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Recommended Classical Recordings

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote morris_minor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2019 at 1:41pm
Originally posted by morris_minor morris_minor wrote:

A recording of the Planets I really enjoy is one with organ and brass ensemble. It's hard not to mentally superimpose the proper orchestration over it when listening, but worth getting when you already have a good selection of "proper" Planets in your collection. Here is a (very rambling) piece about it:



Bob

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Kory Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 2019 at 6:08pm
I finally acquired the celebrated Solti/London Phil recording of The Planets last week. I spent considerable time comparing my top versions, the Previn/LSO, Mehta/Los Angeles Phil, and this new Solti. All three are highly recommended in several prominent "best recordings" lists and it was a blast listening. As I posted previously, my feeling about "best" recordings fall into two categories: best sounding and best performance. If a recording hits both, then Nirvana, but it often seems not to be the case. The Planets, for me, is a perfect example. The Mehta/LA recording on 45 rpm from ORG to my ears is far and away the best sounding recording of this piece. It's just stunning. The breadth of the soundstage, the separation and placement of the instruments, and the location of the listening position is what I find utterly satisfying. The other recordings have a more distant listening position, and narrower soundstage. More blended instrument position, at least to my ears, and just can't quite match the impact of the Mehta.
In terms of performance, however, I think after listening back and forth with these other two, that my favorite performance overall is the Previn. But individual movements by Solti are better in some cases. My best of each movement list is: Mars-Previn (quite terrifying intensity), Venus-Solti (crystalline playing and colors), Mercury-Solti (again brilliant and stone-cold clarity), Jupiter-Mehta (can't get over the vast soundscape of the recording), Saturn-Previn (impressive balance of mystery and power), Uranus-Previn (spooky and dynamic), Uranus-Mehta (great soundscape matches the ethereal effects, and chorus had great intonation).
So that is my ranking. I know so much is just personal preference, and some of the great fun is to compare and not have to choose or eliminate. 
Kory

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PaulRS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2019 at 1:20am
Originally posted by morris_minor morris_minor wrote:

A recording of the Planets I really enjoy is one with organ and brass ensemble. It's hard not to mentally superimpose the proper orchestration over it when listening, but worth getting when you already have a good selection of "proper" Planets in your collection. Here is a (very rambling) piece about it:


Thanks!
I am getting into organ sound again after a 50 or so year break so this will be added to my list of Planets must haves! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PaulRS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2019 at 1:24am
Kory, thanks for your shoot out notes. I love the adjectives people use and can certainly agree on the Previn comments. I have to wait a while before i can compare the others.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote morris_minor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2019 at 4:31pm
Thanks for your insights, Kory! 

It might be worth getting a Spotify playlist together with movements from different recordings to make a "super" Planets! LOL
Bob

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote RichW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2019 at 9:54am
Thanks for the very interesting comments on The Planets.
Holst's name is so closely associated with that wonderful work.

Eager to discover more of his music, I recently bought a Naxos CD containing various
works including his Somerset Rhapsody, a wonderful piece of music which reminds
of Vaughan Williams. They were close friends & VW was a great influence on Holst.



Edited by RichW - 16 Aug 2019 at 9:55am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fatmangolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2019 at 4:17pm
I have a cd of Mehta's planets from a Decca boxset. I played it after reading your review Kory, it is dynamic and front row. Today I picked up a Decca reissue of it on vinyl for one pound! It is in excellent condition and will be getting an ultrasonic wash before being played tonight. I am delighted.

Edited by Fatmangolf - 20 Aug 2019 at 4:18pm
Jon

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