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April 21, 2015

Gustav Holst - The Cloud Messenger Op. 30

"This piece is the largest of the 'Indian' works Holst composed between 1895 and 1914. It is based on the 'Meghaduta,' an epic poem by Kalidasa, the Indian poet. Holst once said that the translation of this poem took him seven years to complete, 'seven happy years, of course.' Holst didn't complete this translation alone though. There was a similar translation used by R. W. Frazier in his book, 'Silent Gods and Sun Steeped Lands,' of which Holst owned a copy.
The Cloud Messenger is about an exiled poet from Central India who sends a cloud toward the Himalaya Mountains to relay a message of love to his wife, who is lonely. There are great moments of dance laced throughout the piece, which serve to symbolize the cloud listening in on the dances in the temples of the holy city. In the end, the cloud delivers its message by speaking softly into the sleeping ear of the poet's wife."

Posted by Ghost of a flea at April 21, 2015 05:05 PM