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Andrew Davis - Holst: Orchestral works (Vol. 2). The Planets

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Holst: Orchestral works (Vol. 2). The Planets

BBC Philharmonic - Sir Andrew Davis

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The Planets is undeniably Holst's most popular composition, but this album's goal is to put it into the larger context of his output by including one orchestral piece written a few years before it and one piece written at about the same time. Both of the less familiar pieces have exotic themes -- Beni Mora, subtitled "Oriental Suite," and Japanese Suite -- but they avoid the fake orientalism of so much post-Romantic music, even though the second work uses some authentic Japanese tunes. They are solidly crafted, attractive pieces, but they lack the thematic distinctiveness that characterizes all of the movements of The Planets. The final movement of Beni Mora is intriguing in its repetition of a single accompanimental figure that continues almost through the work's entire length. The pieces are a logical extension of Holst's ongoing interest in Asian cultures and the integration of the aesthetic he had expressed in pieces like the opera Sávitri and the choral Hymn from the Rig Veda. Andrew Davis leads the BBC Philharmonic in subtle and energetic readings of the pieces, but it is in the spectacular orchestral writing of The Planets that they really dazzle. Their performance of "Mars" has all the pulse-quickening, churning ferocity, and volume the score calls for, beautifully contrasted with the stark, strange serenity of "Venus" and the individuality of each of the movements is strongly etched. Davis manages to tone down the plummy Britishness that sometimes characterizes "Jupiter" without tamping down its jovial character. In "Neptune," the women's voices (the women of the Manchester Chamber Choir) are a little too present; the balance would have benefited from more of a sense of mysterious remoteness. Otherwise the sound quality is superb: full, warm, and spacious.
© TiVo

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Holst: Orchestral works (Vol. 2). The Planets

Andrew Davis

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Beni Mora, Op. 29, No. 1 (Gustav Holst)

1
I. First Dance
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
00:06:08

Manchester Chamber Choir (Ladies voices) - BBC Philharmonic - Sir Andrew Davis, conductor

(C) 2011 Chandos (P) 2011 Chandos

2
II. Second Dance
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
00:03:54

Manchester Chamber Choir (Ladies voices) - BBC Philharmonic - Sir Andrew Davis, conductor

(C) 2011 Chandos (P) 2011 Chandos

3
III. Finale. In the Streets of the Ouled Nails
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
00:06:56

Manchester Chamber Choir (Ladies voices) - BBC Philharmonic - Sir Andrew Davis, conductor

(C) 2011 Chandos (P) 2011 Chandos

Japanese Suite, Op. 33 (Gustav Holst)

4
I. Prelude. Song of the Fisherman
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
00:02:37

Manchester Chamber Choir (Ladies voices) - BBC Philharmonic - Sir Andrew Davis, conductor

(C) 2011 Chandos (P) 2011 Chandos

5
II. Ceremonial Dance
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
00:01:53

Manchester Chamber Choir (Ladies voices) - BBC Philharmonic - Sir Andrew Davis, conductor

(C) 2011 Chandos (P) 2011 Chandos

6
III. Dance of the Marionette
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
00:01:46

Manchester Chamber Choir (Ladies voices) - BBC Philharmonic - Sir Andrew Davis, conductor

(C) 2011 Chandos (P) 2011 Chandos

7
IV. Interlude. Song of the Fisherman
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
00:00:43

Manchester Chamber Choir (Ladies voices) - BBC Philharmonic - Sir Andrew Davis, conductor

(C) 2011 Chandos (P) 2011 Chandos

8
V. Dance under the Cherry Tree
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
00:02:46

Manchester Chamber Choir (Ladies voices) - BBC Philharmonic - Sir Andrew Davis, conductor

(C) 2011 Chandos (P) 2011 Chandos

9
VI. Finale. Dance of the Wolves
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
00:01:53

Manchester Chamber Choir (Ladies voices) - BBC Philharmonic - Sir Andrew Davis, conductor

(C) 2011 Chandos (P) 2011 Chandos

The Planets, Op. 32, H. 125 (Gustav Holst)

10
I. Mars, the Bringer of War
Manchester Chamber Choir
00:07:14

Manchester Chamber Choir (Ladies voices) - BBC Philharmonic - Sir Andrew Davis, conductor

(C) 2011 Chandos (P) 2011 Chandos

The Planets, Op. 32 (Gustav Holst)

11
II. Venus, the Bringer of Peace
Manchester Chamber Choir
00:08:04

Manchester Chamber Choir (Ladies voices) - BBC Philharmonic - Sir Andrew Davis, conductor

(C) 2011 Chandos (P) 2011 Chandos

12
III. Mercury, the Winged Messenger
Manchester Chamber Choir
00:03:59

Manchester Chamber Choir (Ladies voices) - BBC Philharmonic - Sir Andrew Davis, conductor

(C) 2011 Chandos (P) 2011 Chandos

13
IV. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity
Manchester Chamber Choir
00:08:28

Manchester Chamber Choir (Ladies voices) - BBC Philharmonic - Sir Andrew Davis, conductor

(C) 2011 Chandos (P) 2011 Chandos

14
V. Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age
Manchester Chamber Choir
00:08:23

Manchester Chamber Choir (Ladies voices) - BBC Philharmonic - Sir Andrew Davis, conductor

(C) 2011 Chandos (P) 2011 Chandos

15
VI. Uranus, the Magician
Manchester Chamber Choir
00:06:04

Manchester Chamber Choir (Ladies voices) - BBC Philharmonic - Sir Andrew Davis, conductor

(C) 2011 Chandos (P) 2011 Chandos

16
VII. Neptune, the Mystic
Manchester Chamber Choir
00:07:25

Manchester Chamber Choir (Ladies voices) - BBC Philharmonic - Sir Andrew Davis, conductor

(C) 2011 Chandos (P) 2011 Chandos

Album Description

The Planets is undeniably Holst's most popular composition, but this album's goal is to put it into the larger context of his output by including one orchestral piece written a few years before it and one piece written at about the same time. Both of the less familiar pieces have exotic themes -- Beni Mora, subtitled "Oriental Suite," and Japanese Suite -- but they avoid the fake orientalism of so much post-Romantic music, even though the second work uses some authentic Japanese tunes. They are solidly crafted, attractive pieces, but they lack the thematic distinctiveness that characterizes all of the movements of The Planets. The final movement of Beni Mora is intriguing in its repetition of a single accompanimental figure that continues almost through the work's entire length. The pieces are a logical extension of Holst's ongoing interest in Asian cultures and the integration of the aesthetic he had expressed in pieces like the opera Sávitri and the choral Hymn from the Rig Veda. Andrew Davis leads the BBC Philharmonic in subtle and energetic readings of the pieces, but it is in the spectacular orchestral writing of The Planets that they really dazzle. Their performance of "Mars" has all the pulse-quickening, churning ferocity, and volume the score calls for, beautifully contrasted with the stark, strange serenity of "Venus" and the individuality of each of the movements is strongly etched. Davis manages to tone down the plummy Britishness that sometimes characterizes "Jupiter" without tamping down its jovial character. In "Neptune," the women's voices (the women of the Manchester Chamber Choir) are a little too present; the balance would have benefited from more of a sense of mysterious remoteness. Otherwise the sound quality is superb: full, warm, and spacious.
© TiVo

Details of original recording : 78:24 - DDD - Enregistré les 24 et 25 juin 2010 au The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester - Notes en français, anglais et allemand

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