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Eloquence - Holst: The Planets / Mehta, La Philharmonic, Etc


Release Date: 04/10/2001 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 467418   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Gustav HolstJohn T. Williams
Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Master Chorale WomenLos Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


This Eloquence release contains about half of the program featured on the Mehta/Los Angeles Philharmonic "Double Decca" discs issued about two years ago. That set included the remainder of the Star Wars suite, as well as Richard Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra, in keeping with the collection's "outer space" theme (although aside from its cinematic use, the Strauss work has little if anything to do with outer space--unless you think Nietzsche was an alien). The selection at hand includes Mehta's exceptionally well done Planets, wherein he leads a bracing and ferocious rendition of Mars, with the Los Angeles brass (especially the prominent tuba) blazing like so many war cannons.
Read more In Venus, Mehta coaxes warm, sweet sounds from the high strings in the more ethereal passages. The same can be said for Neptune, with the angelic tones of the Los Angeles Master Chorale perfectly balanced in the aural picture. The end of Uranus features an arresting organ pedal tone, not as floor-rattling as Dutoit's on his Montreal/Decca recording, but impressive nonetheless. Decca's engineers make excellent use of the (unidentified) hall, giving the end of Saturn a room-filling impact.

The brief suite from John Williams' score for Close Encounters of the Third Kind cuts from the opening "neutron" chord to the arrival of the mothership at the film's end. This modernist-style music is right up Mehta's alley, and he jumps at the chance to show off this "difficult" yet popular fare. (A fuller version is available from Charles Gerhardt and the National Philharmonic on RCA.) The Los Angeles Philharmonic pulls out the stops for Williams' grand Star Wars main title, giving it a more Hollywood sound than its London counterpart did on the original soundtrack. It's enough of a tempting tidbit to make you hunger for the entire suite, in which case you should go for the Double Decca instead. [5/21/2001]
--Victor Carr Jr., ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
The Planets, Op. 32/H 125 by Gustav Holst
Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Master Chorale Women,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1916; England 
Length: 49 Minutes 43 Secs. 
2.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind: Suite by John T. Williams
Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1977; USA 
Length: 12 Minutes 36 Secs. 
3.
Star Wars, Episode 4 - A New Hope: Main Theme by John T. Williams
Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1977; USA 
Length: 5 Minutes 8 Secs. 

Sound Samples

The Planets, op.32: 1. Mars, the Bringer of War
The Planets, op.32: 2. Venus, the Bringer of Peace
The Planets, op.32: 3. Mercury, the Winged Messenger
The Planets, op.32: 4. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity
The Planets, op.32: 5. Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age
The Planets, op.32: 6. Uranus, the Magician
The Planets, op.32: 7. Neptune, the Mystic
Close Encounters of the Third Kind - Suite
Main Title [Star Wars]

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