The intent of this set is pretty clear from the titles of each of the six discs: Meditations; Orchestral Fireworks; Invitation to the Dance; Nocturne; Pomp & Circumstance; Grand Opera. This is mood or 'theme' music designed to provide either a background or a sequence of 'tasters' initiating the person who comes fresh to classical music with a sampling from the 'great and the good'. True the 'great and the good' are all from the core repertoire; not even a scintilla of Janacek, Nielsen, Adams, Reich which is a shame.
This long-deleted Essential Classics reissue (available again courtesy of Arkivmusic.com’s on-demand reprint program) comprises the first CD remastering of two separate Bach piano releases. One disc features Rosalyn Tureck’s Bach Album, an early-1981 digital production made up mostly of short pieces, plus the Aria and Variations in Italian Style. The close-up yet warm sonics capture the full measure of Tureck’s technical specificity, subtle use of color, and micromanaged dynamics. Notice her absolute linear control in the F minor suite’s Prelude (first sound clip), or how her seemingly over-detached articulations (the seventh Italian variation) always maintain a lilting presence.
For the price, Decca's five-disc collection entitled Ultimate Cello Classics does a fairly nice job of introducing listeners to some of the instrument's great literature. It includes the concertos of Dvorák, Saint-Saëns, Elgar, and Tchaikovsky (Rococo Variations), as well as the complete Bach solo suites. There are definite holes in the programming, however. With the exception of the aforementioned works, the remainder of the album is devoted almost exclusively to short transcriptions – works not even written for the cello. This wouldn't be so troubling if the collection included some of the "essential masterpieces" of the twentieth century or any of the sonata literature, works that are certainly more essential to the repertoire than Kreisler or Wieniawski transcriptions.
A large collection of classical music, released by Decca Records. The collection consists of 34 issues, on CD 5 each.
Decca Records - British record label founded in 1929 by Edward Lewis. Decca Records released recordings of various genres, including jazz, rock, pop and classical music.
Raaf Hekkema: Since I started teaching at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, I have become more conscious of my self-chosen mission: to create a place for the saxophone within the classical music tradition. One way to do this is to forge a stronger bond between the players and the classical tradition, in the knowledge that the saxophone repertoire too is indebted to the great composers of the past. The most influential of them all is, without a doubt, Johann Sebastian Bach.