HOLST: The Mystic Trumpeter Op. 10. First Choral Symphony, Op. 41.
Susan Grtton, soprano; BBC Symphony Chorus and Orch/Sir Andrew Davis, cond.
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VIERNE: Symphony No. 3 in F minor, Op 28. Symphony No. 4 in G minor, Op. 32.
HansEberhard Rols, organ
AUDITE SACD 92.675 TT: 64:49
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HAYDN: Lord Nelson Mass. Symphony No. 102 in B flat.
Mary Wilson, soprano. Abigail Fischer, Keith Jameson, tenor. Kevin Deas, bass-baritone; Boston Baroque/Martin Pearlman, cond.
LINN SACD CRD 428 TT: 62:03
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Two lesser known but important works of Gustav Holst are featured on this fine Chandos issue. More than a decade ago R.D.
mentioned a Naxos issue of The Mystic Trumpeter, coupled with The Planets, a performance that included Colin Matthews' Pluto, The Renewer, so we would now have a complete musical representation of the planets (Holst died before Pluto was discovered).(REVIEW).. Pluto is seldom heard today although you can hear a 2012 performance with the Berlin Philharmonic directed by Simon Rattle on YouTube with intriguing visuals that surely add to the music. The Mystic Trumpeter, composed in 1904 and revised eight years later, is based on a Walt Whitman poem from Leaves of Grass. This18-minute richly-scored setting for soprano and orchestra is heard here in a revised version by Colin Matthews, who also wrote CD notes. Also we have Holst's first choral symphony written in 1923 with texts from various works of Keats. It isn't heard often, perhaps because of the uninspired texts, but this superb performance surely makes a strong case for it. Both works have an important soprano role, and Susan Gritton is radiantly perfect. Complete texts are provided, and the Chandos sound is excellent although not particularly "surround."
This past February this site mentioned a superb Audite disk of the first two organ symphonies of Louis Vierne (REVIEW).That review gave many details of the composer's life and music. Now Audite continues this commendable series with the second disk containing symphonies 3 and 4 also played by Hans-Eberhard Ross, and it is magnificent. Symphony No. 3 was composed in 1911, symphony No. 4 in 1914. Each symphony has five movements, usually in a minor key, but each ends with a blaze of major-key glory. Again Hans-Eberhard Ross is the superb soloist, and the rich sounds of the Goll-Organ of St. Martin, Memmingen have been captured with remarkable richness by Audite's engineers. The low bass of this organ will test any quality speaker system!

Martin Pearlman and his magnificent Boston Baroque have never disappointed. Their repertory is wide and they have made many superb recordings, primarily on Telarc. The latest mentioned on this site was Haydn's Creation issued more than a year ago (REVIEW). Now we have another venture into Haydn, Lord Nelson Mass, performed with period instruments that produce beautiful sounds, a splendid chorus and outstanding soloists. The disk is filled out with the composer's Symphony No 102, a spiritedly reading for an orchestra larger than heard in the mass. Audio is state-of-the art and complete texts are provided. Another winner from Boston Baroque.

R.E.B. (November 2013)