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Planets/Transfigured Night


Price: CDN$ 96.95
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 1 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B0000589T6
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #224,016 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Mars, The Bringer Of War - Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
2. Venus, The Bringer Of Peace - Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
3. Mercury, The Winged Messenger - Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
4. Jupiter, The Bringer Of Jollity - Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
5. Saturn, The Bringer Of Old Age - Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
6. Uranus, The Magician - Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
7. Neptune, The Mystic - Women's Voices Of The Roger Wagner Chorale
8. Sehr Langam - Arnold Schoenberg
9. Etwas Bewegter - Arnold Schoenberg
10. Schwer Betont - Arnold Schoenberg
11. Sehr Breit Und Langsam - Arnold Schoenberg
12. Sehr Ruhig - Arnold Schoenberg

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By NNNNN on Feb. 6 2002
Format: Audio CD
This Stokowski recording of Holst's THE PLANETS has been on cd before but the present reissue is a bit different. It seems that when Stokowski heard the first pressings he sent a memo (reproduced in the notes) suggesting certain changes in the mastering. The original engineer had also come up with a few other changes. They were never made until now. I was quite surprised that those changes do make a difference. I have always felt this was an OK performance but this new remastering , to me at least, places it among the finer ones around. Parts that before seemed routine now have more prominence and body.Filling out the cd is Stokowski's hot house performance of Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht. The late Romanticism of this work for string orchestra finds a perfect advocate in Stokowski. Vintage 1950's stereo that is finer than many a newer recording.
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By A Customer on July 16 2002
Format: Audio CD
The best, hottest, most intense "Planets" on the...planet. Man, they really knew how to lay it down in the 1950s. The sound here is great too, probably thanks to Stokowski's total involvement. Listen to a few seconds of "Mars." Yeah... You know it's going to be a heck of a trip. Really, one of the CDs that I absolutely treasure and recommend to others. I preach Stokowski's 'Planets,' as it were. I'd say essential.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A must-have if you love the Planets July 24 2009
By DJ Rix - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Stokowski didn't record The Planets just to add his version to the stack. In 1956, the stack wasn't very large. Stokowski was always interested in new recording technology, & i think he would be pleased with this remaster of the analog stereo he tried to record with great care. It brings out details in winds & percussion (but unfortunately not the organ), adding about 10 seconds of silence at the conclusion of Neptune before the track ends, his original intention.

You know this recording is a little different from start, with the blitzkrieg paced Mars (Maestro adds a tam-tam at the end, but it works). He eases back on the Elgarian tone of Jupiter, & whips up the wizard in Uranus. Neptune may be the loveliest, most ethereal version of all, with vague premonitions of minimalism Stokowski seems to sense (& Holst toyed with in several other compositions); the ending takes us out of the world of myth & the gods & leaves us in the silence of outer space. Not the best Planets all around (maybe the best Neptune), but if you love the work enough to collect fine recordings of it, this is a must-have.

If post-Wagnerian is your cup of Viennese coffee, it doesn't get served up much better than Transfigured Night. Stokowski knew this music intimately & his recording here has always been considered one of the finest available. Darkly, even passionately, romantic on the surface - Schoenberg was falling in love at the time - it is as brilliantly constructed as his later 12 tone works.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Hot, hot, hot: a Planets for the ages July 16 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The best, hottest, most intense "Planets" on the...planet. Man, they really knew how to lay it down in the 1950s. The sound here is great too, probably thanks to Stokowski's total involvement. Listen to a few seconds of "Mars." Yeah... You know it's going to be a heck of a trip. Really, one of the CDs that I absolutely treasure and recommend to others. I preach Stokowski's 'Planets,' as it were. I'd say essential.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I love this album June 12 2009
By White Whale - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Believe it or not, I purchased this album on vinyl years ago. I no longer have the vinyl version so I was pleased to see Stokowski's arrangement of the Planets Suite on a CD -- and using the same album picture yet. I had another arrangement of Holst's work and it was fine but not as good as Stokowski's.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Low-key in 'The Planets' but a riveting 'Verklarte Nacht' Jan. 8 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
These are early stereo recordings from 1956-57, a time when Angel Records used Capitol (Frank Sinatra's label) as its American distributor. Capitol did miserably by them, supplying us with execrable pressings of great recordings. They also had their own limited clssical division, from which came these two recordings of The Planets and Verklarte Nacht. Though clear and open, this remastering can't compete with the best modern sonics for immediacy and impact.

In a way that's to the good. Stokowski doesn't pump The Planets up on steroids; despite his carnival turn in Fantasia, Stokowski was a real musician, and here he brings out the lyrical quality in Holst's writing--the second movement, Venus, has the gossamer delicacy of Debussy. Mars is quite low-key compared to the march into the Rhineland under Karajan. The recording is fairly distant, and the Los Angeles Phil. from that era sounds fairly thin and ragged--it wouldn't be rejuvenated until Mehta joined up in the Sixties. Three stars.

The exciting thing here is the Schonberg Verklarte Nacht, something of a specialty with Stokowski, who loved to champion modernism as long as it was tonal. The strings that play the here are from "His Symphony Orchestra," hand-picekd studio musicians brought together to showcase Stokowski. They do a bang-up job, playing with free rhythm, gorgeous tone, and exciting accents. This is a fully committed Verklarte Nacht brought out of its post-romantic haze. Five stars.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Still My Favorite Sept. 27 2006
By R. McRae - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Hardly lightweight, this is the recording that first introduced me to "The Planets" years ago. Now all others take a back seat to it. Still smooth-as-silk on CD, though recorded some 50 years ago. Mr. Stokowski knew just where to add suttle fillers, and when to raise the levels of intensity. Some of the most enriching sounds ever recorded in my opinion.


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