Holst: The Planets, Op. 32

London Symphony Orchestra & Sir Colin Davis

Holst: The Planets, Op. 32

Gustav Holst’s popular The Planets is an orchestral suite that predictably dazzles when presented live. This concert recording by the late British composer’s de facto hometown orchestra was captured at London's Barbican Center in June 2002. Under the direction of Sir Colin Davis, the London Philharmonic’s tautly executed brass is appropriately intimidating for “Mars, the Bringer of War,” expressive for the familiar “Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity,” and alternately formal and playful for “Uranus, the Magician.” John Alley’s celesta playing is enchanting, first at the end of “Venus, the Bringer of Peace” and then throughout “Mercury, the Winged Messenger.” The quality of this Mastered for iTunes highlights in stereo the various strings on “Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age,” while the Ladies of the London Symphony Chorus bring an otherworldly element to the conclusion of “Neptune, the Mystic.”

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