Classical Discovery offers an ideal package, providing an overview of classical music and its history in an entertaining and easy-to-understand form. In a lavishly presented cloth-bound book, accompanied by 12 CDs with over 900 minutes of playing time, Classical Discovery tells the story of the classics in word, music, and images from its earliest days until modern times. With Classical Discovery, anyone can gain entry to the world of classical music, whether for the first time or to gain new insights and perspectives.
This set of recordings from the vaults of the Decca and Philips labels has an advantage over other samplers of the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in that it gives listeners complete multimovement works, not just a single movement or an excerpt of a movement. On the other hand, because of this, the number of works presented is by necessity much smaller than other compilations. Rest assured, though, that the producers selected the best of the best of Mozart's compositions. The symphonies are represented by No. 40 and No. 41 on the first disc of the set, with Georg Solti conducting the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
To commemorate the bicentenary of the death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (December 5, 1791) Philips Classics Records assembled The Complete Mozart Edition comprising 180 compact discs arranged into 45 themed volumes. Each volume in the series is accompanied by a deluxe booklet with detailed information about the works, with many illustrations.
There is an unfailingly genial quality to Mozart's serenades and divertimentos, and these ten works make three very agreeable discs: they are stylishly played and the sound from various locations, including the Salzburg Mozarteum, is reasonably homogeneous as well as offering some blend of refinement and richness. For my own taste, the Vienna Mozart Ensemble is slightly too large-sounding a body to do complete justice to the more delicate writing of Eine kleine Nachtmusik, say in the trio of the minuet third movement, but the playing itself is beyond reproach (though there is a G, the violins' lowest note, that hangs on mysteriously after the final chord of this movement).
All are equal before the work, before the mysteries of a score; this was Claudio Abbados heart-felt conviction. For him, the willingness to be open to one another and to the independent life of musical processes was the only prerequisite for making music. In the live performances documented here for the first time, Abbado could be sure of the devotion of these world-class artists: the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA, the sopranos Christine Schäfer and Juliane Banse, as well as the actor Bruno Ganz. They shared his credo of listening togetherness (Die ZEIT) that made possible those precious moments of musical truth toward which this great conductor strove throughout his life.