Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Honouring Holst

Cheltenham has finally honoured one of its most famous sons, Gustav Holst. Last Friday this bronze statue of the composer was unveiled in Imperial Gardens. Holst was born in Cheltenham in 1874 and spent his formative years here, before returning in the 1920's and staying until his death in 1934. The composer is most famous for The Planets Suite, which he conducted in Cheltenham Town Hall in 1927.

The statue, created by Anthony Stones, stands on a plinth surrounded by a fountain. On the octagonal plinth are 7 bronze plates each with a depiction of the Planets that inspired the famous Suite. The statue cost £50,000, with £45,000 being paid from the donation left in the Will of Elizabeth Hamond. The rest was paid for by the Borough Council and fundraising. For more on Holst, the sculptor and a video of the unveiling check out http://www.cheltenhamcivicsociety.org.uk/Gustav%20Holst.htm

11 comments:

brian said...

Nice photo Marley. I like this sculpture, and as a former 'band geek' that enjoys classical music, I found the 'Planet Suite' on youtube... listening now!

Fénix - Bostonscapes said...

Me too! :) I just watched this video on YouTube ("Gustav Holst - The Planets Op.32 Jupiter") and liked it a lot.

Kate said...

Wonderful way to commemorate a great talent!

Chuck Pefley said...

With his baton held in his left hand, one would probably assume Holst to have been left-handed.

Nice sculpture.

Murphy_jay said...

Nice post, Marley.

I guess it's always nice to know that a great artist used to live in the neighbourhood.

Thanks Chuck for the observation.. is Holst really left handed?

Hyde DP said...

50 grand for a statue doesn't seem bad - money well spent
It is snowing like mad again up here this morning

Gail's Man said...

There was a question on 'who wants to be a millionaire' recently about where was he born. I was amazed at the answer being Cheltenham. With a name like his, most would have gone for Germany or Russia.

Lori said...

What a beautiful statue and a lovely tribute. I've always loved The Planets. His music is very majestic. I share the same birthday with Holst, so maybe that's why I always liked his music!

Neva said...

I coach an academic team and this is one of the things that always comes up over the course of a few games......"Who wrote the The Planet Suites?"..what a nice statue for your town!

D.C. Confidential said...

Yeah, Holst! Love his music.

What a lovely tribute to an amazing artist. (And why, pray tell, does it take us so long to recognize the greatness of someone's work? Why can't we do it before they die and not after? Especially classical artists?)

Glenn Standish said...

What a great sculpture Marley. So glad to see that Gustav Holst has finally been commemorated in Cheltenham. Looks as if the Imperial Garedens is having a bit of a revamp. As it's not the only new addition. There has now been a new signpost installed showing all the different twin towns of Cheltenham. Please can you show this in a future post?

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