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Carl Orff: Carmina Burana; Holst: The Planets
Carl Orff, Gustav Holst, David Hill
Carl Orff: Carmina Burana; Holst: The Planets
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (25) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #2


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What a Great Deal!
A. Tohline | Athens, OH | 11/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There is no need to debate the merits of either of the two major works featured on this two-CD set. Both Carmina Burana and The Planets are sweeping and amazingly beautiful works. The orchestration, the melodies, the grandeur, and the timelessness are all beautifully captured in these readings by David Hill and Sir Charles Mackerras.While the Bournemouth Symphony (Carmina Burana) and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (The Planets) may sound like obscure orchestras, the sonic excellence and maturity on these two CDs are enough to rival any other recording I've heard of these pieces. O Fortuna whips into a raging torrent and lights a fervent fire that doesn't extinguish until its terror returns twenty-four movements later. Mars burns with the fury and tumult of war, and Jupiter's jovial boisterousness is displayed in full, while its passionate central lyrical section overflows with expressiveness. These recent (1989 and 1995) DDD performances feature sound that literally fills the room. The engineering is perfect in that it serves to underscore the sweeping scope of these pieces.The other piece, the Ballet Music from the Perfect Fool could be considered a time filler, though it is by no means to be considered a "weak" or "lesser" piece. Its merits are clear, and, as with the rest of the other two pieces, the orchestra brings out its best qualities.Combine this expert playing, engineering, and conducting with a great price for a double-CD and you get an undeniably good deal. I typically shy away from inexpensive recordings, fearing inferior quality. Such is not the case here. These recordings would sell just as well if the price were doubled, because the recordings are at least that good. Buy it for yourself and find out what I mean."