Author Topic: Holst's The Planets  (Read 159016 times)

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Offline Peter Power Pop

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Re: Holst's The Planets
« Reply #820 on: December 30, 2020, 10:44:15 PM »
I’ve already read a good bit from your page, Peter. Good stuff, although I disagree with your top choice.

Thanks, MI.

In a way, I'm relieved that you disagree about the Dutoit. I'd hate to live in a world where everyone loved exactly the same stuff. [Shudder]

Offline Jo498

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Re: Holst's The Planets
« Reply #821 on: December 31, 2020, 01:10:12 AM »
I wonder if there is any major piece that has evoked more interesting covers between cheesily hilarious and grand.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Irons

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Re: Holst's The Planets
« Reply #822 on: December 31, 2020, 01:30:51 AM »
I wonder if there is any major piece that has evoked more interesting covers between cheesily hilarious and grand.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Holst's The Planets
« Reply #823 on: December 31, 2020, 01:41:58 AM »
No reason not to have both. Accuracy doesn't have to be faceless. Revelation needn't be flawed.

Of course, but I am always surprised how a performance will be ruled out by some because of a single perceived mistake or flaw - one in mentioned in this thread regarding Boult's 60's version.  My sense is people who dismiss performances - live or recorded - on that basis, have never been performers themselves.  I am always amazed how often the most complex and demanding music is accurately played let alone wonderfully interpreted.  In this specific instance the Boult 60's version is a really superb performance/recording - definitely one of my favourites - and the split note is a passing moment of humanity of no consequence to anyone except the player themselves who probably hated the fact it is enshrined on disc!

Offline Biffo

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Re: Holst's The Planets
« Reply #824 on: December 31, 2020, 02:47:48 AM »
Thanks, MI.

In a way, I'm relieved that you disagree about the Dutoit. I'd hate to live in a world where everyone loved exactly the same stuff. [Shudder]

Thank you for your mind-boggling list, I have only heard a handful of them. A few random thoughts, bearing in mind the highlighted comment above.

When the work was reviewed on BBC Radio 3 Building a Library several years ago the surprise top choice (to me) was Levi/Atlanta, here a lowly No 27

When the work was discussed in another forum several people expressed a preference for Mehta/LAPO. I eventually acquired it as part of a Decca twofer. I found it beautiful but bland, like an immaculate dress rehearsal.

The first time I heard the work live it was from Andrew Litton conducting the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, I see his Dallas performance rates quite highly.

I may have to hear the Elder recording as you rate it so highly.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Holst's The Planets
« Reply #825 on: December 31, 2020, 07:09:28 AM »
Thank you for your mind-boggling list, I have only heard a handful of them. A few random thoughts, bearing in mind the highlighted comment above.

When the work was reviewed on BBC Radio 3 Building a Library several years ago the surprise top choice (to me) was Levi/Atlanta, here a lowly No 27

When the work was discussed in another forum several people expressed a preference for Mehta/LAPO. I eventually acquired it as part of a Decca twofer. I found it beautiful but bland, like an immaculate dress rehearsal.

The first time I heard the work live it was from Andrew Litton conducting the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, I see his Dallas performance rates quite highly.

I may have to hear the Elder recording as you rate it so highly.

Speaking of bland, I dislike that Elder performance. The only two English conductors I like in The Planets are Boult and Groves. I kind of like Rattle’s Berliner recording, but really only for the Neptune movement, which he handles marvelously.
“Competitions are for horses; not artists.” - Béla Bartók

Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Holst's The Planets
« Reply #826 on: December 31, 2020, 07:59:20 AM »
Thinking I might be alone, but apparently I'm not!  Saturn has been my favourite movement for some time now.  I see other posters feel the same way (John - MI, Jeffrey - Vandermolen, and Christo.)  I may have missed a few names.

It hasn't always been the case with me.  Initially, it was Jupiter, then Mars, and then Venus that held that distinction.

I think all of the movements (planets) are special and very unique, and I don't dislike or feel ambivalence to any of them.  Something about Saturn just really resonates with me.  I think it is the ethereal, expansiveness that I hear.  With my eyes closed while listening to Saturn, I get the impression that if I were to open my eyes, the massive planet (or any celestial body) would be inches away from my face!
« Last Edit: December 31, 2020, 08:04:20 AM by OrchestralNut »

Offline Christo

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Re: Holst's The Planets
« Reply #827 on: December 31, 2020, 08:06:51 AM »
Thinking I might be alone, but apparently I'm not!  Saturn has been my favourite movement for some time now.  I see other posters feel the same way (John - MI, Jeffrey - Vandermolen, and Christo.)
Absolutely, I judge every recording by its rendering of Saturn alone, sometimes by that of Saturn, Uranus and Neptune in a row.
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Holst's The Planets
« Reply #828 on: December 31, 2020, 08:10:06 AM »
Absolutely, I judge every recording by its rendering of Saturn alone, sometimes by that of Saturn, Uranus and Neptune in a row.

Interesting!  By this criteria then, what are your favourite recordings based on Saturn?

Offline Christo

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Re: Holst's The Planets
« Reply #829 on: December 31, 2020, 08:58:05 AM »
Interesting!  By this criteria then, what are your favourite recordings based on Saturn?
Very much those favoured by Peter Power Pop & it's also some years ago that I tried to be certain now.  :)
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Holst's The Planets
« Reply #830 on: January 01, 2021, 02:21:38 AM »
I've always rather liked this version. I also liked all the Boult recordings and that of William Steinberg. I also recall enjoying Ormandy's recording:
« Last Edit: January 01, 2021, 02:23:51 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Holst's The Planets
« Reply #831 on: January 01, 2021, 03:52:44 AM »
Absolutely, I judge every recording by its rendering of Saturn alone, sometimes by that of Saturn, Uranus and Neptune in a row.

I go further - I generally edit out Venus, Mercury and Jupiter, leaving 4 movements and a more manageable duration for my addled attention span.
And while - of course - Saturn is the core of this music, I feel it is more likely judged by the impact or otherwise of Mars, and especially the tempo choice and how strictly, once chosen, it is adhered to.  The fastest Mars I've heard is Steinberg, the slowest Svetlanov, with the likes of Dutoit, Judd and Rattle representing the mainstream or if you prefer, the tempo giusto.

   
Steinberg and Svetlanov

Offline Peter Power Pop

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Re: Holst's The Planets
« Reply #832 on: July 15, 2021, 09:23:54 PM »
I've always rather liked this version. I also liked all the Boult recordings and that of William Steinberg. I also recall enjoying Ormandy's recording:


There's a live recording with Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1977. I think it's the best Planets performance on video:

https://youtu.be/YtphY-4xjQw
« Last Edit: July 15, 2021, 09:30:53 PM by Peter Power Pop »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Holst's The Planets
« Reply #833 on: July 15, 2021, 09:53:13 PM »
There's a live recording with Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1977. I think it's the best Planets performance on video:

https://youtu.be/YtphY-4xjQw
Thank you PPP!
I've always liked Ormandy's commercial Sony recording. I think he's a rather underrated conductor. I also like his Miaskovsky Symphony No.21 and his CBS LP introduced me to Shostakovich's magnificent 4th Symphony.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Irons

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Re: Holst's The Planets
« Reply #834 on: July 24, 2021, 12:52:29 AM »
Thank you PPP!
I've always liked Ormandy's commercial Sony recording. I think he's a rather underrated conductor. I also like his Miaskovsky Symphony No.21 and his CBS LP introduced me to Shostakovich's magnificent 4th Symphony.

I would add Nielsen's 6th to those.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline relm1

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Re: Holst's The Planets
« Reply #835 on: July 24, 2021, 05:15:47 AM »
You should add my performance to your ranking  ;D  I was the bass trombonist.  We played so damn loud at the end of Mars and never have I heard a conductor look directly at us and say "trombones, I need that louder"!  By the end, my lips were going to fall off.  So glad we don't play in Venus.  Jupiter is a bit trickier than I thought it would be because it jumps in and out of triggers so it's a bit of a tongue twister just at the end.  Saturn, when the brass are well tuned, my god you feel your body vibrate with those granite resonating chords.  It's very powerful experience from inside the orchestra in the brass section.  I don't remember much from Uranus other than it sat nicely and the low E was a ton of fun to just belt that one out.  Neptune, is just a favorite and though we have just a handful of notes, they're so mesmerizing!
https://clyp.it/m5l0t4wq
« Last Edit: July 24, 2021, 05:21:45 AM by relm1 »