I waited in anticipation for this recording for six days. the recording is done by Manhattan School of Music, and I thought 'this is going to be a great student recording, right?' I thought the Hyperion recording was great, but this has to be THE WORST rendition I have ever heard. The singers sound like they don't understand the piece; they didn't take the time to internalize what was written by Holst. It's all too showy.. I can't even gratify them by saying that they are just singing the notes, because they had to have studied the piece to obtain this kind of blatant disregard for everything. Everybody wants to outsing each other.. how can you do that with only three singers.. and every entrance is this big overture and loud and obnoxious.. and even the 'unseen' womens choir is trying to bully in on the action... you know the part where Death comes out and sings his big "Savitri, Savitri, I am Death.. you know after Satyavan dies.. well.. you can't hear him because the choir is outgunning him!! and on top of it all they had the gall to change certain musical markings!!!!! The bass sings "I am Death,, and the word 'death' is like 16 beats longs!!!
The instruments, they sound wonderful.. this is the first recording I found that is performed as it is scored (double string quartet, bass, 2 flutes, eng. horn), but some of the directions they are following are just not right... I don't know what the director of this production was thinking, but this is like a roller coaster ride I just did not want to pay for.
I thought that the Vaughan Williams and Britten were well done..the Britten in particular. It's too bad such a good Holst piece was performed so poorly.