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Holst: The Planets / Atherton, BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Holst / Atherton / Bbc Nat'l Orch Of Wales
Release Date: 04/19/2005 
Label:  Opus Arte   Catalog #: 916  
Composer:  Gustav HolstColin Matthews
Conductor:  David Atherton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Gustav Holst (1810 - 1849) THE PLANETS
BBC National Orchestra of Wales / David Atherton

This lavish visualisation of Gustav Holst's orchestral masterpiece The Planets and Colin Matthews' additional movement Pluto, the Renewer features spectacular images which enhance the symbolic meaning attributed to each planet by the composer. Directed by Rhodri Huw, this memorable audiovisual experience enthralled a massive TV audience with a spellbinding blend of images filmed in many locations around the world (including New Mexico, Arizona and Scandinavia), computer graphics, animatronics and a splendidly atmospheric performance by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

Running time: 59 mins
Region Code: All
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Picture format: 16:9 Anamorphic
Sound format: LPCM Stereo
Menu languages: English

R E V I E W S:

‘The Planets,’ Gustav Holst’s orchestral phantasmagoria, is beautifully played by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, led by David Atherton, but the primary attraction of this disc is the visual images, which explore the mythology associated with “Mars, The Bringer of War,” “Venus, The Bringer of Peace, “Mercury, The Winged Messenger,” “Jupiter, The Bringer of Jollity” and the others. The disc also includes an addendum : “Pluto, The Renewer,” composed by Colin Matthews.

-- Washington Post

Reminiscent of Godfrey Reggio’s films with music by Phillip Glass, this photo-montage with orchestral accompaniment is a fresh and vital means of presenting very familiar music. It is, I believe, an ideal way to advocate such masterpieces to a new and perhaps not so educated audience. The photography is brilliant. …

The most stunning images are in the Venus, the bringer of peace. Filmed in the arctic, and in Ireland among other scenic spots, the glory of nature is portrayed with breathtaking abandon, and this eight-ish minute segment is worth the entire price of admission and bears repeated viewing.

As for the performance, this is not a run-of-the-mill Planets. Atherton recreates the score with both subtlety and aplomb, and with the necessary bravura when called for. …one comes to a whole new appreciation of Holst’s masterpiece by having a visual element. This presentation might not appeal to die-hards or those who do not appreciate the mixing of media, but on the whole, I found this to be a most satisfactory rendition, amply enhanced by some fantastic photography. It has much to recommend, and I would encourage at least one viewing if not many.

-- Music Web International
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Works on This Recording

The Planets, Op. 32/H 125 by Gustav Holst
Conductor:  David Atherton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1916; England 
Pluto, the Renewer by Colin Matthews
Conductor:  David Atherton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 2000; England 

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