Holst The Planets - Buzz Brass - Melanie Barney on 180g 45RPM 2LP
The Planets - Arrangement for Brass and Organ
180g 45RPM 2LP Set Mastered by Bernie Grundman
By far the best known of all Gustav Holst’s compositions is The Planets, a sequence of seven movements, reflecting the composer’s interest in astrology and the generally attributed qualities of each. "Jupiter, The Bringer of Jollity" provided the melody for a popular patriotic hymn, while "Mars, The Bringer of War," suggests the period of the work’s composition between 1914 and 1916.
Here we have Holst's The Planets for brass quintet and organ expertly performed by Melanie Barney and the Buzz Ensemble. This recording is not to be missed with both excellent performances and extraordinary sonics! Modifying a works instrumentation is a bit like translating a text into another language: one must first understand the composers intention, then find the appropriate vocabulary. So, to create a version for brass quintet and organ of Holst's suite for large orchestra The Planets, Enrico O. Dastous needed to engage in an exercise of analysis and reflection.
At the heart of Mr. Dastous' approach is his respect for the content of the original score, for its mechanics and for its architectural outline. Generally speaking, the musical material of the orchestras brass section has been redistributed within the quintet while that of the string quartet and of the woodwinds has been attributed to the organ. By doing so, the arranger has restored the orchestral dialogue among the performers and has thus avoided creating a concerto for brass.
Despite the reduction of the timbral palette, Mr. Dastous has reproduced the original contrast effects by resorting to all kinds of instrumental combinations, of which those offered by the organ stops. Among the brass, the use of mutes has partly allowed them to substitute for the woodwinds, notably in "Mercury, the Winged Messenger." In regard to the particularity of the orchestral writing and to the use of two womens choirs in the suites last movement, "Neptune, the Mystic," the arranger had to take more melodic liberties to recreate the original mood.
Central to Buzz musicians and organist Mélanie Barney's interpretation of The Planets is their own respect for Mr. Dastous' vision of the work. Buzz, mainly known for the quality of its multidisciplinary performances and pedagogical productions, confirms with this third recording, the first to devote itself to a repertory work the seriousness and the rigor of its approach as well as its intrinsic musical qualities and its artistic sensitivity.
When first released, the 33 RPM vinyl version of Holst's The Planets recorded by master Rene Laflamme became a "reference" for international audiophile reviewers. This new 180g 45RPM 2LP version from Fidelio Musique, mastered by Bernie Grundman (Michael Jackson, Joni Mitchell, Diana Krall, Tracy Chapman) brings the album to an even higher level! Let the sound of the organ and brass take you on a majestic interplanetary voyage!