A comprehensive survey of classical music - for the casual listener, this might be all the classical music you need in your collection; for others this provides a starting point for further exploration. Unlike many collections of this sort, most of these 30 discs contain performances by some of biggest names in classical music. Included are: Bach's Complete Brandenburg Concertos; Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons"; Beethoven's Symphonies 5 and 9, plus the Piano Concertos #4 and 5; Symphonies by Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Mahler and Brahms; concertos by Tchaikovsky, Brahms, and Mendelssohn; music by Ravel, Handel, Gershwin, Debussy, Moussorgsky.
Those who collected CDs in the early years may remember Sony Classical's outstanding "Vivarte" series, which generally provided music using original instruments. Anner Bylsma one of the finest cellists of his time. Anner Bylsma celebrated his 70th birthday when this set was originallyl issued on 2004. It really mattered not what repertoire this cellist chose to play because his art is so all-embracing. He is gifted with a beautiful cello sound, formidable technique and wonderfully convincing interpretive ideas.
An above-average soundtrack to a mediocre film, this dance-oriented album hits more than it misses. The title track by David Bowie is fluff by his standards, but as it's produced by Nile Rodgers (a year before their collaboration on Black Tie White Noise), it's danceable fluff. Further in, the album samples the beginnings of the '90s techno revolution, with excellent tracks from Future Sound of London ("Papua New Guinea"), Moby ("Next Is the E"), Ministry's Bush-era primal scream "N.W.O.," and Mindless's "Mindless." Brian Eno's exclusive track "Under" is one of his best from the '90s.
This album brings together some of the loudest, most exciting music ever written - neither music, nor your hearing, will ever be the same! The music has been arranged for continuous listening. With that in mind, three quiet ""valleys"" have been programmed to provide contrast with the very loud music that follows them. You may find that the contrast actually adds to the excitement.
The 16 voices of the British choir Stile Antico have a reputation for perfect blend and for programs that go beyond the favorites generally essayed by the similarly sized British choir the Sixteen. That's what's in this collection of motets (and the chanson Mille regretz) united by their connection to the Hapsburg court. It may be surprising to see Thomas Tallis under that rubric, but as the informative booklet points out, he makes the cut due to the marriage of Philip II of Spain to Mary Tudor. As that suggests, and as might be expected from a collection of pieces spanning a century, the Hapsburg factor does little to unite these pieces, even if the Emperor Maximilian does get name-checked at one point. Instead, this is simply a collection of intriguing Renaissance works that are generally beyond the ones normally heard. In the Tallis and several other pieces, the singers do an especially nice job with the striking dissonances that sometimes appear in music of the earlier Renaissance; they neither gloss over the dissonances nor overemphasize them. Big pieces like Heinrich Isaac's Virgo prudentissima contrast nicely with the the soberer idiom of the likes of Morales. In short, a very well recorded Renaissance a cappella program.– James Manheim