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Holst: the Planets [Import]

Lso , Simon Audio CD

Price: 3.94 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the very best "The Planets" on record 22 Mar 2008
By L. Johan - Published on
Format:Audio CD
This 1974 recording with André Previn conducting the London Symphony Orchestra is one of the very best interpretations and recordings of Holst's orchestral suite "The Planets" that we have on record (now also on DVD: Holst: The Planets (DVD-Audio)).

First, the interpretation is second to none. Previn's conception of all the movements is excellent and perfectly consistent, from the extremely violent "Mars" to the dreamy, lyrical "Neptune". Second, the sound is superb: clear, detailed, full-bodied analogue stereo sound from the days when EMI made their very best recordings.

Within a crowded field, it is easy to miss this gem. References include Boult's 1966 recording with New Philharmonia (EMI) British Composers: Holst, Steinberg's 1971 recording with Boston Symphony (DG) Holst: The Planets / R. Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra, and Handley's 1993 recording with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Alto) Holst: The Planets; St. Paul's Suite; Brook Green Suite. Even if I hold all these to be essential performances too, I would select Previn's as the first recommendation (that is, the present recording, not his later recording for Telarc).

Unfortunately, this superb "The Planets" has not been released in a new CD remastering by EMI since 1985. But for sure, it's one of the Great Recordings of the 20th Century.

Warmly recommended!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! This classic recording is mine!! 15 May 2011
By Johann Sebastian Bach - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I have been looking long and hard for this recording, Previn's first of this most popular work of Gustav Holst. On listening to it on the radio I have always preferred this version to Previn's later account on the Telarc label with the Royal Philharmonic. That was not a bad performance, and the RPO is just fine, but Previn seems to have mellowed during the intervening years with the result that this version is more beautiful sounding than dramatic, and this approach costs in the powerful movements such as Mars and Jupiter to mention just a couple of examples.

No such problem with the present EMI recording, which Previn made with the London Symphony Orchestra at the height of both their
powers. The LSO plays with its customary breathtaking virtuosity, and Previn judges the the tempo and atmosphere of each movement
well-nigh perfectly. For example, Mars comes off as a truly menacing and foreboding harbinger of war, and not the rush job that
it is often done as. Jupiter, the most popular movement is wonderfully exuberant without overdoing the tempo, and the slow trio
section has just the right pacing and phrasing so as not to drag. The other sections are equally superb, especially the slow
movements with their mysterious atmosphere and faultless playing, and the Ambrosian Singers sound approprialely eerie in the final movement, fading into nothingness as if implying What Now - where do we go from here?

I have other favorite recordings of the Planets - Karajan/Berlin with an even more exuberant Jupiter but a very ponderous Mars
(the slow movements) fine, Gardiner/Philharmonia (maybe too energetic for some) and Dutoit/Montreal which is almost the equal of
the Previn LSO save for some occasional lapses in the orchestra.

In closing, I have always thought that Previn is a highly underrated conductor, and when he is at his best as here, the results
should speak for themselves. If you find this recording, snap it up!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the one to get! 14 Feb 2013
By Hammerhead Music Man - Published on
Verified Purchase
Like the other reviewers have said, this is arguably one of the best interpretations of Gustav Holst's "The Planets" that anyone could ask for. The sound is crystal clear, allowing the listener to take in every bit of magic that meets their ears.

The music itself is a great way for listeners to grasp the variety in emotion in classical music. "Mars" is an example of the darker, more evil-sounding side of classical music, and it is definitely an ideal starting point in the genre for any metalhead who open to exploring classical music. "Venus" on the other hand, is a reflection of how relaxing classical music is known to be, with its peaceful and soothing demeanor. "Jupiter" is a prime example of a happy-go-lucky piece that instills joy, or "jollity" as Holst himself would put it. "Saturn" is also rather dark, but more in a sad and depressing manner, in contrast to the angrier atmosphere of "Mars."

As this was the first recording of classical music to enter my extensive music collection, I have to give it credit not only on behalf of how amazing it is, but also for the fact that it enabled me to become much more open-minded about music as an art, and to realize its connections with other genres, especially metal.

Anyways, this is definitely the recording of "The Planets" that you need to get, if you don't already own it. You will be very glad that you did. Enjoy!
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sonic Sensation--An Exciting and Aesthetically Rewarding Piece of Music! 2 May 2014
By James Yelvington - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I have several other recordings of this marvelous music, but this one--despite its original analog recording technology--is a sonic sensation! Probably much is due to André Previn's vivid interpretation, for he seems to be devoted fan of the work. In any case, I'm sure I haven't heard any among the several other excellent recordings that can quite match this one for sheer sonic excitement and gripping portrayal of the seven planetary astrological symbols. I recommend it especially to those who can thrill to sparkling, lively, and suggestive orchestral music of the first order. From start to finish it is a consistently impressive recording!
5.0 out of 5 stars Whats not too like! 11 Oct 2013
By Sundowner - Published on
Verified Purchase
A more than adequate presentation of the planets especially "Saturn: The Bringer of Old Age". I would recommend this album for its great overwhelming themes and musical passages which can be very uplifting.
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