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G. Holst Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Price: $9.56 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 9 Songs, 2002 $7.99  
Audio CD, 2002 $9.56  

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

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. The Planets, Op. 32: I. Mars, the Bringer of War 7:06$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The Planets, Op. 32: II. Venus, the Bringer of Peace 8:32Album Only
listen  3. The Planets, Op. 32: III. Mercury, the Winged Messenger 3:58$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  4. The Planets, Op. 32: IV. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity 7:58Album Only
listen  5. The Planets, Op. 32: V. Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age 9:23Album Only
listen  6. The Planets, Op. 32: VI. Uranus, the Magician 6:07$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  7. The Planets, Op. 32: VII. Neptune, the Mystic 6:51$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Pluto, the Renewer 6:55$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  9. The Mystic Trumpeter, Op. 1818:36Album Only

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 16, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B00005YXIV
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,365 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews


A super-budget-price rival to Mark Elder's recent recording of The Planets and a real rival in three senses: it is stirring and splendidly played, it includes Colin Matthews's striking appendix to Holst's suite and it adds a rarity that this composer's admirers will want to investigate. Here the new Naxos has a distinct edge: Elder offers the beautiful but fairly well-known Lyric Movement, whereas The Mystic Trumpeter is a substantial (19-minute) hitherto unrecorded work, an impassioned Whitman setting for soprano and orchestra in which Holst is audibly shaking off the Wagnerian trappings of what he called his 'early horrors' and becoming unmistakably himself in the climactic section and the poetic quiet close. It is an important rediscovery, performed with real conviction.Elder's recording, by adding a separate performance of 'Neptune', enables the listener to hear The Planets with or without Matthews's 'Pluto'. This new version does not but, as in Elder's reading, the violin note that links the two is so quiet and so long-held that an early fade-out is easy to manage. As to Lloyd-Jones's performance of The Planets, it is very nearly the equal of Elder's. I say 'very nearly' because Elder's Halle Orchestra play with exceptional delicacy and richness; Elder's musical directorship of the Halle is obviously bearing splendid fruit. In 'Venus' the RSNO's violins are just a shade glassier than the Halle's, but the climax of 'Saturn' is no less powerful and I very much liked the bright, sharp, almost raucous colours of 'Uranus'. There is energy as well as weight to 'Mars' and the big tune of 'Jupiter' is grandly full voiced. Like most people who grew up with The Planets I have distinguished performances from the past (Boult, Sargent, Previn) in my head. Neither Elder's nor Lloyd-Jones's readings have suffered from this. Both are distinguished; I marginally prefer Elder, but now that I have heard it I would not be without The Mystic Trumpeter. Michael Oliver -- From International Record Review - subscribe now

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Matthews hits the right note for Holst June 17, 2002
Format:Audio CD
The recordings of Gustav Holst's 'Planets' are legion. Amazon has over 100 listings. Numerous too are the lesser composers who have aped the conventions of 'Mars' and 'Jupiter', in particular, to make themselves a fast buck out of writing film scores. Now, heaven help us, we have a toy classics-lite ensemble named after this well-known suite.
In the midst of all this popularity it is easy to forget just what a quality work 'The Planets' is. This excellent new edition from Naxos, marking their fifteen years as a high selling classical label, provides an excellent stimulus to the memory. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra gives a fine account of itself in its rich, enthusiastic, but never overbearing approach to the score. This should not surprise us, because they are lead in their endeavours by composer Colin Matthews. He has more reason than most to have given Holst's most famous work detailed attention, since he bravely responded to a commission from Kent Negano and the Halle orchestra to write a sequel. His 'Pluto: The Renewer' is included on this disc, along with a stirring rendition of Holst's little known 'The Mystic Trumpeter' (opus 18), based on a poem by Walt Whitman. Clare Rutter (sop) does more than enough to convince us that this orchestral song is worth listening to again.
What of Matthews' endeavours? The Halle first recorded and released 'Pluto' (named after the planet discovered in 1933, a year before Holst died) in 2001, on the Hyperion label. Comparisons with that disc are inevitable. Both are strong, but perhaps not surprisingly Matthews' own baton seems to bring a little greater clarity and contrast to his own composition.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Is there any orchestra music lover anywhere, who has not yet heard the planets? I have for long, long years cherished the several versions recorded at one time or another by the late Sir Adrian Boult - who premiered the work - but the new Naxos version with the Scottish National Orchestra, conducted by David Lloyd-Jones, need not suffer from hallowed comparisons. Perhaps one starts out with this music, revelling in the large moments, rhythmed and swelling and soaring; only to later linger more and more often into musing about the brilliant innovations of the composer's use of the orchestra, along with less of the riot of life and more of the fading away into unfathomable, mysterious regions. In any case, the new CD ... and the new multichannel DVD audio disc release, even more so ... gives plenty to relish on both counts. While the 16-bit CD is bright and wide and clear; the dvd audio disc is multichannel and yields up that much more of everything except distortion. Particularly in dvd audio, often also available at a bargain Naxos price, one senses the care Holst seems to have lavished upon the orchestration of this musical extravaganza. He goes Berlioz and Rimsky-Korsakov one better, as it were, uniting his musical ideas with the very timbres of the solos and orchestra sections which play them. This must have been almost unbearably striking in 1916, so close on the heels of the riot that premiered Stravinky's Rite of Spring in Paris, just a few years earlier. That the disk finishes with a genuine first, the recording of Holst's Mystic Trumpeter scena for soprano and orchestra, only reminds a listener once again that Naxos can lead the pack when it wants to do so. Bravo, again. Highly recommended for sound, performance, and repertoire. Read more ›
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Updating Holst February 1, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent recording of the Planets. The Naxos engineers have managed to capture most of the subtle orchestral effects of this work. It is a wholly acceptable recording.

However, this recording adds on to Holst's masterpiece by including Colin Matthews' Pluto. I quite liked Matthews' movement, but I really wonder whether Holst's masterpiece is served by appending a movement so out of character to the original work. Matthews' Pluto is a quite modern work. Some critics have pointed out that had Holst wanted to add an eighth movement, he could have just as easily added earth. (Pluto was not discovered until long after The Planets was composed.) Much like adding a modern structure onto an ancient building, you really have to wonder whether or not this is actually a good idea.

This is still a good recording to have, however. It brings out the shimmering textures of Neptune. Jupiter is certainly glorious.
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