Gustav Theodore Holst ( 1874 – 1934) was an English composer, arranger and teacher from the modern period of music. He is best known for his orchestral suite The Planets but he also composed many other works across a range of genres, such as today’s piece which was written for string orchestra and published in 1922.
During Holst’s earlier years as a composer, he took interest in folk music, and wrote many pieces based on folk tunes and songs. Today’s piece begins with the folk tune “Dargason”, a 16th-century English dance tune, followed by “Greensleeves”, a traditional English folk tune, played by the cellos.
Listen out for the polyphonic texture (different independent melodies happening at the same time).