinished Last Recording

Article excerpt

Holst [CC]

'Orchestral Works, Vol 3'

The Mystic Trumpeter, Op 18.

First Choral Symphony, Op 41(a)

Susan Gritton sop BBC Symphony (a) Chorus and Orchestra / Sir Andrew Davis

Chandos [F] [SACD] CHSA5127 (69' x DDD/DSD x T)

While this recording embodies a special poignancy--it was after the first take of the First Choral Symphony in Swansea in 2008 that Richard Hickox fell ill and died--there is something affirmative about its authority and triumph. This is a quite stunning recording in which two works of Holst represent the peak of his creative gifts; one, The Mystic Trumpeter, of his emerging post-Wagnerian facility, the other, the First Choral Symphony, when he was at the height of his powers. Susan Gritton is majestic in her delivery of Holst's seamless declamation in the

much-neglected The Mystic Trumpeter, a score which, though it imparts Straussian moments, has a wonderful lyrical Schwung and an orchestral facility to rival any of his German contemporaries. …

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