This “Mars” is fabulous. The interpretation is superb, the playing is magnificent, and the sound quality is excellent. What’s not to like?
“Venus” is serene.
“Mercury” isn’t the greatest I’ve heard, but it’s enjoyable (and the playing is still magnificent).
“Jupiter” starts off very well, but when the Jolly Tune began (at 0:54) I thought, “Whoah, this is fast. Slow down there, fella!” But then I thought, “Why not? It’s your recording, Vladimeerkat. You can get your orchestra to play as fast as you want.” Once I adjusted to the speed-demon approach to “Jupiter”‘s jolly bits, I was fine with it. It’s certainly bracing. (It’s the “splash of cold water in the face” of “Jupiter”s.) And when the Big Tune came (at 2:43) I was more than fine with it. It’s wonderful. By the time “Jupiter” had finished I had come to the conclusion that I really like this “Jupiter”.
“Saturn” is more conventional in its pacing (it doesn’t race away, leaving you behind). Actually, this “Saturn” is one of the best I’ve heard. It’s stunningly good. If Vlad doesn’t mess things up in the last two movements, this Planets is definitely going to go in the top 20. (The top 10 is crammed with impossibly good recordings of The Planets.)
Vlad doesn’t mess up “Uranus” at all. (Well, there’s a tiny horn mishap at 1:25, but that doesn’t count.) It’s excellent. This is Top 10 material. And so I’ll…
Gah! There’s a mistake in “Neptune”: a horn smears a note at 1:23. Ordinarily I wouldn’t be all that bothered, but it momentarily took me out of the reverie I was in listening to this hitherto stupendous (and mistake-free) recording of Them Planets. Grrr. (“Someone call the waambulance! Peter’s having a tanty!”) Ah well. Maybe I can forget it happened. Nope. I can’t. Grrr. But boy oh boy, this “Uranus” is excellent.
excellent superb magnificent I think I’m running out of superlatives. I’ll have to consult a thesaurus. Hang on… “Neptune” is pulchitrudinous. The women’s chorus is positioned ideally in the mix – i.e., distantly. The Man They Call Holst specified this in the score: “The Chorus is to be placed in an adjoining room, the door of which is to be left open until the last bar of the piece, when it is to be slowly and silently closed.” That’s what it sounds like here.
Right. Now that I’ve heard Jurowski’s Planets in its entirety, I can sum it up by saying, “That was a refreshing look at The Planets. I liked it. A lot.”