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Vaughan Williams on Music$
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David Manning

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182392.001.0001

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Gustav Holst: A Great Composer

Gustav Holst: A Great Composer

(p.311) Chapter 71 Gustav Holst: A Great Composer
Vaughan Williams on Music

David Manning

Oxford University Press

Gustav Holst was a great composer, a great teacher, and a great friend. These are really different aspects of the same fact. It was his intense human sympathy that fostered his musical invention. In one of his lectures he speaks of the almost mystical unity that must necessarily exist between master and pupil, between friend and friend. Art and craft are travellers alongside each other. In England one does not always realise this. It is this very sureness of purpose which makes his music distasteful to some of the less bold hearted of his critics, who seem to think that the tunes from “Jupiter” and St. Paul's Suite are little less than an insult to the intelligence of the intelligentsia. However, Holst gets his own back in “Neptune” and Egdon Heath, with harmonies compared with which the wildest efforts of our young “moderns” are so much milk and water.

Keywords:   Gustav Holst, human sympathy, musical invention, mystical unity, Jupiter, St. Paul's Suite, Neptune, Egdon Heath

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