Gustav Holst, (1874-1934) born in Cheltenham, England, is probably best known for his Planets Suite.As a child, he loved the piano and practiced it for hours, but did not like the violin, the instrument his father chose for him. He had neuritis in his hands, which made practicing a pain (literally.)
His first job was in 1893 as organist in a small village. An aspiring composer, this experience helped him understand the inner workings of vocal music.
Gustav’s grandfather (Gustavus) was a harpist! His father (Adolph) was an organist and choir director. His mother, Clara, was a singer. She died when Gustav was only 8. His stepmother, Mary Thorley Stone, was a pianist.
Gustav and his wife, Emily Isobel Harrison, had one child, Imogen, who was a composer. She was also assistant to Benjamin Britten and became head of the the annual Aldeburgh Festival. You can read more about Imogen here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imogen_Holst . Gustav had a younger brother, Emil, who was an actor. Emil’s stage name was Ernest Cossart. Gustav Holst’s name at birth was Gustavus Theodore von Holst. He dropped the “von” in 1918.
If you’re further interested in Imogen Holst, there is a book called Imogen Holst, A Life in Music from Boydell and Brewer publishers: Here.
On this day, May 25,1934, Gustav died at the young age of 59 from complications due to stomach cancer surgery. Here’s an excellent web site to learn more about Mr. Holst: https://www.gustavholst.info/
Jupiter, from The Planets, is a Holst piece that is very popular for the harp. Its beautiful melody was brought to our attention by Kim Robertson, with her exquisite arrangement from 2006, and so we celebrate its 10th anniversary.
True for many hymns, the tune is named after a town. The village of Thaxted was established in 1205, in open countryside in the district of Essex, England. The hymn (poem) also known as “Oh God Beyond All Praising” was written by Cecil Spring-Rice. More information can be found at https://www.hymnary.org/text/i_vow_to_thee_my_country.
Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst are often thought of as the great modern English composers of hymns. Their music is majestic.
Since Kim’s arrangement, more of the beautiful Jupiter theme has emerged. I have listed the ones we carry at Melody’s.
Meredith Mancini: Mancini’s arrangement
Janet Witman: Witman’s duo arrangement (intermediate duo)
I Vow to Thee – Kim Robertson’s arrangement:Kim’s original arrangement, advanced intermediate
Ensemble version that goes with this solo version: Ensemble parts to go with above
Beth Kolle and Laurie Rilley: Wedding Music for the Lever Harp (it’s in this book) Riley/Kolle arrangement
Debbie Friou – Classical Music for the Harp: Friou arrangement (in this book)
The Classical Fake Book: https://www.folkharp.com/fake-lead-unique/473-classical-fakebook.html – lead line only, huge book.
Harpers Hall Ensemble Book V2: Harpers Hall Trio Version (trio for mixed levels)
Angi Bemiss V2 Classical Selections: Bemiss Version (in this collection)
The versions in the following books are not as complete/full/challenging as the solo version.
Kim Robertson: Shall We Gather Shall We Gather Book (in this collection)
Kim Robertson, Highland Heart: Highland Heart Book (in this collection)
Kim’s website: Kim Robertson Website
If you want to keep in the loop, but not receive our e-mails, please consider liking us on FB. We’ll post our announcements there. If you need to change your e-mail, you can use the unsubscribe option to do that, too. When we send out these announcements, many times we receive a great deal of orders, and sometimes we even run out of certain titles. We attempt to keep a 4-month supply of each title on hand at all times, based on the current and previous year sales history. If we have run out of a title, you won’t be able to order it, but please know that we make every attempt to restock within 10 days.
We generally ship using media mail. Media is printed or recorded matter, and it used to be known as “book rate” or “library rate”. It is the least expensive way to ship. We use new box material, or a cardboard support in a new padded envelope to protect your music. We have found that new packaging material survives the journey best, so we don’t use recycled material when sending out your orders (except for bubble wrap and paper padding), but we encourage you to recycle the packaging material you receive from us. We flatten and recycle all cardboard boxes from our vendors, and we reuse the bubble wrap.
Your friends at Melody’s!
- Something to do while you’re stuck at home
- Harp Crossings by Diana Stork
- Scale Exercise from Jeanne Henderson
- Jan Pennington Gray Scholarship Fund News
- Discontinuing our 800 number
- Courtesy Posting for Daisy Eddy
- RIP Louise Trotter
- Spooky Tunes by Mitch Landy
- Halloween by Mitch Landy
- King Arthur’s Court
- March 2020
- February 2020
- January 2020
- November 2019
- October 2019
- September 2019
- June 2019
- May 2019
- April 2019
- March 2019
- January 2019
- July 2018
- June 2018
- May 2018
- March 2018
- December 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- July 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- December 2015
- November 2015
- October 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- July 2013
- June 2013
- October 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- November 2011