Top critical review
8 people found this helpful
on 18 September 2013
I must confess to being at a loss to explain the other reviews here. Adored The Planets since I was a kid, and thought it was about time to get a really good version. This, sadly, isn't it.
Colin Davis sounds awfully like he was very keen to get to the bar. Mars seems to positively skip along - not so much the Bringer of War, as the Bringer of Mild Disagreement, with none of the weight or heft I'd remembered. The balance seemed off too - much too present, strange predominances abound, as everything was close mic'd, whereas I just wanted to step back. Jupiter starts beautifully but seems to unravel as the complexity increases, and the emotional whallop never hits.
Days later, unable to cope with it any more, I bought the remastered Adrian Boult's 1978 performance. Oh boy. From Mars' opening bar, there it all was - the weight, the heft, the sheer MEANACE building to the unleashing of hell (if you will). Everything in its right place (oh, and Elgar's Enigma Variations bundled in too). Perhaps the man who conducted the debut performance in 1917 could never be bettered. Strongly urge people interested in this to get Boult's recording instead.