More of the music of Gustav Holst (1874-1934)
Reviews and Commentaries for The Planets
We can, we played it.
Or, to be more correct, we played them. Two pressings, each with one good side and one very bad side.
This 2-pack from many years ago (ten perhaps), described below, boasts White Hot Stamper sound on side two for the Mehta Planets. Yes, it IS possible. Side two shows you what this record is actually capable of — big WHOMP, no SMEAR, super SPACIOUS, DYNAMIC, with an EXTENDED top.
It beat every London pressing we threw at it, coming out on top for our shootout. Folks, we 100% guarantee that whatever pressing you have of this performance, this copy will trounce it.
But side one of this London original British pressing was awful. We wrote it off as NFG after about a minute; that’s all we could take of the bright, hard-sounding brass of War.
If you collect Super Discs based on their catalog numbers and labels and preferred countries of manufacture, you are in big trouble when it comes time to play the damn things.
That approach doesn’t work for sound and never did.
If your stereo is any good, this is not news to you. The proof? The first disc in this 2-pack is Dutch. It earned a Super Hot grade in our blind test, beating every British copy we played against it save one. Side two however was recessed, dark and lifeless. Another NFG side, but the perfect complement to our White Hot British side two!
Hot Stampers are the only way to get this problematical recording to come to life, to convey the real power of Holst’s music. The typical copy of this record is dull, two-dimensional, smeary, veiled, opaque and compressed. If you were never impressed with the sound of HP’s favorite — a member of the Top Twelve TAS Super Disc List — this might just be the copy that will change your mind.
Our best Hot Stampers (depending on how hot they are) can show you an entirely different recording: rich, spacious, sweet, dynamic, full of ambience and orchestral detail — in short, a world of sound (no pun intended) barely hinted at by the standard import pressing.
If you would like a better sounding pressing of the work, with an even more impressive performance, our favorite recording of The Planets can be found here.