Best Recording of 'The Planets'?

kmaster

Senior Member
All right, not strictly a soundtrack, but this suite has been used literally and very-thinly-veiledly in so, so many films that it's gotta count, right? ;)

Anyways, I was re-listening to the suite in iTunes. In my youth (c. 2006-2007) I went through all of my "classical" music and organized it by composer and date composed (this was long before "Composer" was a metadata field iTunes allowed). This was helpful in some ways but, alas, has hidden the actual recording data (Orchestra/Conductor/Date Released) from me.

Through some sleuthing I discovered that the version I owned was a reissue of the 1971 release of Zubin Mehta/LA Phil:


This performance and recording is just phenomenal to me. Yes, there are a few noticeable splice-edits, and a couple flubbed notes, but boy is the raw energy there! It's like the original Star Wars OST in that regard. (Side bar: everybody always listens to Mars and Jupiter, but I think Uranus is the standout movement in this record)

There is a neat site that reviews all the recordings of the Planets suite, and this one just misses the top ten at #11. However, I happen to like it better than anything above it. There is an immediacy of sound, a beefiness to the brass, a crispness to the mallet percussion, and a romanticism to the strings that screams "This was recorded in LA with Hollywood Musicians!!!"

In short: This sounds more like a soundtrack version of the suite than a nice concert performance of the suite.

It may very well be that, growing up, the quality of this recording is one of the things that pushed me into being so passionate about writing music in the first place!

I'm going to restructure my orchestral template to reflect this orchestral sound as best I can.

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What is your favorite recording of The Planets?

Why?
 

Rob

Senior Member
exactly my version, but on my cd "the planets" ('71) are flanked by "close encounters of the 3rd kind" and "star wars" (78), no Zarathustra... love this recording
 

ka00

Senior Member
I have this one. Has one wrong clarinet note in it somewhere if I recall correctly. But I love it.

Planets/Warriors
Have not heard any others, except a live performance which sounded almost identical somehow.
 

Brad Fowler

New Member
I absolutely love John Eliot Gardiner's recording with Philharmonia Orchestra. His tempos are a quicker than most (something I like about Gardiner's performances in general) and Jupiter really cooks. Plus it's paired with "The Warriors", a fantastic "imagined ballet" by Percy Grainger.
 

ScoringFilm

Active Member
I have the Chicago Symphony under Levine. Boy that brass section has clout.

I find the brass just a little OTT on that recording and the mastering is terrible. All the transients have been curtailed and it is too compressed so there’s a loudness ceiling and nothing goes above it.
 

mikeh-375

old school
I find the brass just a little OTT on that recording and the mastering is terrible. All the transients have been curtailed and it is too compressed so there’s a loudness ceiling and nothing goes above it.
Yes compression is noticeable in places but boy the playing is tight. I do recall though that last time I listened to it I thought I heard a rhythmic mistake in the brass (trpts I think) during 'Mars'. I'll have to check back on that as it could've just been a lapse in my listening/score reading. I do need to listen to other recordings though so this is a good thread for me.
 
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ScoringFilm

Active Member
If you really want an excellent recording from an engineering/mastering perspective and performance; this one is available in hi-res 24 bit/96kHz. Very natural and no compression.


Boston Symphony Orchestra Seiji Ozawa  Holst The Planets.jpg