Search - Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frederick Handel, Gustav Holst :: Holst: Suite No.1 & 2/Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks/Bach: Fantasia in G

Holst: Suite No.1 & 2/Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks/Bach: Fantasia in G
Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frederick Handel, Gustav Holst
Holst: Suite No.1 & 2/Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks/Bach: Fantasia in G
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1


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Telarc's - and my - first digital LP!
Bob Zeidler | Charlton, MA United States | 05/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It was nearly twenty-five years ago, but I can remember it as if it were yesterday. On a radio program of "new releases," a new recording of George Frederick Handel's "Music for the Royal Fireworks" was being played. It was a wind band performance, instrumented much as Handel called for originally. Since, as I recall, I was doing some household chores at the time, the music was largely in the background, sounding excellent but otherwise not particularly grabbing my attention.

Then, out of nowhere, THWUMP! A bass drum thwack that grabbed my attention like no other had before (and which my speakers thankfully survived). It took more than normal patience to await the conclusion of the performance to find out that what I had just heard was this premiere Telarc recording, led by an old-time musical hero of this wind ensemble music, Frederick Fennell. I had just been introduced to my first digitally-mastered recording (by stealth, if that matters), and I think I bought the LP the next day. And I know that I bought the CD version the minute I could put my hands on it, some half-dozen years later. Both versions remain in my library to this day.

Much to my delight, the LP turned out to also contain two of my favorite wind ensemble pieces (both of which I had the enjoyment of performing years earlier as a young instrumentalist): the two Suites for Band by Gustav Holst. Fennell had recorded these pieces about two decades earlier on a Mercury Living Presence LP, when he had been in charge of the Eastman Wind Ensemble. The sound on that Mercury LP was outstanding. But this first Telarc digitally-mastered LP was something else again.

Now, nearly a quarter-century later, this Fennell/Cleveland Winds recording still sounds fresh; it can still knock the wind out of those hearing it for the first time. Maestro Fennell keeps on going, recording and giving seminars in his golden years. (He was born in 1914, so you do the math. He's not a young 'un.) Telarc is well-established as one of the very best independent classical-music labels in the industry.

And the Telarc bass drum that "started it all"? Well, perhaps it's apocryphal that one drum was carried from venue to venue, to provide that "THWUMP" when needed. Then again, perhaps not.

Bob Zeidler"
An oldie, but a goody
Classical Lawyer | Columbia, SC | 10/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I bought this recording 20 years ago, in the fall of 1984. That was the day I bought my first CD player. Being an old "band nerd," I hustled home to hook the player up to my amplifier's auxiliary inputs. Well, what I heard was just miraculous. Terrific wind players and percussionists, playing their hearts out. And all of the sound came blasting at me through my slightly upscale equipment. I had never felt a bass drum whomp in my belly before on a recording. Well, this recording did it for me. The amazing thing is that it sounds as good today as it did in '84, when I was a mere 30 years old and had brown, not gray, hair.

Buy this. It is an historically significant recording. And it is worth five times the asking price."
The Best Music for Bands
Lisa Talley | Nashville, TN USA | 01/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Although I'm 40 years old now, I spent my musical youth performing the Holst Suites in high school honor bands and in college symphonic band (French horn). The Holst Suites were my all-time favorite pieces, and still are. In fact, this was the first CD I purchased when I bought my first CD player in the late '80s. I've given away, traded, and sold lots of my CDs through the years, but this one stands the test of time. It remains in my collection, and close to my heart. For true band music lovers, this will be the cornerstone of your collection. Wow, the memories this recording of the Holst Suites brings back for me....."