Gustav Theodore Holst was an English composer. He is most famous for his orchestral suite The Planets....
's Brook Green Suite
was written in 1933 for St Paul's Girls' School
St Paul's Girls' School is a senior independent school, located in Brook Green, Hammersmith, in West London, England.-History:In 1904 a new day school for girls was established by the trustees of the Dean Colet Foundation , which had run St Paul's School for boys since the sixteenth century...
The movements are:
The Brook Green Suite
for strings was written in 1933 during Holst's stay in the hospital (where he was to die in May 1934). It was written for his pupils, the junior orchestra at St Paul's Girls School; He wanted to write a piece in a contemporary mature style that was easy enough for his pupils to perform, he felt they deserved better than simple orchestrations from keyboard originals or 'watered down' pieces that simply went 'I-IV-V-V/V-V-I' aimed at younger players. Brook Green
Brook Green is an affluent London neighbourhood in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. It is located approx west of Charing Cross. It is bordered by Kensington, Shepherd's Bush, Hammersmith, Holland Park and Brackenbury Village....
Hammersmith is an urban centre in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in west London, England, in the United Kingdom, approximately five miles west of Charing Cross on the north bank of the River Thames...
is the postal address of the school - with the school itself being situated overlooking the green.
The "Prelude" is based on the descending C major scale; in fact, the cellos cover it in two octaves in one part. The "Air" sounds as if it was based on English folk songs, but most likely it was not; Holst had become so acquainted with folk song during his life that a lot of his created melodies were very similar to them (take for instance the choral piece, This Have I Done For My True Love
, which audience members thought was a folk song arrangement when in actuality the melody was Holst's own.) The structure of the "Air" is reminiscent of the counterpoint of The Lyric Movement, full of enharmonic relations and somewhat austere. This is a trait of most of his later works. The "Dance" is based on a melody heard while he was in Sicily.
Originally, the piece contained a movement "Gavotte," but this movement was withdrawn after the first performance of the Brook Green Suite in March of 1934 at an informal school concert by the SPGS junior orchestra. This was the last concert that Holst attended.
In early 1929, Holst heard a tune during a puppet show and he utilised it in the last movement (Dance