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Holst: The Planets / Elgar: 'Enigma' Variations [Original recording remastered]

Edward Elgar , Gustav Holst , Sir Adrian Boult , London Philharmonic , London Symphony Orchestra Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': Theme (Andante)London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) 1:22$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': I. C.A.E. (the composer's wife) (L'istesso tempo)London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) 1:52$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': II. H.D.S.-P. ( Hew David Steuart-Powell) (Allegro)London Symphony Orchestra (LSO)0:46$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': III. R.B.T. (Richard Baxter Townshend) (Allegretto)London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) 1:27$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': IV. W.M.B. (William Meath Baker) (Allegro di molto)London Symphony Orchestra (LSO)0:28$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': V. R.P.A. (Richard Penrose Arnold) (Presto)London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) 1:54$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': VI. Ysobel (Isabel Fitton) (Andantino)London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) 1:11$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': VII. Troyte (Troyte Griffith) (Presto)London Symphony Orchestra (LSO)0:56$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Variations On An Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': VIII. W.N. (Winifred Norbury) (Allegretto)London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) 1:43$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': IX. Nimrod (A. J. Jaeger) (Moderato)London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) 3:53$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': X. Intermezzo: Dorabella (Dora Penny) (Allegretto)London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) 2:52$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': XI. G.R.S. (George Robertson Sinclair) (Allegro di molto)London Symphony Orchestra (LSO)0:58$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': XII. B.G.N. (Basil G. Nevinson) (Andante)London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) 2:20$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen14. Variations On An Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': XIII. Romanza: * * * [Lady Mary Lygon] (Moderato)London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) 2:33$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen15. Variations on an Original Theme, Op.36 'Enigma': XIV. Finale: E.D.U. (the composer) (Allegro)London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) 5:46$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen16. The Planets, Op.32/H.125: Mars, the Bringer of War (Allegro)London Philharmonic Orchestra 8:02$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen17. The Planets, Op.32/H.125: Venus, the Bringer of Peace (Adagio)London Philharmonic Orchestra 7:26$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen18. The Planets, Op.32/H.125: Mercury, the Winged Messenger (Vivace)London Philharmonic Orchestra 3:48$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen19. The Planets, Op.32/H.125: Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity (Allegro giouoso)London Philharmonic Orchestra 7:59$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen20. The Planets, Op.32/H.125: Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age (Adagio)London Philharmonic Orchestra 8:22$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen21. The Planets, Op.32/H.125: Uranus, the Magician (Allegro)London Philharmonic Orchestra 6:26$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen22. The Planets, Op.32/H.125: Neptune, the Mystic (Andante)London Philharmonic Orchestra 6:22$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: London Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Sir Adrian Boult
  • Composer: Edward Elgar, Gustav Holst
  • Audio CD (April 9, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B000063UN4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,461 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Among the greatest classic recordings of each score October 20, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Boult's stereo recordings of "The Planets" and "Enigma" variations have been around 30 years and are well-known to collectors. Newbies taking their first steps into these wonderful Britisch scores could hardly do better than in this starting place.

What makes Boult among the greatest interpreters of this music? He was British, of course, and interpreted this music with a sense of proportion that deletes bombast while still making most of the large moments in the scores. His elegance in "Enigma" is still a benchmark in this score.

Boult recorded this music many times; this was his final recording notable for the slower tempo of the menacing opening movement. Many collectors prefer his earlier recording of "The Planets" including his 1950s mono version that was once on a Westminster LP in the United State. Intrepid Internet searchers can still find this recording, made from the perspective of the podium and with far greater drive and emotion than this one.

Still, Boult's stereo recording is spectacular, proportionate and very personal. It will tell you everything you need to know about the scores even though it may lack some of the headlong emotion Boult brought in his earlier recordings. The same is true of Boult's later Vaughan Williams' recordings of the symphonies and other music, which are still beloved even though his earlier mono recordings may outdo them.

Anyone wanting a modern recording of "The Planets" and "Enigma" variations cannot go wrong with this CD. Buy it today and you'll spend the rest of your life trying to find interpretations that match these.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Planets That Eshews Bombast and Embraces Wisdom. June 27, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I first heard a live performance of Holst's great symphonic work in Chicago with Solti leading the orchestra. I went back a day later and heard the piece again, but the Beethoven 4th piano concerto, which I had overlooked if that's the right word, during the first concert, emerged as the more interesting piece on day two. It certainly wasn't as loud or as showy, but it asserted a greater musical intelligence and made more of an impact. I had flown all the way from California to hear the Chicago play the Holst work, but I learned a valuable lesson.

There are three ways to approach the Planets. The first is to play hell for leather, the way Holst conducts on records and how he performed at concert. The second is to play it as an orchestra showpiece, which it most certainly is, and display your orchestra, or, on recordings, your recording engineer. The last approach is the one generally chosen by some English conductors, and most especially Boult: to bring out the soul of the work.

Boult performed and recorded this work many times over a very long lifetime of conducting, and, along with his fine body of work with many other native composers, brings to this performance an innate understanding of the work's milieu. Enveloping every section is a valedictory glow. One suspects if Escoffier cooked a last meal for a friend it would have been similarly paced. Nothing is rushed or forced, and the works strengths are revealed as comforting and not merely decorative and brilliant. For the young at heart there are many fine versions of the second approach. But only Boult gives us a Planets we can go back to and savor as I did the Beethoven concerto many years ago.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indubitably British November 29, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Ignoring the fact that Adrian Boult "first made 'The Planets' shine," in the words of its composer, the man had an almost peerless authority when it came to British music. And notwithstanding the eclectic array of influences that can be discerned in Holst's most famous orchestral work, "The Planets" is thoroughly British, as is its discmate here, Elgar's "Enigma" Variations. There have been more sonically and musically spectacular recordings of the Holst suite, but most sound superficial compared to Boult's final thoughts on the work. Only a few moments of ragged ensemble betray the fact that Boult was almost 90 when he made this record--although arguably this is an old man's interpretation (i.e. one that could only be arrived at via a lifetime of living with the work). Similarly, the Elgar is the product of a lifelong familiarity with, and affection for, the composer's second most-familiar (after the first of his five "Pomp & Circumstance" marches) piece. Both recordings (analog tapings from the 1970s) come off full, clear and forthright in this "Great Recordings of the Century" remastering.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Crushing" recording of "Mars" June 4, 2008
Format:Audio CD
I must disagree with the reviews that mark this recording down because of tempos that may be slower than others'. I've loved Holst's "The Planets" for over 40 years, and there are lots of great recordings of it. However, this, Boult's last word on the piece, is a stunner. Personally, I don't think "Mars" should go too fast. I think the important thing to bring out is the implacable, inexorable, and inhuman qualities of war. If you play this recording loud, you will experience the most crushing performance of Mars ever recorded. It IS War. Another standout is "Uranus, the Magician." Part of the credit must go to Boult's excellent low brass section, who blow for all they are worth, but never get out of control.

Another standout on the disc is the "Nimrod" variation in the Elgar. What a stunning climax it builds up to. Here is another place where the maturity of Boult's age and experience helps.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars THE definitive accounts of Enigma and Planets with superb sound
Long admired as THE interpreter of the works of Sir Edward Elgar, Sir Adrian Boult proves precisely why in the definitive account of Elgar's Enigma Variations. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Joseph Kline PhD, MD
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic, representing an old British view that is highly nostalgic...
This reading of Holst's Planets and Elgar's Enigma Variations may be Sir Adrian Boult's most famous recording, remastered in good sound on EMI Great Recordings of the Century. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Andrew R. Barnard
5.0 out of 5 stars Stupendous and Wonderful Recording AND interpretation!!! The BEST.
Unfortunately, both The Planets and Enigma Variations have been recorded so many times, it is impossible for an average listener to know which recording to acquire. Read more
Published on January 7, 2012 by TallGuy
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Enigma, Planets out of Alignment
I wouldn't call this a Great Recording of the 20th Century, despite the title given by EMI. "Pretty Good Recording" is more like it. Read more
Published on October 27, 2006 by The Man in the Hathaway Shirt
5.0 out of 5 stars Idyosincratic performances!
Boult's planets it never sound a showpiece-spectacular version but solemn. If you take the essence of this work you may consider it such a set of Symphonic Variations but with an... Read more
Published on March 23, 2005 by Hiram Gomez Pardo
5.0 out of 5 stars First rate perfomance!!
What is sadly lacking in other performances is the authority that Boult brings to every moment of this Planets... Read more
Published on June 8, 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Boult Has Done Better
I encountered this recording while searching for a recording of Elgar's Enigma Variations. I bought it when I noticed Boult's name, and that Holst's The Planets was also on the... Read more
Published on April 26, 2003 by "bassboneanimal"
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