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The Planets

Gustav Holst , Charles Dutoit , Montréal Symphony Orchestra , Le Choeur des Femmes de L'Orchestre de M Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

Price: $11.78 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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MP3 Music, 7 Songs, 1987 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2007 $11.78  

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Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Holst: The Planets, op.32 - 1. Mars, the Bringer of WarOrchestre Symphonique de Montréal 7:11Album Only
listen  2. Holst: The Planets, op.32 - 2. Venus, the Bringer of PeaceOrchestre Symphonique de Montréal 9:39Album Only
listen  3. Holst: The Planets, op.32 - 3. Mercury, the Winged MessengerOrchestre Symphonique de Montréal 4:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Holst: The Planets, Op.32 - 4. Jupiter, the Bringer of JollityOrchestre Symphonique de Montréal 8:01Album Only
listen  5. Holst: The Planets, op.32 - 5. Saturn, the Bringer of Old AgeOrchestre Symphonique de Montréal 9:53Album Only
listen  6. Holst: The Planets, op.32 - 6. Uranus, the MagicianOrchestre Symphonique de Montréal 6:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Holst: The Planets, op.32 - 7. Neptune, the MysticLe Choeur des Femmes de L'Orchestre de Montréal 8:02Album Only

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Product Details

  • Performer: Le Choeur des Femmes de L'Orchestre de M
  • Orchestra: Montréal Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Charles Dutoit
  • Composer: Gustav Holst
  • Audio CD (July 10, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B0000041S7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,380 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comparative Review v. Slatkin July 19, 2009
Format:Audio CD
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 Levine/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.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST Version of The Planets! August 5, 2009
Format:Audio CD
I have heard numerous versions of this great classical work, but I always come back to this one. Dutoit's interpretation is perfect. The balance between all the sections of the orchestra is superb and the recording quality is first rate. Very highly recommended!
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...Celestial April 13, 2003
By David
Format:Audio CD
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 of the most awe inspiring intimations of the infinite. It ends hauntingly with the receding voices of the Montreal's women chorus.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Planets Aligned almost perfectly. February 21, 2011
By Diego
Format:Audio CD
I'm not a criticist and this is my first review, sorry if my English is no perfect, it's not my main language.
I've hear several recordings of the planets :

This one (almost perfect)
Adrian Boult recording (not my favourite)
Karajan (Ack!)
And some others (Mehta,Previn,Levine..)

I absolutely love this recording.

Mars feels just right,Venus is beautiful (one of the passages i use to rate the planets is the solo violins of Venus,so delicate on this version..), Mercury and Neptune(i always thisnk i'm in a spaceship when i hear Neptune, and with this recording i'm there) are fantastic.

I still think that there is a best Jupiter out there : Sir Neville Marriner with the Royal Concertgebow Orchestra (hear it, really, its perfect, it's the one with Pomp and Circumstance Marches 1 and 4 on the CD)

Overall this is the best recording of the Planets, and if i had to have only one it will be this one.

Thanks for your attention.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the two essential recordings February 18, 2010
By Loop7
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Like many of the reviewers, I agree that this is an essential recording of The Planets and if you are going to have only one, get this one and you're all set. The reading truly is "celestial" as another reviewer stated. The balance, phrasing and emotional playing make this a complete performance. There is another recording which is not as complete but has some startling sections and that's the James Levine/Chicago Symphony release on DG. There's no arguing CSO has the best brass ensemble in the world and listening to Saturn will frighten you.
Holst: The Planets

Just a note about the sonics. Even though this is an early CD release, it's remarkably warm and was made years prior to the volume wars in today's mastering. I'm sure this will be remastered at some point but hold onto this one until you hear it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful. Great way to unwind and be spirited away ...
Beautiful. Great way to unwind and be spirited away to a great place. Just close your eyes and listen! What could be easier?
Published 7 days ago by Richard S. Neel
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great cd.
Published 10 days ago by Liz
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Exactly what I was expecting. Prompt delivery.
Published 12 days ago by Kathleen Laver
5.0 out of 5 stars The Planets
I bought The Planets when I saw a news article on an internet news website. I've heard the pieces before, but The Planets was the first time I heard all the pieces.
Published 20 days ago by David in Florida
5.0 out of 5 stars F? (#ing epic!!
F?(#ing epic!!
Published 1 month ago by william d cochran
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Peformance
Very good performance of this work.
Published 2 months ago by User
5.0 out of 5 stars Energetic and dramatic
The Planets is one of the best classical works for someone new to classical music. It is energetic and dramatic. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Regina M. Joseph
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Performance good, fidelity excellent
Published 2 months ago by William W. Farkas
3.0 out of 5 stars Like this very much.
Like this selection but the volume of the recording is low in parts and hard to hear. Still in good condition and worth what I paid.
Published 4 months ago by Kim Kane
5.0 out of 5 stars State of the Art
Along with Levine on DG, this performance is a must. It still sounds better than recordings made 20 years later.
Published 4 months ago by PianoReview
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Topic From this Discussion
what is the best version of Holst - The Planets?
I don't know the Mehta, but his recording of the Star Wars suite is superb. I'd recommend the Karajan for the performance, the Dutoit for the sonics. You might want to ask the opinions of posters on the Classical Music forum.
Sep 16, 2008 by Zadok_the_Priest |  See all 3 posts
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