HOLST: The Great Composers Series by I mogen Hoist (Falser, £2.30)
Of the 15 books already published in this series it is reassuring to note that six are concerned with English composers. This latest edition deals appropriately with Gustav Hoist as it is the centenary of his birth on September 21.
Ilk daughter, I mogen, has given its an account, both factual zind lucid, of the composer's activities during a life span which was all too short.
The family, originally, von Holst. hailed from Riga in Latvia. In the IN40s the composer's grandfather settled in Cheltenham. The simplicity and sincerity of the composer's life is sketched in some detail. I lis early strug.gles to make a living included trombone playing w ith Carl Rosa Opera as well as in a "Viennese Band" clad in a white and gold uniform. From a lengthy friendship with Vaughan Williams he inherited his interest in the rich English folk song repertory. as svell as an introduction to plainsong (The Range Lingua is quoted in Gregorian notation).
His fascination with Sanskrit. astrology. (which stimulated "The Planets"), his teaching. conducting ;mil travel Lire all discussed with affection and contribute to a picture of a capable and dedicated man.