Vaughan Williams, Ralph, HOLST: Planets (The) / VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Symphony No. 4 (BBC Symphony Orchestra/ Gustav Holst/ London Symphony Orchestra/ Mark Obert-Thorn) (Naxos Historical: 8.111048),
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A very special release on Naxos Historical, featuring two of England's great composers of the twentieth century conducting their own masterpieces.
Although neither composer could claim to be a natural born conductor, these landmark recordings of Holst's 'The Planets' and Vaughan Williams's 'Symphony No. 4' offer undimmed and thrilling recorded testaments. Holst's way with 'The Planets' is notably direct and swift of tempo. The resulting freshness and energy, together with a refusal to linger or indulge the music, are striking by comparison with many slower, present day performances.
One of only a handful of commercial recordings with Vaughan Williams at the helm, this galvanising 1937 performance of his 'Symphony No. 4' unleashes a visceral force unmatched by later recordings of the work, and an absolute must have for any collector.