Holst, Gustav


Holst, Gustav

Christmas Day, choral fantasy on old carols


Gustav Holst – Christmas Day

(b. 21 September 1874, Cheltenham; d. 25 May 1934, London) …

Choral fantasy on old carols


For many years, Gustav Holst taught full-time at St. Paul’s School, Hammersmith, a prestigious private school. But in the evenings he often taught at Morley Memorial College For Working Men And Women – a charity founded to bring evening education to the working classes. There, Holst started choirs and instrumental groups with adults who had no musical training. This piece, Christmas Day, was written in 1910 for such a group – a mixed choir with orchestra and organ, scored in such a way that it can be played by any choir with a piano and any other instruments that may be available.

It contains four carols – Good Christian men rejoice, God rest ye merry, gentlemen, Come ye lofty, come ye lowly, and The first Nowell. Holst did not have a high opinion of the piece, writing to W. G. Whittaker that “it’s poor stuff anyhow and not worth doing”. It was almost certainly performed at Morley College in 1910, but the date is unknown.

Phillip Brookes, 2023

For performance material please contact Novello, London. Reprint of a copy from the Collection Phillip Brookes, Roxas City.


Das deutsche Vorwort komplett lesen > HERE

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