The collection of nine Vedic Hymns (Op. 24) for solo Voice with Piano accompaniment marked a turning point in Holst's compositions. They were inspired by Hindu scripture and Indian raga, and first published in 1908. Vac (Speech) is the seventh movement, and is the first of the third group of hymns, where the theme shifts into the human sphere.
Gustav Holst (1874-1934) was an English composer and teacher. Having studied under Stanford and Parry, he became a close friend of Vaughan Williams – they would often critique each other’s work – and influenced composers such as Tippet and Britten. He is best remembered for his Planets suite.