Top positive review
22 people found this helpful
Excellent Holst collection - The Planets and well beyond
on 8 February 2013
Excellent value - the only snag for me was that I already had several of these recordings on CD, but, even so, at £7 this was well worth buying to get hold of some of Holst's other pieces that have hardly ever been recorded.
These are mostly recordings from the 1960s and 1970s, but EMI's analogue recording quality was of a very high standard. The more familiar pieces (The Planets, The Perfect Fool music) are included in recordings that are as good as any ever made (conducted by Boult and Previn respectively). There are other great Holst pieces included that are just as good as The Planets but which are relatively neglected (Egdon Heath, Hymn of Jesus, Choral Fantasia, etc.). The unaccompanied choral music is done very well by the "Baccholian Singers" (actually a group of top-notch vocal soloists such as Ian Partridge) - this performance of The Homecoming is one of the few pieces I've heard where the singers are successful in adopting more-or-less plausible regional accents. And the two short operas are also well worthwhile.
I think I would have preferred Mehuhin's recordings (with the ECO) of the short suites (Beni Mora, etc.) to the Sargent performances that are included here, but that's a very minor quibble.
Anyone who likes The Planets and wants to hear other music by Holst should buy this - 6/7 hours at this price is great value.