Gustav Holst | Compositions, The Music of Holst

(1895) The Revoke Op. 1

While studying at the Royal College of Music, Holst composed The Revoke, an opera which is based on a libretto by composer/writer Fritz Hart. Hart was, during his years as a student at RCM, a very close friend of Holst. Under the guidance of his teacher, Charles Stanford, Holst?s opera began to take shape.

After completion it was submitted to Stanford for review. He was so enthusiastic about the work he almost had it staged at the Opˇra Comique in Paris, where one of his own operas was being staged at the time. That never came to fruition, so Holst had to be satisfied with a student runthrough conducted by Stanford. Holst was not content with the sound of his orchestration and reworked various sections of the opera. The piece, however, has never performed in public, though Holst was satisfied enough with his final product to label the opera his Opus No. 1.