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PostChurchill's Funeral (Paul Preston, -UK, 01/25/15 3:49 am)
I am very grateful to David Duggan (24 January) for directing us to the very moving footage of Churchill's funeral. However, I feel that I should point out that the music heard in the YouTube clip was by Gustav Holst and is the central theme in the fourth movement, "Jupiter," of his suite The Planets. The hymn, "I vow to thee my country," is usually referred to as the "Thaxted Hymn," a reference to the beautiful village of Thaxted in Essex where the great composer lived. The words of the hymn were written earlier by the British diplomat, Sir Cecil Spring-Rice.
JE comments: Holst's Planet suite and I go way back to high school band, but I never knew he was English. I assumed Swedish or even German. It turns out that his father was a bit of both, together with Latvian, but Holst was born in the UK. He even removed the original "von" of his surname as a patriotic gesture during WWI.
I am presently halfway through Paul Preston's latest book The Last Stalinist, so I learn something from Paul just about every day. Maybe I could gift Paul a tiny nugget in return: in addition to being an accomplished music educator, Holst was a professional trombonist. (I played trombone in high school, and even played Holst on the trombone, but I would never call myself a "trombonist.")