Status: Usually despatched within 24 - 48 hours
Subtitle: Op. 28, No. 2
Arranger: (ed. Matthews)
Instrumentation: Symphonic Band (full score)
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes (New York)
Buy Together For: £27.98
Composed two years after the first suite, this work draws on no fewer than seven folk-tunes from the British Isles. Such melodies as "Swansea Town", "Cloudy Banks", and "The Irish Washerwoman" are combined in this four movement work, with a vigorous setting of "Greensleeves" brought in for an effective lyric contrast.
"Some of the revisions in this edition of the Second Suite are (in my opinion) a bit off-putting. The baritone saxophone part was rewritten to double the winds and was removed entirely from the second movement. I think this revision takes away the color that the bari sax had added to the low brass in the 1948 score. Also, the solo in the beginning of the second movement was removed from the oboe and given to solo clarinet. The oboe joins the clarinet in bar 11. Again, I think the color of the work has been changed, in my opinion, in a negative way. The expression the clarinet offers is much different than the cantabile vocal quality of the oboe. Some might find the clarinet more melancholy, which fits the movement very well, but I always sympathized with the organic timbre of the oboe.
In general, the edition tries to remain true to the original Holst manuscripts, but Matthews admits that Holst's intentions were not always clear. Nevertheless, this is a timeless work and something every band should experience."