Imogen Holst: String Chamber Music CD review – we owe it to ourselves to keep listening to her – The Guardian

Imogen Holst is in the blood of NMC records: in 1981 – three years before she died – she set up the foundation that would end up kickstarting the label eight years later. And even though the core remit of NMC is to champion living British composers, it also does a noble line in saving important recordings that fall through the cracks. The opening chords of this album (originally released in 2009 but already out of print) 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.

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