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The Most Relaxing Classical Album In The World...ever!


Release Date: 03/30/1999 
Label:  Virgin Classics   Catalog #: 44890   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachEdvard GriegJohann PachelbelErik Satie,   ... 
Performer:  Stephen HoughDanielle MilletMady MespléMoura Lympany,   ... 
Conductor:  Sir Neville MarrinerSir David WillcocksLouis FrémauxBryden Thomson,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the FieldsCambridge King's College ChoirCity of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 30 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This double CD lives up to its title. Although the span of Western classical music encompasses a wide variety of techniques and compositional styles, there is nothing more glorious than the slow and ruminative movements from these works by the greatest composers from Bach to Gorecki. Serenity is the key word to describe both Bach's Air from the Orchestral Suite No. 3 and Grieg's gorgeous paean to dawn, "Morning," which comes from his most famous work, 'Peer Gynt.' Satie's Gymnopédie No 1. is originally for piano solo, but receives a tender performance by the City of Birmingham Orchestra in Debussy's equally famous arrangement for strings. The second CD includes some unusual but equally appropriate selections: Boccherini's Minuet from the Read more String Quintet in E major receives a resplendent orchestral treatment by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. The Andante from Vivaldi's Concerto for Two Mandolins proves to be a delightful inclusion. The Moderato from Dvorak's String Serenade is given a lush rendition by the London Chamber Orchestra. Perhaps the most gorgeous slow piece of music of all is Barber's Adagio for Strings, which is represented by Eugene Ormandy's classic rendition from 1985. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Suite for Orchestra no 3 in D major, BWV 1068: Air by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1729-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 31 Secs. 
2.
Peer Gynt, Op. 23: no 13, Act 4 Prelude - Morning by Edvard Grieg
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875/1892; Norway 
Length: 4 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a DDD recording. 
3.
Canon and Gigue for 3 Violins and Basso Continuo in D major: Canon by Johann Pachelbel
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 59 Secs. 
4.
Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Jesu bleibet meine Freude "Jesu, joy of man's desiring" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 28 Secs. 
5.
Gymnopédies (3) for Piano: no 1, Lent et douloureux by Erik Satie
Conductor:  Louis Frémaux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1888; France 
Length: 2 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Claude Debussy. 
6.
Concerto for Piano no 21 in C major, K 467: 2nd movement, Andante by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Stephen Hough (Piano)
Conductor:  Bryden Thomson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1785; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 5 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Notes: An excerpt from this selection is performed in this recording.
This selection is a DDD recording. 
7.
Lakmé: Viens, Mallikŕ...Sous le dôme épais "Flower Duet" by Léo Delibes
Performer:  Danielle Millet (Mezzo Soprano), Mady Mesplé (Soprano)
Conductor:  Alain Lombard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opéra Comique Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; France 
Length: 4 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: An excerpt from this selection is performed in this recording. 
8.
Requiem, Op. 48: In paradisum by Gabriel Fauré
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887-1890; France 
Length: 3 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: Composition written: France (1877 - 1890). 
9.
Suite bergamasque: 3rd movement, Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Moura Lympany (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1890/1905; France 
Length: 4 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a DDD recording. 
10.
Concerto for Violin in E minor, Op. 64: 2nd movement, Andante by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin (Violin)
Conductor:  Efrem Kurtz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Notes: An excerpt from this selection is performed in this recording. 
11.
Carnival of the animals: no 13, The swan by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Jacqueline Du Pré (Cello), Osian Ellis (Harp)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; France 
Length: 2 Minutes 48 Secs. 
12.
Symphony no 3, Op. 36 "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs": 2nd movement, Lento e largo by Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
Performer:  Zofia Kilanowisz (Soprano)
Conductor:  Jacek Kasprzyk
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cracow Philharmonic
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1976; Poland 
Date of Recording: 1993 
Length: 4 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Notes: An excerpt from this selection is performed in this recording.
This selection is a DDD recording. 
13.
Concerto for Flute and Harp in C major, K 299 (297c): 2nd movement, Andantino by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  James Galway (Flute), Fritz Helmis (Harp)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778; Paris, France 
Length: 3 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Notes: An excerpt from this selection is performed in this recording. 
14.
Concerto for Violin in F minor, Op. 8 no 4/RV 297 "L'inverno": 2nd movement, Largo by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin (Violin)
Conductor:  Alberto Lysy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Lysy
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Venice, Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a DDD recording. 
15.
Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36 "Enigma": Variation 9, Nimrod by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898-1899; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 54 Secs. 
16.
Blow the Wind - Pie Jesu by Jocelyn Pook
Performer:  Jocelyn Pook (Keyboards), Jocelyn Pook (Viola), Melanie Pappenheim (Voice),
Jocelyn Pook (Violin), Jocelyn Pook (Voice)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Length: 2 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Notes: This selection incorporates an excerpt of Kathleen Ferrier's recording of "Blow the Wind Southerly."
This selection is a DDD recording. 
17.
Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, Op. 43: Variation 18 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Cécile Ousset (Piano)
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1934; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a DDD recording. 
18.
Pavane, Op. 50 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Gareth Morris (Flute)
Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; France 
Length: 6 Minutes 47 Secs. 
19.
Adagio for Organ and Strings in G minor: Excerpt(s) by Tomaso Albinoni
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 5 Minutes 48 Secs. 
20.
Quintet for 2 Violins, Viola and 2 Cellos in E major, Op. 11 no 5/G 275: 3rd movement, Minuet in A by Luigi Boccherini
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Classical 
Written: 1771; Spain 
Length: 3 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Woodhouse
This minuet, listed in Boccherini's autograph catalog as part of Opus 11,
was also published, and is known popularly, as part of Opus 13. 
21.
Thaďs: Meditation by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Hans Kalafusz (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; France 
Length: 5 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a DDD recording. 
22.
Sonata for Piano no 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 no 2 "Moonlight": 1st movement, Adagio sostenuto by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Moura Lympany (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 3 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Notes: An excerpt from this selection is performed in this recording.
This selection is a DDD recording. 
23.
Les contes d'Hoffmann: Barcarolle by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (Soprano), Jeanine Collard (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  André Cluytens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  René Duclos Chorus,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; Paris, France 
Length: 3 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: French 
24.
Concerto for Clarinet in A major, K 622: 2nd movement, Adagio by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Jack Brymer (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 4 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Notes: This selection includes only the opening of the movement. 
25.
Cavalleria Rusticana: Intermezzo by Pietro Mascagni
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: Italy (1888).
Composition revised: Italy (1889). 
26.
Serenade for Strings in E major, Op. 22: 1st movement, Moderato by Antonín Dvorák
Conductor:  Christopher Warren-Green
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875; Bohemia 
Length: 4 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a DDD recording. 
27.
Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Montserrat Caballé (Soprano)
Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
28.
Fantasia on Greensleeves by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia of London
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; England 
Length: 4 Minutes 37 Secs. 
29.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in C minor, Op. 18: 2nd movement, Adagio sostenuto by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Cécile Ousset (Piano)
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900-1901; Russia 
Length: 4 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a DDD recording. 
30.
Quartet for Strings no 2 in D major: 3rd movement, Andante "Nocturne" by Alexander Borodin
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; Russia 
Length: 3 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Notes: An excerpt from this selection is performed in this recording. 
31.
Concierto de Aranjuez for Guitar: 2nd movement, Adagio by Joaquin Rodrigo
Performer:  Julian Bream (Guitar)
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954; Spain 
Length: 4 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Notes: This selection includes only the opening of the movement.
This selection is a DDD recording. 
32.
Adagio for Strings, Op. 11 by Samuel Barber
Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Rome, Italy 
Length: 6 Minutes 20 Secs. 
33.
Carmen: Act 3 Prelude "Intermezzo" by Georges Bizet
Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Length: 2 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a DDD recording. 
34.
Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140: no 4, Zion hört die Wächter singen, das Herz tut in ihr by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Wolfgang Gönnenwein
Orchestra/Ensemble:  South German Madrigal Choir Stuttgart,  Consortium Musicum
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Language: German 
35.
Concerto for 2 Mandolins in G major, RV 532: 2nd movement, Andante by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Nigel North (Mandolin), Barrington Pheloung (Mandolin)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Barrington Pheloung
This selection is a DDD recording. 
36.
Concerto for Harpsichord in F minor, BWV 1056: 2nd movement, Largo-Arioso by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Andrei Gavrilov (Piano)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1738-1739; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a DDD recording. 

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