Holst The Planets-- Recomendations please

After watching The Venturer Brothers the other day, I wanted to listen to The Planets by Gustav Holst.

After searching my CD collection for quite sometime, I was forced to come to the conclusion that my copy was gone. After much weeping and moaning, I am resolved to purchase a new copy.

But, what recording should I get?
Any recomendations?

i had the Leopold Stokovsky (hope I spelled that right; he was the conductor for the original “Fantasia” movie by Disney, as well as many other things) version on LP when I was a kid, which I liked a lot (although he took liberties with the orchestration–rhythmically and otherwise–that bothered some people). I also had the electronic version done entirely on synthesizers by Isao Tomita, which was also very cool.

Those are the only two that I’ve owned, although I heard a version for four or six pianos once on the radio during a roadtrip. No other info on that.

Don’t know if that helps, but it’s all I’ve got.

No, wait—you could also (if you’re interested in getting partials) pick up…aw, man, it’s been years…I believe the second King Crimson album (In the Wake of Poseidon) which has Robert Fripp’s version of “Mars, the Bringer of War,” and (if you’re really masochistic) you could find a copy of the album “Emerson, Lake, and Powell” which has Keith Emerson’s verson of the same segment.

I would welcome any corrections to this, as it’s digging into parts of my brain that I haven’t used in decades. The first three paragraphs I’m reasonably sure of. The fourth…not so much.

Okay, double post time: Leopold Stokowski. Amazon doesn’t seem to have it any more, and my LPs are all in storage. Ebay has them, he conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Women’s Voices of the Roger Wagner Chorale. I’m pretty sure that’s the one I had. It has evidently been issued on cd, though (even though it seems to be out of print). I may have to get one of those.

Amazon does have The Tomita Planets, however.

Fripp’s version IS on ItWoP, but it’s entitled “Devil’s Triangle–Merday Morn/Hand of Sceiron/Garden of Worm” Also on Amazon.

ELP’s version of “Mars” is also on Amazon, where you can get a sound clip.

And THAT’S all I have.

My first copy was the Deutsche Grammophon. I think it was the Berlin OPhilharmonik, but I forget the conductor. Not van Karajan, I’m sure.

My current CD of it is Charles Dutoit conducting the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal. I picked it up because it was available, not because it had been recommended. But I have no complaints about it.

<giggle> And I though I was the only one that bought Tomita’s version of The Planets …

I’d be on the lookout for any version conducted by Sir Adrian Boult … supposedly, definitive (as in “the way Holst reckoned it ought to sound”.)

Yeah, I was going to say Sir Adrian Boult.

What!? I liked Tomita’s albums back in the day. I also had Firebird, and Pictures at an Exhibition.

Sure, they were…different. But they were interesting.

I’m a huge Dutoit fan so I’ve got to second this selection.

As opposed to the Dublin O’Philharmonic.

Thanks for your suggestions.

I listened to as many of them as I could. I ended up going with Andre Previn and the Royal Philharmonic.

I find Dutoit a bit too fast on Mars, and other too slow. I like Previn’s tempo on that one.

The other key selection for me is Saturn and again I like Previn’s tempos the best.

Thanks again.

It’s the pacing in part II of Jupiter that makes or breaks it for me. (The majestic regal “strolling”-paced bit that sounds like an old hymn). Rush that and it’s ruined.

I agree. However, not all the samples play that bit.

In fact, there are several hymns which do use that music. The tune is usually listed as “Thaxted”. I spent many a mass wondering where I had heard it before, before I figured it out.

As a hymn, it’s also called I Vow to Thee, My Country. I wonder, is this the same section that’s referred to as the “Big Tune”?

I have the DG Chicago SO/James Levine and it sounds good to me, but it’s the only one I’ve owned so that doesn’t mean much.

I have the Boult. Both the performance and sound are excellent. They did a great job on the digital remastering.

I probably couldn’t tell the difference between one version and another, but Andre Previn with the RPO is what I have. To my uneducated ear, it sounds musically delicious.

I think you could. You don’t need any musical training to know that this is going faster than that one.

Or maybe you choose a version because the recording quality of one is better than another.
Of course, I also thing the cover of ‘our’ version is the best looking cover.

It is called Thaxted because Holst was living in this small Essex town when he wrote the music.

As for which version , my favourite is Previn / RPO

I have 5 versions of this. ANd the one that I loved the most was the Zubin Mehta with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Recorded in 1978, I originaly owned it on vinyl. It was not availble on CD for ages. I had to make due with the Deutsche Grammaphone version. Mehta’s New York Philharmonic version was vastly inferior. I was bopping around the music store a few months back looking for something completly different and what should catch my eye, but a rerelease of Mehta’s LA version. (Thank you Decca records.) I think what makes this version work is that Mehta was reaching the peak but hadn’t become set in his ways. THere is an almost primal energy to this version. He lets the brass sing. And his Saturn: the Bringer of Old Age has a relentless inevitabilty that is so perfect.

You could say I was stoked when I found the recording. :smiley: