There can be few other examples of a composer's most popular work being so untypical of his output as a whole - and there is no doubting the popularity of The Planets. It is one of the most frequently performed - and recorded - works by a 20th century British composer and is performed by the world's greatest orchestras. Neither does its popularity look like fading. What, though, of the rest of Holst's music? This collection is doubly valuable: in setting The Planets alongside a range of Holst's finest, and very different, works, and for the quality and authority of the performances and recordings. We have The Planets conducted by Herbert von Karajan, the most dominant conductor of the second half of the 20th century, played by arguably the world's greatest orchestra; three works conducted by his good friend and greatest interpreter Sir Adrian Boult; and one by the charismatic Sir Malcolm Sargent.
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