38. Sir Charles Mackerras, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, 1989

Holst - The Planets (Mackerras, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, 1988)


Excellent. In “Mars”, there’s an orchestral bang at 3:00, and I want to point out the lingering that Charlie and the Chocolate Fac orchestra do here. It’s fabulous. They take 10 seconds for the music to die out before the next part of “Mars” begins (which is much longer than anyone else takes), and I absolutely loved it. And that next part of “Mars” (3:10-4:11)? Oh man. It’s great. And the martial rhythm, from 4:11-5:37, is stupendous. And the orchestra holding the note longer than usual, from 6:15-6:20, is wonderfully effective. It’s the little things, you know. They make a difference.

Speaking of little things, I’m going to have to try very, very hard not to mention every little thing I love about this performance of The Planets.

“Venus” is calm.

“Mercury” is magnificent.

(I may have gone overboard in not going into detail for each movement. Maybe one-word summaries aren’t all that helpful.)

Fly In The Ointment Time: “Jupiter” is a bit too frisky to begin with for me – but it does settle right down after the Big Tune, from 4:53 onwards.

“Saturn” is very good. Not great, but very good.

Unfortunately, “Neptune” is continuing the slightly saddening slide down my Impress-O-Meter. It’s perfectly serviceable, but doesn’t make me go “Woohoo!” the way everything up until “Saturn” did.

How to sum up? I’ll say this is a semi-splendid recording of These Here Planets.


2 thoughts on “38. Sir Charles Mackerras, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, 1989

  1. wonderboy September 20, 2016 / 5:30 pm

    one of my first Planets – still nice to hear – Mackarras is always good :)


  2. Hans December 1, 2018 / 3:23 am

    Also underrated.


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