Paavo Järvi doesn't have much to say about Holst's The Planets and Britten's The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, but with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, he says it fluently. The Ohio orchestra can plainly play the heck out of both works. Nothing in the brilliantly scored Planets is beyond their abilities, not the brutal "Mars," the consoling "Venus," the massive "Jupiter," or even the mystical "Neptune." Nor is anything in Britten's highly virtuosic Young Person's Guide above them, not the intricate solo writing of the individual variations or the complex ensemble writing of the concluding fugue. Järvi clearly knows his way around the scores, leading his orchestra with vigor and confidence. But neither Järvi nor the Cincinnati players bring anything new or fresh to the music. The superlative performances by Adrian Boult, in contrast, offer truly inspiring versions of these two orchestral warhorses. In his hands, both works have something to say, and he brings out their meanings eloquently and compellingly. For all the technical excellence of their performances, Järvi and the Ohio players are just going through the motions. Telarc's digital sound is loud, colorful, and immediate.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|The Planets, suite for orchestra & female chorus, Op. 32, H. 125|
|Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell), for speaker ad lib & orchestra, Op. 34|