June 8, 2010 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of robert Schumann, one of the most important romantic composers of the 19th century. To celebrate his vast and impressive output, Deutsche Grammophon and Decca have compiled this 35-CD box set of his most important masterworks. Though this is not a complete edition, it includes every major work and a number of rarities covering every aspect of Schumann's output.
The now-retired Régine Crespin is easily the greatest soprano voice to come out of France since World War II, notable not just for its body and luster but for such an effortless sense of line that you're never aware of the individual notes, only the overall musical idea they're meant to create. This was recorded a bit late in her career and some wobble is apparent. But her characterization of the words–so important in Ravel's precise animal portraits in Histoires Naturelles–is peerless. Too bad that the Satie songs–in terms of quality–veer between serious endeavors and cabaret toss-offs. The disc is filled out by Crespin's performance of Beethoven's concert aria Ah! Perfido, which illustrates why she was a formidable Tosca in her day.
Classical music captures the spirit of romance like no other music and this charming collection of perennial favorites includes music from the most romantic of composers - Chopin, Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Puccini and many more. The set is themed for every romantic mood, with the first two discs devoted to the stirring passion of orchestral music, the second two to the intimacy of solo piano music, and the last two to the wide-ranging emotions of opera. Includes music from three works written for the greatest love story ever told, Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet, with music from Tchaikovskys overture, Prokofievs ballet and the main theme from the soundtrack to Franco Zeffirellis film, by Nino Rota. Recordings from some of the world s greatest artists including Luciano Pavarotti, Joan Sutherland, Sir Georg Solti, Herbert von Karajan, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Radu Lupu, Nigel Kennedy and Bryn Terfel.
Authoritative and comprehensive, this 55CD set presents a unique period in human history: a period when brilliant recorded sound on LP & CD, plus radio, TV, film and live all combined to offer huge new opportunities for singers, record labels and producers to expand the audience for classical music.