Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Gustav Holst, Charles Dutoit, Montréal Symphony Orchestra|
Holst: The Planets
Charles Dutoit often sounds better on disc than he does live. The reason for this is simple: he loves to play to the audience, and the result is all kinds of wild gesticulating that the orchestra knows perfectly well to ... more »
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Charles Dutoit often sounds better on disc than he does live. The reason for this is simple: he loves to play to the audience, and the result is all kinds of wild gesticulating that the orchestra knows perfectly well to ignore. Sometimes they ignore him completely, to the peril of the performance at hand. In the studio, however, there is no audience and the conductor is free to focus on the music. Dutoit has a real affection for The Planets and his performance is vital, insightful, and recorded in resplendent digital sound. The Montreal Symphony has a particularly powerful trombone section, which adds just that extra drop of energy to "Mars,"Jupiter," and "Saturn." A fine disc. --David Hurwitz
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Member CD Reviews
David N. (ilikeallmusic) from GADSDEN, AL
Reviewed on 7/7/2015...
Here is another All Music Guide 5.0 rated cd. I googled for reviews of various Holst: the Planets Cds and this was the most highly recommended! The sound quality is great. I have a pair of Sennheiser 598 headphones and the sound is great!! - David N
David | Spruce Grove, AB Canada | 04/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Considering that this recording of Holst's most popular works is among a pioneer in digital recordings, it still outshines rival versions. Charles Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra have a natural feeling for mood, rhythm and colour that transpire into the "Planets Suite" that have stood up through the years. The inspiration for "Planets Suite" started with just the simple facination Holst had with astrology that would transcend into music that never existed in english music before and is undoubtedly the most famous of large scale compositions and deservely so because it's a masterpiece in imagination. Earth being excluded and Pluto yet not discovered, the seven planets would bare original character traits associated with the planets. Mars, the bringer of war starts off thunderously. Venus, the bringer of peace a nostalgic glance with his infatuation with Wagner. Mercury, the winged messenger submerged completely in impressionism, everything is dabs and dashes of sounds. Jupiter, the bringer of jollity, Holst's love of english folksong and dance would be adapted for a patriotic hymn. Saturn, the bringer of old age a procession that winds unrelentlessly. Uranus, the magician a nightmarish version of Dukas' The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Neptune, the mystic is pure impressionism, a blank picture, all atmosphere...one of the most awe inspiring intimations of the infinite. It ends hauntingly with the receding voices of the Montreal's women chorus."
Comparative Review v. Slatkin
Karl W. Nehring | Ostrander, OH USA | 07/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The two conductors take similar tempi in most of the movements (the main difference being in "Venus," where Dutoit is noticeably slower, but I did not find that to make as big a difference in my enjoyment of the movement as I thought it might when I read the timings. Both versions have their virtues, although neither matches Karajan for sheer beauty) and the sound quality of both recordings is exemplary. The RCA (engineered by Tony Faulkner using "24-bit technology" [which we will assume refers to the technical specs, not the cost]) is slightly warmer and more distant in sound than the London recording (engineered by John Dunkerley with, presumably, 16-bit equipment), but the difference is not a great one. Both recordings, by the way, do especially well by the organ pedals, and will give subwoofer owners reason to smile.
So what can I really say? The Dutoit has held off all challengers for more than a decade now. To mention just a few of the major contenders, the EMI Previn has that slight touch of distortion that I was never able to completely listen around either on LP or CD (but others rave about--to each his or her own, I guess), the Telarc Previn is tremendous in terms of sound quality but the performance is a bit bland, the DGG Levin/Chicago reading had its exciting moments but was a bit too sloppy overall, and the DGG Gardiner just sounded too bright to these ears.
The Slatkin is the first recording/performance combination to equal the Dutoit overall in my experience. I very slightly prefer the sound of the Slatkin, but I also very slightly prefer the vocal sonority of the women's choir on the Dutoit in the last movement to the children's choir on the Slatkin.
Overall, then, I have a slight preference for the Dutoit in terms of performance, and a very slight preference for the Slatkin in terms of sound quality, but hasten to point out that both are very, very good in both respects. That the Slatkin recording contains an extra selection, Arcana, does not enter into the calculation--it is a piece that you might want to listen to every once in a while, but I'm confident that most purchasers of this disk will generally skip right over it and go straight off into space.