Originally Posted by gloco
lol...god no. I'll get to them eventually after listening to Susskind for a while.
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Originally Posted by Mark from HFR
Here's my two cents' worth:
Originally Posted by Bill Ward
Mr. Jordan, once again your persuasive prose is costing me money--and I thank you.
Greatly appreciate the comparative reviews. I usually have a couple of the older discs you reference, and it's interesting to haul them out and compare impressions.
i don't have a favorite version of the planets yet, but regarding my favorite movement, as someone asked, it's definitely "neptune: the mystic". i remember the very first time i heard it. i was listening to library cassettes in the library on my sony portable recorder and when the vocals came in for it, the initial vague "squeal" made the hair stand up on the back of my neck and then when the angelic swell came in i was haunted by it. i'm not sure what version it was, but that's the movement that made the planets noteworthy to me and i'm mostly just interested in pop classical like tchaikovsky & rossini.
to anyone looking to find "better versions", there's dozen of them on grooveshark! the mp3 quality isn't the greatest, but is good enough on most versions to give you an idea of their sonics and the performance. it's impossible to gauge imaging on headphones, but it's a free and quick way to sample what's out there. a lot of the recordings sounded pretty similar for the neptune piece.
i noticed that there were a couple college recordings that weren't that bad either. one of them had a very immediate and forward sound that i liked at least on headphones where finer details, the harp in particular, are distant and obscured in my favorite CD rip i like because the harp tension parts are plucked very percussive sounding where the others seem much softer. sadly, the boult recording a few seem to prefer refused to play. that would be a good one for someone who has it to upload while the rest of us "try before we buy". i'm sure there's multiple uploads for most classic pieces. my favorite of all is probably dvorak's powerful new world symphony (#9). i started listening to the 1st movement of the vaclav neumann rendition on denon one of the reviewers in the "no nonsense" magazine whose name i've forgotten as he claimed it was the best sounding version in the world. it didn't sound as spectacular as claimed though as i've heard much more intensity at least.
definitely browse grooveshark for whatever you like. it has many more recordings than youtube, and generally with 256+ mp3s and if you notice something "essential" isn't posted, you can upload it yourself as i've done with some dub & dance rarities. if there's any drawbacks to the site, it's that too many people upload the same pop CDs over and over with varying quality, sometimes, a song is credited to the wrong artist, & some tracks are busted, but if you're patient enough, you can generally find a nice rendition with good EQ which varies, just not the boult version of the planets. i noticed there were 3-4 versions of some recordings.
Well I certainly have a favorite Planets: Charles Dutoit on Decca/London. Spectacular sound, great playing, great conducting. There is nothing wrong. Levi on Telarc is a close second.
The Neumann Dvorak 9th was one of the first (maybe very first) cds I ever bought almost 30 years ago. In its day the sound was top notch, as were all recordings on Denon. But time has passed, and there are better played, conducted, and sounding New Worlds to be had.
Personally, I don't how anyone can listen to an mp3 of classical music unless it's in a car stereo.
My favorite version of The Planets is a local one for me. The Houston Symphony plays The Planets pretty often (given the city's connection to NASA), and has a blu-ray called "The Planets: An HD Odyssey" with the symphony playing while NASA images of the planets cycle through on screen. Yes, the themes of the piece are based on mythology and not the actual planets themselves, but many of them still seem to fit pretty well. For Mars in particular, the music seems appropriate with the pictures of the desolate landscape of the martian surface. The recording sounds good, and the piece is well played. There are other versions that may have superior nuance or artistry, but this version will always be my sentimental favorite.