A Superb Planets from an unexpected conductor and orchestra

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david johnson
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Re: A Superb Planets from an unexpected conductor and orchestra

Post by david johnson » Mon May 04, 2020 4:39 am

I sampled that. Very well done :)

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Re: A Superb Planets from an unexpected conductor and orchestra

Post by Heck148 » Mon May 04, 2020 11:13 am

Some of the "Asian" orchestras are quite good...there is a huge proliferation of Asian string players, mainly violinists, and many young Americans wind players have sought and gained positions in these orchestras...they are well-funded, and vacancies in US orchestras are few, and competition is brutal...if you are young, and free to relocate, Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul are good orchestras to pursue...

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Re: A Superb Planets from an unexpected conductor and orchestra

Post by maestrob » Wed May 06, 2020 2:27 pm

Andrew Litton has had an outstanding career with Dallas and Bergen among other orchestras, and has produced many outstanding recordings, yet has never been considered TMK for a post with a famous orchestra. Like David Zinman, whose work I find consistently excellent both in Baltimore and Zurich, Litton commands attention from the first note in a variety of repertoire, from Beethoven to Mahler. Both are Americans (Litton finished his training at Juilliard), and both demand accuracy, energy and first-class playing from their respective ensembles. Neither conductor has received the fame and recognition they fully deserve for such consistently excellent work, although individual recordings have been praised in the press.

That said, this is indeed an excellent performance. Litton recorded The Planets with his Bergen orchestra last year, a disc I haven't heard as of this writing. My own favorite recording of Planets is Sir Adrian's analog version for EMI, now OOP in favor of his (to me) inferior digital version, a recording that lacks the energy and precision that Boult could accomplish in his prime. After that, Steinberg/Boston is one of that conductor's finest accomplishments, as is Ormandy's RCA reading, and let's not forget Stokowski's energetic version for Capitol/EMI. Thus, Litton's concert with the Singapore Symphony offered here ranks with the best I've heard out of 20 or so recordings. The sound is certainly demonstration quality.

Many thanks, Philip, for sharing this. The Planets is a brilliant and complex work, VERY difficult to bring off properly, and Litton does a superb job here with his new orchestra. I hope they release a DVD of this performance: I'll buy it in an instant! :D

P. S. And what a beautiful concert hall!

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