I bought the Boughton (tee hee – “bought the Boughton”) after reading this long and very detailed review. (The reviewer goes into plenty of detail. Ah, a man after my own heart.)
“Mars” starts off very well indeed. It’s one of those “storm clouds brewing” kinds of starts. Once it gets going it’s not all that threatening, but it is enjoyable. There’s an awkward mistake (from what sounds like a horn) at 1:53, but as Rainier Wolfcastle says, it’s “No biggie.” The chugging from 2:05-2:28 is excellent. (I do like a chugging orchestra.) The sonic boom at 3:01 and the bit after it (3:07-4:08) are splendidly “storm-cloudy”. I’m thoroughly enjoying this “Mars”. I think Billy Boughton has balanced his orchestra exceptionall well, because I’m hearing things in it that I don’t hear in other versions. This “Mars” is what I’d describe as “on the lighter side of heavy”, but that’s a good thing. It allows the music to roam around, unencumbered by weightiness. I picture it as a Mars Dragon.
“Venus” is gorgeous.
“Mercury” is excellent.
“Jupiter” is excellent.
Can’t I just say it’s all excellent? (Note to self: No you can’t, Peter. That would be boring.)
“Saturn” is… well, it’s excellent. It moves along slowly but surely, and with enormous amounts of dignity. It’s one of the best “Saturn”s I’ve encountered.
“Uranus” is magnificent. (And excellent.)
“Neptune” is superb (get a load of the blended woodwinds from 5:03-5:16 – beautiful).
This was one of those Planets recordings where I wanted to press “play” again as soon as it finished. I’m glad I bought this version of The Planets.