This one’s a bit odd. I found it on Spotify, and it’s by the “Mayfair Philharmonic Orchestra”, whoever that is. No conductor is mentioned. I couldn’t find any more information than that. The recording is copyrighted to 2014, so that’s the date I’m using here.
As to the recording, I think it’s interesting. The sound is possibly the driest I’ve ever heard for These Here Planets, in that there’s next to no reverberation on the instruments. The orchestra sounds like it’s more in your lounge room than in a concert hall. “But that’s not interesting,” I hear you say. And you’re quite right. Before you ask the question “So what’s the performance like?,” I’ll tell you. It’s good.
In “Mars”, there’s a bit of loose playing from some of the instruments (hello, trumpeters), but nothing to make me run out of the room screaming.
“Venus” is thoroughly respectable. The recording still has that incredibly dry sound, but it’s not detracting from my enjoyment of the music. Ah, I think I may have figured out why the sound is so dry. I reckon these Planets were recorded with the orchestra in a recording studio, not a concert hall. Back to the music.
“Mercury” flits about rather friskily, delivering messages to all and sundry. Very nice.
“Jupiter” is very good. It’s faster than usual, but for me the combination of performance and sound quality make a great team here. Weirdness Alert: The last chord of “Jupiter” (at 6:53) has had a lot of reverberation added to it, probably to make it sound like it was recorded in a large hall. It’s weird, baby.
“Saturn”, without added reverb, is excellent.
And so are “Uranus” and “Neptune”.
I thought they were all performed (and interpreted) spendidly. I really dug this album, man.
When I found this recording on Spotify and reviewed it, I assumed it was available on CD.
It’s not. It’s only on Spotify.
As a result, I’ve inadvertently broken my own rule about this list containing only CDs of The Planets. Oops.
Sorry about that.
But then again…
Actually, I think I can worm my way out of this “I’ve broken the rules” caper. This recording is available on CD, albeit under different names. (See below.) And the CDs do exist, because I have two of them.
So technically this “Mayfair” recording can be on the list. Possibly.
This recording is the same as the one by Hymisher Greenburg and The European Philharmonic Orchestra (review). This recording also masquerades as Alberto Lizzio with The Festival Orchestra (review). This is all courtesy of the enterprising escapades of one Alfred Scholz, a record producer and conductor who has a habit of releasing recordings under a number of different pseudonyms. So these Planets recordings are actually by Alfred Scholz.
The “Alberto Lizzio” review goes into detail about the shenanigans surrounding the three recordings.