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Complete Tranquility

Complete Tranquility / Various
Release Date: 01/26/2010 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 10565   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Christian BachUnico Graf Van WassenaerAntonio VivaldiIgor Stravinsky,   ... 
Performer:  Yuli TurovskyTimothy HutchinsTheodore BaskinAlain Aubut,   ... 
Conductor:  Yuli TurovskyMaxim Shostakovich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de MontrealEnsemble Repercussion
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 3 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

More than three hours of slow, pretty music here, certain to complement any fine dinner party or romantic night by the fire.

Cellist Yuli Turovsky founded I musici de Montreal in 1983. Since that time he has turned the fifteen member chamber orchestra into the Canadian version of Britain’s Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, racking up more than forty recordings and presenting more than one hundred concerts each season throughout the world. In this collection of sedate slow movements, the orchestra has compiled more than three hours of down-tempo excerpts sure to be a hit in doctors’ offices all over the globe.

There is a great deal in these discs to enjoy. In particular, Turovsky’s amber-toned cello
Read more playing, featured in a number of concerto movements is worth the price of admission. There is quite a lot of Baroque music, some of it adapted for modern forces by various skilled arrangers. I musici de Montreal is a modern instrument band, and although they perform with great sensitivity and taste, there is a good deal more vibrato in the string playing than is allowed by the period folk. Frankly, this richness of sound is rather refreshing to these ears and I am reminded of the great body of recordings made by Sir Neville Marriner and the ASMF, Jean-François Paillard and his chamber orchestra, and the Italian ensemble, also known as I musici.

Other fine solos are delivered by Timothy Hutchins, particularly in the gorgeous Largo from Vivaldi’s Concerto in C for Sopranino recorder. Theodore Baskin also turns in some luscious playing in another Vivaldi work, this one an Oboe concerto, also in C. We get a goodly chunk of van Wassenaer’s Concerti armonico, works that for years were attributed to Italian boy genius Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, whose brilliant reputation led to all kinds of misleading publications after his tragic death at the tender age of twenty-six. These are lovely concertos, brimming with melody and rich harmonic suspensions, and the slow movements presented here are lovingly phrased.

Disc two is an interesting hodgepodge of old and new(er) music with items from the baroque sharing the stage with classical period, romantic and even a piece or two by more or less contemporary composers. Each selection, however is geared toward the theme of tranquillity, and after a couple of hours of straight listening, I found myself going a bit numb from all the pretty slowness. With many of the excerpts coming in at under two minutes, I found that I barely had time to enjoy the music before it was over. Perhaps fewer works of somewhat more substantial length would have been a bit more engaging, but then again, that is a rather minor quibble.

Other highlights include a beautiful rendition of the Andante from Josef Suk’s E-flat serenade for strings. Suk is a composer that deserves to be heard more often in the concert hall, and this lovely excerpt is proof of that assertion. Borodin’s gorgeous Notturno from his second string quartet, here arranged by Lucas Drew for string orchestra receives a fine reading as does Samuel Barber’s ubiquitous Adagio, in a performance that spares us the gushy hyper-emotionalism of Leonard Bernstein’s lugubrious old recording.

Serious music buffs will likely thumb their noses at this compilation as it’s obviously designed to appeal to the “pretty music” set. But, for a long evening of peace and quiet, an elegant dinner party or a romantic encounter with one’s significant other, this attractively packaged set contains a lifetime’s worth of mood music, performed by a superb ensemble in top form. One can hope, however that the buyer will be inspired to explore the complete works from which these excerpts are taken. Slow and pretty is all fine and good, but the composers put forth complete sets of ideas in the works represented, and they are deserving of a full hearing.

-- Kevin Sutton, MusicWeb International 
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Cello in C minor, CW YC98: 2nd movement, Adagio molto espressivo by Johann Christian Bach
Performer:  Yuli Turovsky (Cello)
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Classical 
Written: 1947 
2. Concerti armonici (6): no 3 in A major - Largo by Unico Graf Van Wassenaer
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Length: 3 Minutes 59 Secs. 
3. Concerto for Piccolo in C major, RV 444: 2nd movement, Largo by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Timothy Hutchins ()
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 17 Secs. 
4. Concerti armonici (6): no 4 in F minor - A tempo commodo by Unico Graf Van Wassenaer
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Baroque 
Length: 4 Minutes 22 Secs. 
5. Concerto for Oboe in C major, Op. 8 no 12/RV 449: 2nd movement, Largo by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Theodore Baskin (Oboe)
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 44 Secs. 
6. Concerto for Strings in A major, RV 158: Largo by Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Baroque 
Length: 3 Minutes 28 Secs. 
7. Concerti armonici (6): no 1 in G major - Grave by Unico Graf Van Wassenaer
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Length: 4 Minutes 59 Secs. 
8. Concerto for 2 Cellos in G minor, RV 531: 2nd movement, Largo by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Yuli Turovsky (Cello), Alain Aubut (Cello)
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 34 Secs. 
9. Concerto for String Orchestra in D major: Arioso by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 2 Minutes 38 Secs. 
10. Concerti armonici (6): no 5 in B flat major - Largo by Unico Graf Van Wassenaer
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Length: 4 Minutes 26 Secs. 
11. Concerto for Flute in F major, Op. 10 no 1/RV 433 "La tempesta di mare": 2nd movement, Largo by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Timothy Hutchins (Flute)
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1728; Venice, Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 16 Secs. 
12. Concerti armonici (6): no 4 in F minor - Adagio by Unico Graf Van Wassenaer
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Baroque 
Length: 2 Minutes 51 Secs. 
13. Concerto for Piano no 2 in F major, Op. 102: 2nd movement, Andante by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Dmitri Shostakovich Jr. (Piano)
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky,  Maxim Shostakovich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1957; USSR 
Length: 6 Minutes 2 Secs. 
14. Concerti armonici (6): no 2 in G major - Largo affetuoso by Unico Graf Van Wassenaer
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Baroque 
Length: 4 Minutes 58 Secs. 
15. Concerto for Cello in B flat major, G 482: 2nd movement, Adagio non troppo by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Yuli Turovsky (Cello)
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Classical 
Written: ?1785 
Length: 6 Minutes 41 Secs. 
16. Concerto for Cello in D major: Grave by Giuseppe Tartini
Performer:  Yuli Turovsky (Cello)
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century; Italy 
Length: 6 Minutes 19 Secs. 
17. Concerto for Violin and Organ in F major, RV 542: 2nd movement, Adagio by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Eleonora Turovsky (Violin), Geneviève Soly (Organ)
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 39 Secs. 
18. Divertimento for String Quartet in B flat major, K 137 (125b): Andante by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Classical 
Written: 1772; Salzburg, Austria 
Length: 4 Minutes 10 Secs. 
19. Minuets (5) for String Quartet, D 89: no 3 in D minor by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1813; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 5 Minutes 41 Secs. 
20. Church Sonata for Organ and Strings no 10 in F major, K 244 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Classical 
Written: 1776; Salzburg, Austria 
Length: 4 Minutes 26 Secs. 
21. Concerto for 2 Violins and Cello in D minor, Op. 3 no 11/RV 565: Largo by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Edvard Skerjanc (Violin), Alain Aubut (Cello), Eleonora Turovsky (Violin)
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1711; Venice, Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 10 Secs. 
22. Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10: 4th movement, Romance by Benjamin Britten
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; England 
Length: 1 Minutes 38 Secs. 
23. Concerti grossi (12), Op. 6: no 4 in A minor HWV 322 - 1st movement, Larghetto affettuoso by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739; London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 32 Secs. 
24. Concerto for 2 Violins and 2 Cellos in G major, RV 575: 2nd movement, Largo by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Lucia Hall (Violin), Alain Aubut (Cello), Benoit Hurtubise (Cello),
Christian Prévost (Violin)
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 56 Secs. 
25. Concerti grossi (12), Op. 6: no 2 in F major, HWV 320 - 1st movement, Andante Larghetto by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739; London, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 30 Secs. 
26. Carmen Suite: Second intermezzo by Rodion Shchedrin
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Repercussion,  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Modern 
Written: 1968 
Length: 2 Minutes 2 Secs. 
27. Concerto for Oboe in C major, RV 447: 2nd movement, Larghetto by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Theodore Baskin (Oboe)
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Length: 4 Minutes 24 Secs. 
28. Divertimento for String Quartet in F major, K 138 (125c): Andante by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Classical 
Written: 1772; Salzburg, Austria 
Length: 5 Minutes 57 Secs. 
29. Concerti grossi (12), Op. 6: no 7 in B flat major, HWV 325 - 3rd movement, Largo e piano by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739; London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 43 Secs. 
30. Serenade for Strings in E flat major, Op. 6: 1st movement, Andante con moto by Josef Suk
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1892; Prague, Czech Republ 
Length: 6 Minutes 11 Secs. 
31. Concerti grossi (12), Op. 6: no 8 in C minor, HWV 326 - 4th movement, Adagio by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739; London, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 27 Secs. 
32. Carnival of the animals: no 13, The swan by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Yuli Turovsky (Cello), Gregory Shaverdian (Piano), David Owen Norris (Piano)
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; France 
Length: 3 Minutes 34 Secs. 
33. Album pour enfants, Op. 39: no 19, Conte de la vielle bonne by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 54 Secs. 
34. Concerti grossi (12), Op. 6: no 12 in B minor, HWV 330 - 4th movement, Largo by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Length: 1 Minutes 12 Secs. 
35. Divertimento in D major for cello and strings: 1. Adagio by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Yuli Turovsky (Cello)
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Classical 
Written: circa 1760 
Length: 5 Minutes 25 Secs. 
36. Serenade for Strings in E major, Op. 22: 1st movement, Moderato by Antonín Dvorák
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875; Bohemia 
Length: 4 Minutes 58 Secs. 
37. Waltzes (2) for String Quartet, Op. 54/B 105: no 1 in A major by Antonín Dvorák
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Bohemia 
Length: 4 Minutes 49 Secs. 
38. Serenade no 13 in G major, K 525 "Eine kleine Nachtmusik": 2nd movement, Romanza by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 5 Minutes 46 Secs. 
39. Fantasia on Arias from Verdi's "La Traviata" by Marc-Olivier Dupin
Performer:  Alexander Trostiansky (Violin)
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1995 
Length: 2 Minutes 36 Secs. 
40. German Dances (12), H 9 no 12 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Classical 
Written: 1792; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 5 Minutes 48 Secs. 
41. Liebeslieder Waltzes (18) for Piano 4 hands, Op. 52a by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Austria 
Length: 4 Minutes 46 Secs. 
42. Quartet for Strings no 2 in D major: 3rd movement, Andante "Nocturne" by Alexander Borodin
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; Russia 
Length: 9 Minutes 14 Secs. 
43. Adagio for Strings, Op. 11 by Samuel Barber
Conductor:  Yuli Turovsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici de Montreal
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Rome, Italy 
Length: 10 Minutes 19 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Cello Concerto in C minor (spuriosly attrib. to Johann Christian Bach): Cello Concerto in C minor: II. Adagio molto espressivo (spuriosly attrib. to Johann Christian Bach)
Concerto Armonico No. 3 in A major: II. Largo andante
Concerto in C major, RV 444: Recorder : II. Largo
Concerto Armonico No. 5 in F minor: Concerto Armonico No. 4 in F minor: A tempo commodo
Oboe Concerto in C major, Op. 8, No. 12, RV 449: Oboe Concerto in C major, RV 449: II. Largo (arrangement of RV 178)
Concerto for Strings in A major, RV 158, "Concerto ripieno": Concerto for Strings in A major, RV 158: II. Largo
Concerto Armonico No. 1 in G major: Grave, staccato
Concerto for 2 Cellos in G minor, RV 531: Concerto in G minor for 2 Cellos, RV 531: II. Largo
Concerto for Strings in D major: Concerto in D major: II. Arioso
Concerto Armonico No. 2 in B flat major: Concerto Armonico No. 5 in B flat major: Largo, Andante
Flute Concerto in F major, Op. 10, No. 1, RV 433, "La tempesta di mare": II. Largo
Concerto Armonico No. 5 in F minor: Concerto Armonico No. 4 in F minor: Adagio
Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102: II. Andante
Concerto Armonico No. 2 in B flat major: Concerto Armonico No. 2 in G major: Largo affetuoso
Cello Concerto in B flat major, G. 482 (arr. F. Grutzmacher): Cello Concerto in B flat major, G. 482: II. Adagio
Cello Concerto in D major (arr. L. Delune): Cello Concerto in D major: III. Grave espressivo (arr. L. Delune)
Concerto for Violin and Organ in F major, RV 542: II. [Largo]
Divertimento in B flat major, K. 137, "Salzburg Symphony No. 2": I. Andante
5 Minuets and 6 Trios, D. 89: No. 3. Minuet and 2 Trios in D minor
Church Sonata No. 10 in F major, K. 244
Concerto Grosso in D minor, Op. 3, No. 11, RV 565: III. Largo e spiccato
Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10: Variation 3: Romance
Concerto Grosso in A minor, Op. 6, No. 4, HWV 322: I. Larghetto affettuoso
Concerto for 2 Violins and Cellos in G major, RV 575: II. Largo
Concerto Grosso in E minor, Op. 6, No. 3, HWV 321: I. Larghetto
Carmen Suite: VII. Intermezzo No. 2
Oboe Concerto in C major, RV 447: II. Larghetto
Divertimento in F major, K. 138, "Salzburg Symphony No. 3": II. Andante
Concerto Grosso in B flat major, Op. 6, No. 7, HWV 325: III. Largo, e piano
Serenade in E flat major, Op. 6: I. Andante con moto
Concerto Grosso in C minor, Op. 6, No. 8, HWV 326: IV. Adagio
Carnival of the Animals (version for cello and piano): Le carnaval des animaux: XII. Le Cygne (The Swan) (version for cello and piano)
Album for the Young, Op. 39: No. 21. Sweet Dreams (Douce reverie) (arr. R. Dubinsky and Y. Turovsky)
Concerto Grosso in B minor, Op. 6, No. 12, HWV 330: IV. Largo
Divertimento in D major (arr. G. Piatigorsky for cello and orchestra): Divertimento in D major: I. Adagio (arr. G. Piatigorsky cello and orchestra)

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  3 Customer Reviews )
 badly named March 13, 2013 By P. Kidd (Victoria, BC) See All My Reviews "I bought this expecting music akin to Bach's Sheep May Safely Graze. Instead, the pieces I listened to from all of the three discs which came (and which I am now stuck with because shipping them back would cost more than the discs are worth) were grim, sombre, sad, dreary, depressing, heart-rending and bleak. I've run out of adjectives. This is NOT tranquil music, unless you happen to be a troll, or perhaps a vampire or someone else who enjoys being miserable. Unlike any other of the dozens of discs I've bought from Arkiv and been thrilled with, this one is NOT recommended." Report Abuse
 Mellow and mostly beautiful February 26, 2013 By Laszlo Straka (Fontana, CA) See All My Reviews "This 3-CD set lives up to its title -- tranquility. The first one is a bit heavy on the baroque (whoever heard of Count Unico Wilhelm van Wassenaer? 6 selections from him too much) but the other two are completely delightful, ideal background music, winding up with the wonderful Barber Adagio for Strings. I Musici de Montreal is not all that well known but their performances are top-notch and can be listened to over and over again -- a winner." Report Abuse
 No Tranquilizers Needed January 26, 2013 By andrew o. (TIJERAS, NM) See All My Reviews "Beautiful, Peaceful, Inspiring excerpts played by top musicians in the symphonic and soloistic field of music." Report Abuse
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