Gustav Holst’s Second Suite in F was composed in 1911, two years after the first suite, yet like his first suite it didn’t receive its premiere until many years later, on 30th June 1922, at Royal Albert Hall in London and performed by band of The Military School of Music.
The Suite uses English folk songs and folk dance tunes throughout. The opening march movement uses three tunes: a lively Morris Dance called Glorishears, the folk song Swansea Town and finally Cloudy Banks. The first two tunes are repeated to conclude the first movement. The second movement is a setting of I’ll Love My Love, a sad story of a young maiden driven into Bedlam by grief over her lover being sent to sea by his parents to prevent their marriage. The Song of the Blacksmith follows with a lively hammer rhythms and the score actually asks for a blacksmith’s anvil. The final movement is a fantasia based on the 16th Century English country-dance, The Dargason, with the Elizabethan love-song Greensleeves intertwined.
This is a new brass band arrangement that has a lighter texture to that made by Sydney Herbert and restores it to the original key of F.
Duration: c. 12 minutes
Difficulty: 3rd Section and above