Although completed in 1909, Gustav Holst’s First Suite in E flat received its official premiere 11 years later at the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall, on 23rd June 1920. There are three movements in the suite: Chaconne, Intermezzo and March. Holst himself said “As each movement is founded on the same phrase, the suite be played right through without a break.”
The Chaconne begins with a ground bass, repeated throughout the ensemble sixteen times as varying instrumental textures and variations of the theme are layered within it. The Intermezzo is light and brisk and features many soloistic passages. The March consists of two themes, the opening is a light march contrasted with a longer, more lyrical second theme. The movement concludes with both themes superimposed on one an another.
This brass band arrangement includes the section omitted from the first movement of the Sydney Herbert transcription.
Difficulty: 3rd Section and above