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Holst - The Planets; Elgar - Pomp & Circumstance

Lpo , Solti Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 5.00
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Product details

  • Audio CD (10 May 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B0000041Y6
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 149,708 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Planets: Mars
2. The Planets: Venus
3. The Planets: Mercury
4. The Planets: Jupiter
5. The Planets: Saturn
6. The Planets: Uranus
7. The Planets: Neptune
8. Pomp & Circumstance: March No. 1 In D Major
9. Pomp & Circumstance: March No. 4 In G Major
10. Pomp & Circumstance: March No. 5 In C Major

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Two of the best on one album 3 Dec 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I bought this album initially as a present for my dad, hoping it would return my copy of Holst's Planet suite with the royal philharmonic and Vernon Handley. However, when i listened to it (as you do before giving presents) i fell in love. " Mars, the bringer of war" is such an amazing piece, you need to listen in a dark room with surround to fully appreciate all the instruments. "Saturn, the bringer of old age" is a beautifull haunting tune, using the serenity of flute and harp figures to chill the spine. "Neptune, the mystic" however, is my favourite. It is really exploratory, with many differing themes. I only wish Pluto was discovered earlier, so that we could hear Holst's impression of that. In my opinion Gustav Holst is one of the most underated composers . Elgar, well what can i say, the man was a genius, strings, percussion and brass, he blended them all masterfully together. I thoroughly recommend this album to all, needless to say, my dad never got this for his birthday.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holst and Elgar 13 July 2012
By KM
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Only originally wanted 'Planets', but am enjoying the Elgar on this CD too. Reasonably priced, which is great if you don't mind which orchestra and which conductor features.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not best 31 July 2001
By jhorro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Although the ingredients are promising, I would not call this the definitive Planets recording. However, it is hard to find a good team for this music. I think Mars and Uranus require a brass section of Wagnerian proportions, whereas Mercury and Saturn are closer to Ravel or Debussy. Karajan in Berlin was a fine exponent and so was Dutoit in Montreal. While Solti can naturally give excitement to this music, he is not as adept with bringing out the shading of the lighter movements. Especially, at the end of Saturn where Karajan, Dutoit, and Mehta have used a more spacious tempo, Solti seems uninvolved and determined to get the movement overwith. The recording quality, while good for its period, is inferior to that of newer versions of this work. There are plenty of good digital versions available, and unless Solti as conductor is a must, other versions do more justice to this music.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great direction, poor mastering 23 July 2004
By Just a guy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is one of my favorite interpretations of Holst's work. I had an old Solti Cd when I was a kid, but because I played it so much, it was badly scratched. I decided to stick with Solti and London because this Cd was taken from the original 1978 recording. However, I quiickly discovered that when the engineers transferred the analog tape to the cd for this version, they compressed some of the tracks so that the whole cd would be louder. However, because of this, the glorious forte sections suffer terribly. In particular the hymn section of Jupiter is completely botched. You may not notice it if this is your first planets recording, but it bugs me to no end. You can hear where the engineers turned down the really loud secitions if you listen carefully at all and that just ruins it for me. So in the end, if you had the original recording from the '78 session, be wary of this cd.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Propulsive, thrilling 29 Dec 2004
By Marcus K. Maroney - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Mars may be too fast for some tastes, but there's no arguing that this performance of the Planets exhibits consistently stunning orchestral execution, gorgeously remastered analogue sound (easily rivalling most DDD recordings) and wonderfully varied atmosphere throughout the travelogue. I don't look to this piece too much for instrospection or profundity. Solti brings the perfect amount of warmth to Venus, agility to Mercury, and mystery to Neptune, but his shining moments are in Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus. I've never heard Saturn done with such inexorable momentum - a performance that imbues the inexorable coming of age and ticking of time better than any other. The climax here is harrowing. If you're familiar with Solti's recordings with the Chicago Symphony or colorful repertoire, you'll know what to expect here. The London Philharmonic matches the agility and gutsiness of their American counterparts. This is among my top three favorite recordings of this piece (Bernstein/NYPO and Gardiner being the others). The recording also features wonderfully played, non-indulgent readings of three of Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance marches.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solti delivers one of the best "Planets" for brilliance and verve 7 Dec 2010
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Between 1989 and 1997 the three arch rivals of the podium, Bernstein, Karajan, and Solti, all passed away, but in the boom times of LPs and early CDs, they vied for sales in the millions. Less considered was their artistic rivalry, and I won't venture to rank them, but in the case of Holst's The Planets, Bernstein had no interest and turned in a reading with the NY Phil. that was energetic but uninvolved. That left Karajan and Solti to duke it out. Decca already had Karajan's phenomenal reading with the vienna Phil, but it was analog and showing its sonic age when Solti came out with this recording in 1979. It features the London Phil., surprisingly, rather tan the blockbuster Chicago Sym. But Solti loved this orchestra, and between him and the Decca engineers, they sound crushing and crunching enough to suit anyone.

Both of Karajan's versions, the second one coming from Berlin in the digital era on DG, are more naturally musical and more virtuosically stunning than Solti's account, but he is actually less pompous, more alert and lively. to the English, there needs to be a dash of native charm, which neither Karajan nor Solti imparts. Even so, Solti is determined to make an exciting impression, and he succeeds. If you don't mind that he strains at the leash in Mars, and that there are few moments of relaxation, much less mystery, this bumptious performance is full of high spirits and no condescension whatever -- I was agreeably surprised.

Decca mixes and matches recordings for their Solti Collection series, and here they've tossed in three of Elgar's Pomp and Circustance marches (does any modern person know what "circumstance" means in this context?), which Solti rips through with starched seams in military trousers. This music could use more heart and imperial dignity, however.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ONLY Planets! 12 Aug 2001
By David M. Lombardo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I used to have this recording on cassette...it's great to have it on CD now - no hiss! This is by far the best recording of The Planets (better than my favorite conductor's & orchestra's version - Previn & LSO). I have heard many renditions of this piece, and nobody nails the timing & passion of Mars like Solti & the LPO...followed by the delicacy of Venus. His command of the orchestra can be felt through every note. This recording is a must, and is one of my all time greatest classical CDs!
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