Archive Treasures: Young composers and ancient carols

Archive Treasures: Young composers and ancient carols

Monday December 14 2020

In August 1918 Gustav Holst gave his 11 year old daughter a volume of Christmas carols which Imogen treasured all her life and now forms part of her collection of papers and manuscripts held in our archive. The volume is entitled Ancient English Christmas Carols 1400-1700, collected and arranged by Edith Rickert and published by […]

Archive Treasures: Imogen Holst’s scrapbooks and The Pipers’ Guild

Monday September 21 2020

Amongst Imogen Holst’s papers held in our collections are ten large scrapbooks which she started as a student at the Royal College of Music in 1926, and continued to put together until 1941. These are fantastic, interesting and colourful volumes. She pasted a myriad of ephemera into the volumes – newspaper cuttings, tickets, programmes, photographs, […]

Archive Treasures: Hardy’s Time’s Laughingstocks and Other Verses

Monday July 13 2020

Britten owned a large collection of verse anthologies as well as volumes of specific authors in his library. Of these volumes the one with the most interesting provenance may be this first edition of Thomas Hardy’s poems – Time’s Laughingstocks and Other Verses. Two letters from Hardy found in the cover of the volume reveal […]

Britten, Pears, Holst and Bach’s St. John Passion

Thursday April 9 2020

Although attending a performance of the Passion isn’t possible this Easter we can be reminded of how important Bach’s music was to Britten, Pears and Imogen Holst, and take a quick look at how their own edition of the St. John Passion evolved. Bach was a staple in the lives of Britten, Pears and Imogen […]

New Collection: Rita Thomson’s Letters

Wednesday December 11 2019

Last week we were delighted to receive for addition to our archive collections letters sent to Rita Thomson from many friends including Britten and Pears. Rita met Britten in 1973 when he had an operation at London’s National Heart Hospital where she worked as a senior ward sister. Amongst the letters deposited with us are […]

Gustav Holst’s WWI with the Salonika Forces

Thursday November 15 2018

The Holst Birthplace Museum in Cheltenham is currently holding an exhibition commemorating 100 years since Gustav Holst was director of music for the troops in Salonika and Constantinople. Imogen Holst’s papers, held at the Britten-Pears Foundation, include letters, diaries and notebooks of her father, some of which are on loan to the Museum as part […]

New CD release of Imogen Holst’s chamber music

Wednesday August 30 2017

‘A touching and beautifully presented tribute to a significant figure in 20th-century British music‘ – The Guardian NMC Recordings, the label that promotes the recording of new music, will be releasing Imogen Holst: String Chamber Music on 22 September 2017. This award-winning album of first recordings of Imogen Holst’s chamber works was originally released on […]

Missing Holst manuscripts discovered in New Zealand

Tuesday July 18 2017

Missing for over a hundred years, two pieces of music by the renowned English composer Gustav Holst have been rediscovered in the library of a community orchestra, the Bay of Plenty (BOP) Symphonia, in Tauranga, New Zealand. ‘Folk Songs from Somerset’ and ‘Two Songs Without Words’ were both written in 1906. The second of these […]