Friday, October 19, 2012

Preview: So I was slogging through Episode 2 of Season 2 of the new "Upstairs Downstairs" . . .

Charles Dutoit conducts Tokyo's NHK Symphony in 1998 in "Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity," the middle movement of the seven that make up Gustav Holst's beloved concert suite The Planets.

by Ken

Yeah, I wish the picture and sound of our clip were better, but at least Dutoit gets the piece, which you wouldn't think would be all that difficult. But this sets him apart from some very famous conductors you can see on YouTube. (I don't want to mention names, but it's a shame that as grand a conductor as Eugene Ormandy, especially in splashy orchestral display music like this, will be remembered for that slack late performance from 1975, and Seiji Ozawa, another conductor I admire a lot, and again especially in splashy orchestral display music, doesn't do much better.)

What we're going to be concerned with in this week's Sunday Classics post is the majestic contrasting section of the jolly "Jupiter" movement, which is to say starting at 3:20 of the clip. If you've been watching Season 2 of the sad new series of Upstairs Downstairs, you'll know where we're going. And if you haven't seen this week's Episode 2, enjoy the music now -- because it's going to be tougher come Sunday.

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