I discovered Holst’s Beni Mora through the superb Naxos recording with David Lloyd Jones, available in segments on YouTube, which has astounding sonics that match the drama of this underappreciated masterpiece. The orchestral color is every bit as vivid as The Planets. The offerings on vinyl are limited, with Boult’s Lyrita the best I’ve heard. Lloyd-Jones still wins…can we get Naxos to press a copy on 180 gram? While we’re at it, can we reach Edward Said from the world beyond and have him write the liner notes? I don’t have a copy of Orientalism, but Amazon look-inside tells me there are zero hits for Holst. But surely this would have interested him, given his love of Classical music and its role in culture.
Currently listening to a 10″ mono Beni Mora from Sargent and the BBCSO. It’s an Odeon label, dated 1958, and probably only exists in mono. The only discography I can find, at Wikipedia, doesn’t indicate stereo/mono. Sargent’s always seemed a bit bland to me, especially compared to his fellow Brits Boult or certainly Barbirolli.
His Beni Mora is interesting, somewhat slower than either Boult or Lloyd-Jones, but also a bit jauntier and rhythmic. Still, this one goes into the eBay auction pile. If you’re a vinyl-only person, go with Sir Adrian.