Thursday 18 September 2014

Holst in Oxford

Gustav Holst
Gustav Holst
Gustav Holst was fascinated by Indian literature and philosophy and taught himself Sanskrit so that he could improve the English translations which he used for his works based on Indian literature. He wrote four sets of Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda as well as an opera, Savitri based on a story from the Mahabharata. I remember seeing a staging of Savitri at Scottish Opera in the 1970's with Janet Baker and John Shirley Quirk; despite its short length (30 mins) the opera made a very strong impression.

Savitri forms the centrepiece of an all-Holst concert being given in Oxford on 27 September 2014 at St John the Evangelist Church, Iffley Road, Oxford, OX4 1EH. Choros Chamber Choir and Corona Strings, conducted by Janet Lince, will be performing the second and third of Holst's Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda, his Fugal Concerto and Savitri. Savitri will be fully staged, directed by Nina Brazier with Yvonne Howard in the title role, plus tenor Mark Chaundy as her husband Satyavan and bass Matthew Hargreaves as Death.

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