- After a lengthy shootout hiatus we proudly present the best side two of this album to hit the site since 2013
- Out Of This World sound on side two, where it earned a Four Plus sonic grade for its MINDBLOWING orchestral power
- Side one earned a seriously good grade of Double Plus (A++) – it’s rich, clear and dynamic, with weighty brass
- A TAS List Super Disc, with a performance by Previn and the LSO that’s as spectacular as the sound
- This copy has some condition issues – those of you looking for a quiet copy will have to wait for the next shootout in 2018 or thereabouts
Note that by the second movement on each side the playing condition is quieter, about Mint Minus Minus. The first movement on each side is somewhat tickier than that, hence the EX++ grade.
This copy has a side two that is so off the charts we ended up giving it Four Pluses. A Four Plus copy has to meet a standard higher than our regular top grade, and we define that standard as “better than we ever imagined any copy could ever sound.”
The first side here is doing what the best copies always do — it’s correct from top to bottom, full of energy, transparent, and musical. You would not think it could get much better, and that means it earns a very high grade.
This side two has some of the BEST sound we have ever heard for the work, and that’s saying something considering the scores of recordings we have played of this famous and famously well-loved piece.
Fortunately for audiophiles who love The Planets but are disappointed by most performances, a group that includes us to be sure, the amazing sound found on this copy is coupled with a superb performance.
As you might imagine, on a big system this would make for a powerful listening experience, which is exactly the experience we ourselves had during our recent shootout. This copy actually deserves its place on the TAS List.
Both side earned their strong grades for their powerful energy and orchestral excitement, especially from the brass section, a subject we discuss at length below.
EMI pressings tend to be lightly ticky in the quieter sections and these are no exception.
This side is so dynamic, powerful, smooth and natural we felt that it went beyond any other side two we have ever played. These qualities earned it Four Pluses. (more…)