20th Century Masterpieces

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
This 16-disc collection is even more ambitious than it appears on the cover. It's not just an anthology of recordings of music of the twentieth century, but an introduction to the whole subject, with a comprehensive text overview or at least as comprehensive as you can be in 17 pages. The organization is chronological, and each piece is presented basically complete. Thus, there isn't room, even on 16 discs, for one piece per year, but it's remarkable how many years do get covered, and how many styles. The natural tendency one might have expected from EMI to favor British music is resisted, and the later part of the century is especially pleasing in its diversity, with ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
This 16-disc collection is even more ambitious than it appears on the cover. It's not just an anthology of recordings of music of the twentieth century, but an introduction to the whole subject, with a comprehensive text overview or at least as comprehensive as you can be in 17 pages. The organization is chronological, and each piece is presented basically complete. Thus, there isn't room, even on 16 discs, for one piece per year, but it's remarkable how many years do get covered, and how many styles. The natural tendency one might have expected from EMI to favor British music is resisted, and the later part of the century is especially pleasing in its diversity, with thorny scores by the likes of Harrison Birtwistle cheek by jowl with holy minimalists. One might protest a moderate slighting of American music; the absence of both Ives and Cage is puzzling in view of the entire disc devoted to Orff's "Carmina Burana." But Gershwin, Bernstein, Adams, Barber, and Copland are all represented. The selections, drawn from EMI's catalog, are for the most part not warhorses brought back for one more turn around the pasture but almost uniformly well-regarded readings from the 1990s; where old recordings are used, as with Jacqueline du Pré's version of Elgar's "Cello Concerto" from 1965, they are mostly recordings that held a place in the catalog for many years. The booklet essay is as compressed as you might expect, but it will give the newcomer some useful places to start in exploring the incredible variety of music in the twentieth century. With a few exceptions, the remastering holds this diverse material together. If you want to take care of an entire century of music with one purchase, this is a reasonable choice.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/24/2008
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • EAN: 5099921750021
  • Catalog Number: 17500
  • Sales rank: 396,670

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–3 Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 - Sergey Rachmaninov & Leif Ove Andsnes (32:52)
  2. 4–6 La Mer, symphonic sketches (3) for orchestra, L. 109 - Carlo Maria Giulini & Claude Debussy (25:29)
  3. 5 Brigg Fair (An English Rhapsody), for orchestra, RT vi/16 - Frederick Delius & Thomas Beecham (15:50)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Das Lied von der Erde, for alto (or baritone), tenor & orchestra: Der Abschied - Otto Klemperer & Gustav Mahler (29:50)
  2. 2–6 Pieces (5) for orchestra, Op. 16 - Arnold Schoenberg & City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (18:46)
  3. 7–12 Pieces (6) for orchestra, Op. 6 - Anton Webern & City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (12:33)
  4. 13–15 Piano Concerto No. 1 in D flat major, Op. 10 - Martha Argerich & Sergey Prokofiev (15:55)
Disc 3
  1. 1–14 Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring), ballet in 2 parts for orchestra - Igor Stravinsky & London Philharmonic Orchestra (33:27)
  2. 2 The Lark Ascending, romance for violin & orchestra - Sarah Chang & Ralph Vaughan Williams (13:43)
  3. 16–18 Symphony No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 82 - Paavo Berglund & Jean Sibelius (30:24)
Disc 4
  1. 1–3 Noches en los jardines de España (Nights in the Gardens of Spain), for piano & orchestra, G. 49 - Manuel de Falla & Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos (25:20)
  2. 4–10 The Planets, suite for orchestra & female chorus, Op. 32, H. 125 - Gustav Holst & Adrian Boult (48:25)
Disc 5
  1. 1–4 Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85 - Edward Elgar & John Barbirolli (30:10)
  2. 5–10 Symphony No. 5, FS 97 (Op. 50) - Carl Nielsen & Herbert Blomstedt (35:48)
  3. 6 Pacific 231, symphonic movement for orchestra (Mouvement symphonique No. 1), H53 - Arthur Honegger & Mariss Jansons (6:32)
Disc 6
  1. 1 La création du monde, ballet for orchestra, Op. 81 - Leonard Bernstein & Darius Milhaud (16:53)
  2. 2–5 Pini di Roma (The Pines of Rome), symphonic poem, P. 141 - Ottorino Respighi & Lamberto Gardelli (20:38)
  3. 3 Rhapsody in Blue, for piano & orchestra (orchestrated by F. Grofé) - George Gershwin & André Previn (14:59)
  4. 7–11 Sinfonietta for orchestra ("Military," "Sokol Festival"), JW 6/18 - Leos Janácek & Charles Mackerras (25:29)
Disc 7
  1. 1 Boléro, ballet for orchestra - Maurice Ravel & Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (16:19)
  2. 2–4 Mathis der Maler, symphony (from opera) - Paul Hindemith & Philadelphia Orchestra (27:11)
  3. 5–6 Violin Concerto - Alban Berg & Gerd Berg (25:36)
Disc 8
  1. 1–4 Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47 - Dmitry Shostakovich & Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (46:34)
  2. 2 Concerto for organ, strings & timpani in G minor, FP 93 - Francis Poulenc & Richard Hickox (23:03)
Disc 9
  1. 1–25 Carmina Burana, scenic cantata for soloists, choruses & orchestra - Carl Orff & Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos (61:01)
  2. 2 Adagio for strings (or string quartet; arr. from 2nd mvt. of String Quartet), Op. 11 - Samuel Barber & Michael Tilson Thomas (8:35)
Disc 10
  1. 1–3 Concierto de Aranjuez, for guitar & orchestra - Joaquín Rodrigo & André Previn (22:05)
  2. 4–6 Sinfonia da Requiem, for orchestra, Op. 20 - Benjamin Britten & City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (20:36)
  3. 5 Fanfare for the Common Man, for brass & percussion (from Symphony No. 3) - Aaron Copland & Enrique Bátiz (3:46)
  4. 6 Masquerada, incidental music: Waltz - Aram Khachaturian & Efrem Kurtz (4:18)
  5. 7 Masquerada, incidental music: Galop - Aram Khachaturian & Efrem Kurtz (2:56)
  6. 10–12 Piano Concerto No. 3 in E major, Sz. 119, BB 127 (completed by Tibor Serly) - Béla Bartók & Martha Argerich (24:53)
Disc 11
  1. 1–4 Vier letzte Lieder (Four Last Songs), for soprano & orchestra, o.Op. 150 (TrV 296, AV 150) - Richard Strauss & Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus and Orchest (21:08)
  2. 2 Fantasia Concertante on a Theme of Corelli, for string orchestra - Michael Tippett & Rudolf Barshai (18:35)
  3. 6–8 Concerto for Orchestra - Witold Lutoslawski & Witold Lutoslawski (28:26)
Disc 12
  1. 1–3 Cello Concerto - City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra & William Walton (29:52)
  2. 4–5 Le soleil des eaux, for soprano, SATB chorus & orchestra - Pierre Boulez & Pierre Boulez (8:16)
  3. 5 Threnody (for the Victims of Hiroshima), for 52 strings - Krzysztof Penderecki & Krzysztof Penderecki (10:03)
  4. 7–14 Symphonic Dances (9) from "West Side Story", for orchestra (orchestrated with Ramin & Kostal) - City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra & Leonard Bernstein (24:03)
Disc 13
  1. 1–5 Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum, for 34 winds & 3 percussion, I/47 - Olivier Messiaen & Serge Baudo (26:00)
  2. 6–15 Tragoedia for chamber ensemble - Harrison Birtwistle & Lawrence Foster (18:36)
  3. 16–20 Tout un monde lointain. . ., concerto for cello & orchestra - Henri Dutilleux & Serge Baudo (28:58)
Disc 14
  1. 1–3 Symphony No. 3, Op. 36 ("Symphony of Sorrowful Songs") - Henryk Mikolaj Górecki & Jacek Kaspszyk (56:55)
  2. 2 Barcarola, for orchestra - City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra & Hans Werner Henze (21:23)
Disc 15
  1. 1 Spiegel im Spiegel, for violin & piano - Arvo Pärt & Tasmin Little (8:30)
  2. 2 Waterways, for clarinet, violin, cello, piano, 2 harpsichords & 2 vibraphones - Oliver Knussen & Toru Takemitsu (10:18)
  3. 3 The Chairman Dances, foxtrot for orchestra - City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra & John Adams (12:52)
  4. 4–11 The Protecting Veil, for cello & orchestra - John Tavener & Steven Isserlis (44:39)
Disc 16
  1. 1 Adagio Cantabile, for soloist & orchestra - Marcel Landowski & Marcel Landowski (10:03)
  2. 2 Drowned Out - City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra & Mark-Anthony Turnage (22:36)
  3. 3 Minuet for violin, viola & cello - Alfred Schnittke & Yuri Bashmet (2:55)
  4. 4–7 Dance Scenes - Nicholas Maw & New Philharmonia Orchestra (18:50)
  5. 8–11 Asyla, for orchestra, Op. 17 - Thomas Adès & City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (22:30)
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