8. Sir Colin Davis, Berliner Philharmoniker, 1988

Holst - The Planets (Davis C, Berliner Philharmoniker, 1988)


Oh yeah. This “Mars” is excellent. It’s gruff and growling. Mistake Alert: Something goes awry at 1:56 (it sounds like a horn played a wrong note). But never mind. The orchestral bang at 2:06 is excellent. (I think I’ve already said “excellent”. I’ll try not to use that word again – but this really is excellent.) And when the orchestra goes boom at 3:02 and disperses, it’s monumental. Oh man. If the rest of Sir Colin’s planets with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra are anywhere near this good, then this recording is going to find itself high on the list. 5:02-5:10: A slightly struggling tenor tuba. I don’t care. This “Mars” is relentless. I’m loving it. Correction: I loved it. (It finished, and I want to hear it again – immediately.)

“Venus” is serene. It’s a little fast, but it’s still serene. It’s serenity personified. (Well, if a piece of music was a person.) That solo violin from 3:04-3:28: Gorgeous.

“Mercury” is superb.

“Jupiter” is so sure-footed that it’s a marvel. A trumpet fluffs a note at 2:10, but as with “Mars”, I don’t care.

This is a great reading of “Jupiter”. Hoo-wee, this recording of The Planets is splendid.

“Saturn” is magisterial. I tell ya, “Saturn” doesn’t get much better than this.

“Uranus” is mighty splendid. (I really need to increase my vocabulary.) There might be an out-of-tune instrument in amongst all that racket from 5:03-5:09, but it’s hard to tell. (It’s a huge discordant chord, and anything out of place here wouldn’t sound, well, out of place.) Anyway, this is a fine, fine “Uranus”.

And “Neptune” caps off this recording of The Peanuts with a superb performance.

(Note to self: Sum everything up, Peter.)

This recording of The Plenats is so much better than Col’s 2003 remake with the London Symphony Orchestra. That was horrible. This is excellent. (Oops.)

What’s more, this is one of the few Planets recordings where, as soon as it finished, I wanted to play it again from the beginning.


2 thoughts on “8. Sir Colin Davis, Berliner Philharmoniker, 1988

  1. wonderboy September 20, 2016 / 5:06 pm

    good, without doubt the best Planets from the Berlin Philharmonic (better than Karajan or Rattle)


    • Peter December 23, 2016 / 8:09 am

      I agree completely, Wonderboy. I was surprised at how powerful the orchestra was in this recording. I don’t hear any of that power at all when listening to either the Rattle or the Karajan. It’s as if it’s a completely different Berliner Philharmoniker. It’s weird. And it shows how much influence a conductor can have on an orchestra.


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