Ultimate Violin Classics: The Essential Masterpieces would be an appropriate title for this five-disc set of performances taken from EMI's archives, if it weren't for the word "The." These are certainly many of the greatest works for violin, but there are too many obvious omissions - solos by Bach, concertos by Bach, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Brahms, to name just a few - for this to be considered a definitive collection of violin masterpieces. The collection is diverse: sonatas by Beethoven; concertos by Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Bruch; and many small encore-type works for violin and piano.
In the latter twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, Itzhak Perlman has been acclaimed as being among the leading violinists before the public, and, without doubt, has been the most visible of them in media venues, from recordings and radio broadcasts to television and film appearances. No other concert violinist and few other serious musicians have achieved the widespread exposure and popularity attained by Perlman.
Two classic easy-listening albums by famous French orchestra leader/arranger/composer Paul Mauriat, originally released in 1985 and 1989 on the Philips label, together on one CD and remastered from the original analogue stereo tapes for Vocalion's trademark crystal-clear sound.
In light of the "chill-out" trend of the 1990s, major labels released many albums of slow, meditative pieces to appeal to listeners who wanted relaxing or reflective background music. Deutsche Grammophon's vaults are full of exceptional recordings of classical orchestral music, and the performances by Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic are prominent in the label's catalog. The slow selections on Karajan: Adagio are in most cases drawn from larger compositions, though these movements are frequently anthologized as if they were free-standing works. Indeed, many have come to think of the Adagietto from Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 5 as a separate piece in its own right, largely because of its evocative use in the film Death in Venice. Furthermore, the famous Canon by Johann Pachelbel is seldom played with its original companion piece, the Gigue in D major, let alone in its original version for three violins and continuo; it most often appears in an arrangement for strings.
4AD founder Ivo Watts-Russell's This Mortal Coil– a band that never toured, that never really was a band at all– is the subject of this comprehensive box set, one that offers remastered versions of their three LPs along with a fourth disc consisting of non-album tracks.
This is a Great Classical piece for the lovers of classical, as well as the ones who may hate it. These Adagios CDs get beter and better each time there is a new release. I must warn you there some good as well as some bad ones. There is a certain Adagio flavor for everyones.