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Kate
HPB Staff

Holst: The Planets (Sir Colin Davis / London Symphony Orchestra)

by Various Artists
A clear, cosmopolitan rendition of a classic

Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony recorded this rendition of Holst's most famous work in 2002. While many less-wise conductors might have tried to somehow put their own stamp on this well-known suite, Davis instead opted for a more hands-off approach. He allows the music to speak for itself through the orchestra, and the London Symphony executes their rendition with the clarity and precision that have been their trademarks for quite a while. To both Davis and the orchestra, Holst's intentions in the music are crystal-clear and need little interpretation. Holst was an accomplished orchestrator and a listener can hear through the recording that the music is a joy for the musicians to play, particularly in the fourth movement. The level of sincerity that Holst achieves in the suite and that Davis and the LSO preserve throughout their rendition make this the Planets recording that I always come back to.

 
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The English lutenist Elizabeth Kenny devises unusual programs with her group Theatre of the Ayre, and this is one of the best. Kenny examines the masque itself, the imperfectly understood English court entertainment of Italian origin, that encompassed song, dance, theater, and even distinctive stage and costume design. It's difficult to capture on a CD (really a full-scale re-creation would be the way to go, if an organization with the magic combination of funding and inspiration could be found), but Kenny does her damndest. The Masque of Moments is, as the title suggests, a kind of masque compilation, a collection of pieces that did or might have been used in masques, and the main thing Kenny is after is to show what a varied entertainment it was, including drinking genres not usually connoted by the word "courtly;" polyphonic pieces that gain greatly from being placed in context and not in a rarefied realm of abstract music; lovely little anonymous instrumental pieces (such as Robin, track 15); the...

  • Condition: --
    HPB condition ratings
    • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
    • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
    • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
    • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
    • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
    • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
    Conditions Guide
  • Format: CD
  • Sold by: --
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi USA
  • UPC: 822231102922
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HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): Book may have been read. Looks new and has no defects. May show remainder marks. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Near Fine (NF): Clean, with no defects, but may show slight wear at edges of book or dust jacket. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows signs of wear. May have minor defects: clipped or chipped dust jacket; owner’s inscription; remainder mark; minor foxing or bumping. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. May have any of the defects above to a greater degree, including highlighting, library markings, or loose bindings. Rare and collectible books may have cocked spine, cracked hinges, water stains; torn or repaired dust jacket. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): May be very worn, soiled, torn, or barely holding together. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): May have extensive damage from moisture or insects; detached boards; parts may be missing; marginally salable unless very unusual. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
  • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
  • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
  • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
  • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
  • Very Good (VG): Attractive and well cared for but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, but will play almost perfectly. For VHS: barely detectable distortion or very few fuzzy or snowy frames.
  • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
  • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
  • Poor (P): Disc or tape is intact, but may be scratched or stretched. There may be skips or distortion or product defects.
Conditions Guide
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