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The Planets / Egdon Heath / The Perfect Fool

4.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 12, 1999
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Perfect Fool Op.39: Perfect Fool: Andante
  2. Perfect Fool Op.39: Perfect Fool: Dance Of Spirits Of Earth (Moderato - Andante)
  3. Perfect Fool Op.39: Perfect Fool: Dance Of Spirits Of Water (Allegretto)
  4. Perfect Fool Op.39: Perfect Fool: Dance Of Spirits Of Fire (Allegro moderato)
  5. Egdon Heath - Homage to Harty Op.47
  6. The Planets Suite Op.32: 1: Mars, The Bringer Of War
  7. The Planets Suite Op.32: 2: Venus, The Bringer Of Peace
  8. The Planets Suite Op.32: 3: Mercury, The Winged Messenger
  9. The Planets Suite Op.32: 4: Jupiter, The Bringer Of Jollity
  10. The Planets Suite Op.32: 5: Saturn, The Bringer Of Old Age
  11. The Planets Suite Op.32: 6: Uranus, The Magician
  12. The Planets Suite Op.32: 7: Neptune, The Mystic


Product Details

  • Orchestra: New Philharmonia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Sir Adrian Boult, Andre Previn
  • Composer: Gustav Holst
  • Audio CD (January 12, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B00000GCAW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #336,341 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Sure, it may not be the best technical reading of the planets. The sound isn't the best, and the orchestra has its share of flubs, but Boult's view of this work is IMHO unbeatable. This recording has that space like sound, or rather it has that science fiction movie sound to it. Mars is tremendous on this recording, with lots of power and momentum. Sure, there is that famous trumpet clam near the beginning, but it's not something that is particularly terrible, because it does not sound like a mistake to someone who has never heard the piece before (It's nearly an ornament.) However, the climaxes in Mars puts Dutoit's Mars to shame. Jupiter is another highlight on this disc, with the fanfare sections (before and after the 'big' theme) never sounding better. Uranus may be a problem for some because of the slower tempo, but all the climaxes are there as well as lots of color from the orchestra. Neptune is superb as well. It's hard to tell whether you are still hearing the voices at the end or if it's just the imagination. All around, this has to be my favorite recording of "The Planets." I am completely satisfied. This is Boult's 4th recording, with the New Philharmonia. His 5th recording on EMI is also worthy of praise, but the tempi are much slower (which may appeal to some people.) Plus, the extra fillers on the disc are also A+. Not a disc to miss out on!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This recording of The Planets with Sir Adrian Boult was my introduction to the composer, the piece, and to the conductor. The LP was one of those memorable moments in our lives that are remembered as a spark, a tweak, to our conciousness...a bit of enlightenment and growth that will change us forever. I cut my teeth so to speak with this lovely old record.

Over the years, many more recordings of this work have made their way into my collection, and some of those have been truly wonderful renditions, accompanied by great sound, etc. They hold their own place in my mind and on my shelves, rightly as they should. But, this 1966 recording, even with its problems, has always held a special place in my heart. Of course, one of those more recent recordings was the one in ---- by Sir Adrian himself, and it holds great sway as his final thoughts on the work, and also the level of perfection in playing and engineering, and for that it necessarily tops this one out. This one under review, though, gives us a more energetic, animated documentation from a younger Boult that is undeniably the more exciting...even with a flub and some rough playing.

This will not want to be your only choice for a recording of this great work, but a great many like myself will always want this beautiful gem, even with a bad facet or two, at hand because of the way it shines in spite of itself.

The search for this recording, btw, was a very long and frustrating one. Perseverance prevails, however, and I recently found that it had been transferred to cd, pictured here. Somehow, considering the beautiful cover of my original LP, the cover here just doesn't lend itself as a connection to this lovely old recording.
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Format: Audio CD
It's not Adrian Boult's fault, just that the sound balance is not great on the Planets, which is the type of orchestral music you play to test new speakers out. Get John Eliot Gardiner's version w/Philharmonia Orch on Deutsche Gram. for this sort of expressive power and clarity, or Boult's more famous London Symphony recording if you want an older recording. Get this version for Perfect Fool and Egdon Heath; they both have a fine recording sound and are excellent examples of Holst's musical imagination.
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Format: Audio CD
Holst's "The Perfect Fool" and "Egdon Heath: Homage to Thomas Hardy" performed by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andre Previn are very good. Holst's "The Planets" by the New Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Sir Adrian Boult sounds flat and monochromic. There is just no power behind "The Planets" recording. The TELARC Compact Disc "Gustav Holst: The Planets, Op 32" performed by the Royal Philarmonic Orchestra conducted by Andre Previn is my favorite. However, "The Perfect Fool" and "Egdon Heath" recordings on this CD are excellent and make this Compact Disc highly desirable.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
From the opening bars, this recording of the Planets was a disappointment. The brass playing is sub-par in both Mars and Uranus. That the trumpets add a misplayed note to one of the more signifigant passages early in Mars and this is just not acceptable. I am surprised that EMI ever allowed such a recording to be released to the public. Such playing is not even worthy of budget releases and there are good number of budget releases that are better than this. There are better Boult recordings of The Planets and I think had this disc not had Boult's name on it, it probably would never again have seen the light of day.
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