The year 1934 was especially hard on the English music scene as it saw the deaths of three major composers from the UK; Gustav Holst, Frederick Delius and Edward Elgar.
Gustav Holst is best known for the suite for large orchestra called The Planets. He wrote one symphony called the Cotswolds Symphony. First performed in 1902, the work deals with thematic hints of English folk-music.
Frederick Delius was born and raised in Yorkshire. But he left England and spent most of his life in other countries. The North Country Sketches are a look back to his original home, however. Almost a “Four Seasons” for orchestra the suite is in four movements; Autumn, Winter Landscape, Dance and The March of Spring.
Of the three, Edward Elgar is most closely associated with Great Britain. Although remember for his grandiose orchestral compositions, he also wrote small songs for voice and piano. A Song of Autumn is a setting of the poem of the same name by Adam Lindsay Gordon. The Shepherd’s Song tells the story of a lonely shepherd singing of his pastoral life by the sea.
We’ll feature these compositions on the next English Pastorale, Sunday at 9 am.