Here's an easy call: these are the finest recordings of these works currently available. In reviewing the individual releases, I had perhaps one small reservation concerning the disc containing Bachianas Brasileiras No. 4, but this evaporates in the face of the achievement as a whole. Both cycles, the Bachianas Brasileiras and the Choros, constitute two of the most original, colorful, and enjoyable collections of works by any 20th-century composer. They belong in every serious record collection, and they have never been so consistently well performed and recorded. At last, Villa-Lobos' compatriots have managed to do his quirky genius full justice. The excellent disc of solo guitar music makes a fine and thoughtful bonus, and at seven discs for the price of three, you'd have to be insane not to grab this set immediately.
This set of recordings of Tchaikovsky's last three symphonies by Valery Gergiev leading the Vienna Philharmonic contains performances that are undeniably fire-breathing, undoubtedly heaven-storming, and inarguably heart-on-sleeve. Gergiev, one of the most exciting Russian conductors, leads the works with a combination of reckless passion, imperious command, and unbearable drama that is his hallmark, and the Vienna Philharmonic.
Gustav Holst's "The Planets" is a brilliant portrayal of the other celestial bodies outside of Earth (except for Pluto because it wasn't discovered back when Holst composed this). Mars is violent and in a military march form. Parts of it have the brassy dominating sound resembling that of Darth Vader's theme. Venus sounds like something out of a black-and-white romantic movie, high lush strings, celesta, french horn and all, a personal favorite. Mercury is a very playful sounding piece, strong emphasis on the woodwinds and strings. Jupiter is definately my favorite…
Disagreements and debates are common among Grateful Dead fans but there is a surprising consensus that the show the group gave at Barton Hall at Cornell University on May 8, 1977 is one of the band's greatest. It, like so many Dead shows, first gained its reputation through tape trading, but its legend soon eclipsed Deadhead circles, culminating in its induction into the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry in 2012. Rhino/Grateful Dead Records' official release followed in May 2017 – just in time for the concert's 40th anniversary; it was also bundled as part of a big box called Get Shown the Light, which contains all the shows the Dead did in May 1977 – and it's worth the wait.