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Elgar: 'Enigma' Variations - Holst: The Planets

4.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Elgar: 'Enigma' Variations - Holst: The Planets
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Product details

  • Audio CD (3 Sept. 2012)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B008FEHYR0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 76,208 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
These two well known and respected recordings from 1971 and 1979 have been remastered in 2002 and re-coupled as here. The remastering has been very successful and has added 'presence', depth and more bite to the previously good recordings.

The Elgar brings a performance that simply sounds 'right' with everything in its right place, performed and recorded well and sounding as it should. This is very much a 'Boult' version with a slight touch of objectivity about it. Climaxes are achieved with inevitability, dignity and nobility are to the fore. The recording brings considerable depth to the experience. However, there is a restrained aspect to this performance that lovers of Barbirolli's more impassioned approach will miss. Above all, lovers of Monteux's famous and wonderfully re-mastered version will miss the excitement, forward drive and sheer exuberant thrill that that performance uniquely delivers. All three of these versions are enjoyed in my collection for their different rewards and Boult certainly has his place.

Much the same can be said of this version of the Planets. This is a deeply considered, well played and well recorded version with all the same virtues of the Enigma recording. My one reservation concerns Mars which seems to me, no matter how many times I have heard it, to lack menace. It is just too slow and considered to have either excitement or menace. While writing this review I have checked it several times against performances by Sargent, Previn and Gardiner. Gardiner, at 8'03'' is the slowest but still manages to inject menace. Boult, at 7'57'' has plenty of weight but misses any suggestion of war in any guise. Previn, at 7' 00'' is noticeably faster and is both powerful and exciting. It sounds 'right.
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Format: Audio CD
I don't really understand why this issue has appeared, replacing as it does the identical coupling which EMI have served up to us on more than one occasion in the past (those from 2002 and 2010 are still available from Amazon), but in fairness, it does need to be said that these are two of the very best accounts of these works, that the recording of both is excellent and that no-one who does not already have them can really go wrong. There are innumerable recorded versions of these very popular scores - we are spoilt for choice - very many of them first-rate, but Boult was the first ever to conduct 'The Planets', he knew Holst well and had immense experience of the score and his enthusiasm for it never waned, and as for 'Enigma', for me this is the best version of all, balancing tenderness, melancholy, lyrical beauty, brilliance and excitement in a way which seems absolutely right and with a marvellously steady, purposeful and in the end overwhelming 'Nimrod'. Whatever picture EMI put on the front and whatever catalogue number it carries, this is an outstanding issue.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was not particularly interested in the Enigma Variations, but I wanted this EMI Boult version of the Planets, so accepted that it came with Elgar. Wow, was I wrong! This is an amazing recording and I prefer the Enigma Variations even over Venus. I am a very happy listener.
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By Adrian Drew TOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Mar. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Two fine recordings which rival the very best versions of these enduring works. Beautifully transferred from the original source material this CD is an enduring record of the work of one of the 20th Century's finest conductors. A heartily recommended purchase.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
An excellent recording of two works for which Sir Adrian Boult was the greatest interpreter , having known both composers in life--a great combination of classic recordings from the 1970s
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Essential.Boult's mastery is everywhere in evidence..On par with Barbirolli and Previn.Vivid 70's sound and conducting of great authoity make this a main contender.
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