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  Sony Classical -
  SS 87981
  Holst: The Planets, Britten: Four Sea Interludes - Bernstein
  Holst: The Planets, Britten: Four Sea Interludes

Leonard Bernstein (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
  Single Layer
Recording type:
Recording info:
  SIGC-25 in Japan.

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Reviews: 2

Review by Russell June 23, 2003 (5 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
For me the prize of this disc isn't Lenny's Planets, but his searing performance of the 4 Sea Interludes from Britten's opera Peter Grimes. It's a pity that Sony didn't see fit to include the dramatic Passacaglia from the same opera or the Suite on English Folk Tunes, both of which were on the original LP. As for The Planets, it's played in a sort of 'rough and ready' manner and doesn't quite strike that balance of aggressiveness/vitality and restraint that inform the better interprations I've heard. (I've yet to hear a totally ideal performance/recording of this work, but my favorite recordings--Previn/EMI, Boult 1997/EMI, Haitink/Philips, Steinberg/DG--have yet to make it onto SACD.) As for sound quality (I listened in stereo only), the Britten pieces (recorded at the old Columbia 30th Street studios, interestingly) are bright, foward, smooth, and clear, with nice breadth, depth, and ambience; the Planets (done in Avery Fisher Hall) sounds more congested and cramped.

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Review by AmirKessner February 28, 2010 (5 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
The Britten is good, but THE PLANETS!!! -- SUPERB!!! -- both as a performance and as a recording.

I have a few recordings, including the rightly famous Dutoit, as well as Karjan/Decca, Mehta and Rattle on RBCD, and, on SACD, Susskind on Mobile Fidelity and Gardiner on DG. I've also heard many others, including Boult, Karajan/DG, etc.

For me, Bernstein sweeps them all.

Warmly recommended!!

P.S., Last time I checked, a few preamps/amps/speakers ago :), the Britten on this SACD was not as good as the Bernstein Royal Edition RBCD..., so I'm not sure about the Britten, but feel no strong urge to recheck...

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Works: 2  

Benjamin Britten - Four Sea Interludes, Op. 33a
Gustav Holst - The Planets