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“This is a mightily impressive account of The Planets. The high is undoubtedly 'Saturn', whose remorseless tread has rarely seemed more implacable. Aided by orchestral playing that's both memorably concentrated and rapt, Holst's textures in the closing section acquire a breathtaking translucency, and how memorably the BBC SO brass thrusts home the terrifying central climax. 'Neptune', too, is exceptionally successful: ethereally delicate tremolando harps set the scene for a tone picture of exquisite beauty, graced by choral work of notable purity from the women of the BBC Symphony Chorus. Elsewhere, 'Mercury' darts hither and thither in suitably impish fashion. 'Venus' is cool and chaste: if the BBC violins can't quite command the bloom and sheen of the very finest groups, the liquidity and poise of the woodwind are most striking. And the burst of energy at the close of 'Jupiter' is genuinely exhilarating. The spectacularly ample sound certainly makes the mischievous antics of 'Uranus' a feast for the ears, and Davis handles the coda superbly, plunging the listener into a world which is unnerving in its bleakness. He shows comparable perception in the similarly remote terrain of Egdon Heath, and succeeds in conveying much of the sombre intensity of Holst's cloud-hung evocation.”
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