Imo­gen Holst: String Cham­ber Mu­sic

The Guardian - G2 - - Reviews classical -

Court Lane Mu­sic NMC ★★★★★

Imo­gen Holst is in the blood of NMC records: in 1981 – three years be­fore she died – she set up the foun­da­tion that would kick­start the la­bel. And even though NMC’S core re­mit is to cham­pion liv­ing Bri­tish com­posers, it also does a no­ble line in sav­ing im­por­tant record­ings. The open­ing chords of this al­bum alone prove the point of res­cu­ing it. Holst’s mu­sic is po­tently ex­pres­sive and gen­er­ous, rem­i­nis­cent but never maudlin. “I’d much rather be deal­ing with crotch­ets and qua­vers than peo­ple,” she once told Brit­ten, and al­though her mu­sic can be in­tro­verted, these su­perb per­for­mances by Court Lane Mu­sic make sure the huge warmth of the writ­ing wins out. Holst was a life­long ad­vo­cate of other English com­posers; we owe it to her, and to our­selves, to keep lis­ten­ing to her brave and con­fes­sional works. KM

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