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Monday, June 19, 2017

Gustav Holst - The Planets (Charles Dutoit)


Composer: Gustav Holst
  1. The Planets, Op. 32: 1. Mars, the Bringer of War
  2. The Planets, Op. 32: 2. Venus, the Bringer of Peace
  3. The Planets, Op. 32: 3. Mercury, the Winged Messenger
  4. The Planets, Op. 32: 4. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity
  5. The Planets, Op. 32: 5. Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age
  6. The Planets, Op. 32: 6. Uranus, the Magician
  7. The Planets, Op. 32: 7. Neptune, the Mystic

Le Choeur des Femmes de L'Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal
Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal
Charles Dutoit, conductor

Date: 1986
Label: Decca



From those of its recordings which I have heard, I judge that the Montreal Symphony Orchestra has become a world-class orchestra under Charles Dutoit's conductorship. It certainly sounds like one in this superlative recording of The Planets, which now seems to me to be the best available on both LP and CD, displacing Karajan's on DG. No one who enjoys the work should be without a Boult Planets for obvious reasons (PRT GSGC2060, 6/54 or EMI ESD7135, 4/82 or EMI ASD3649, 4/79—all LPs), but with it, and if you can afford it, you should try to acquire this stunning performance, recorded as finely as it is played. The LP easily absorbs the ferocious power of ''Mars'' without any distortion, but the end is even more impressive and conveys the full dynamic range of a most remarkable interpretation.

Recorded in St Eustache, Montreal, the acoustic lends just enough extra resonance and brilliance to the string tone. But the accuracy and understanding of the playing are outstanding in themselves—the surge of organ-tone in ''Mars'' and the strings' swirling crescendo at fig. 11 in the same movement, the exquisitely placed final note of ''Venus'' and the secure playing by the solo horn and oboe, the brilliant fleet-footedness of ''Mercury'' and the agile woodwind in ''Jupiter'', where the big tune flows broadly and unselfconsciously. In ''Saturn'', the best movement, the atmospheric start is chilling and continues throughout Holst's vision of old age in all its creaking terror. Last and emphatically not least, after a gloriously lively ''Uranus'', the problematical ''Neptune'' is played with Gallic refinement, the distant voices are perfectly balanced and maintain pitch as they fade from our hearing. Women's voices, too, I am glad to say, not children's, as in the rival Andrew Davis version on EMI from Toronto.

-- Gramophone

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Gustav Holst (21 September 1874 – 25 May 1934) was an English composer, arranger and teacher. Best known for his orchestral suite The Planets, he composed a large number of other works across a range of genres, although none achieved comparable success. Apart from The Planets and a handful of other works, his music was generally neglected until the 1980s, since when recordings of much of his output have been available. His distinctive compositional style was the product of many influences, including Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss, English folk songs and modern composers such as Maurice Ravel.


Charles Dutoit, (born 7 October 1936) is a Swiss conductor, particularly noted for his interpretations of French and Russian 20th-century music. In 1977, Dutoit became the Artistic Director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (OSM). During his tenure, the recording profile and reputation of the OSM increased as he managed to make it one of the leading orchestras in the French-speaking world. He currently serves as the Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.


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  2. Another Holst to be added to my collection. Thanks.

  3. muy buenas tardes ¿como puedo conseguir este disco en CD y lp, me gustaría mucho conseguirlosi,un abrazo grande y un saludo, "the planets" (Charles Dutoit).

  4. Hello. Many many thanks. I have a Karajan version, so it will be very interesting to compare! Thank you...

  5. Thank, I really appreciate Your effort, regards!

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