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Best 20th Century Classics 100

Best 20th Century Classics 100

It's a tall order to compile the best classical music of the twentieth century, but EMI has selected its top 100 classics for this six-disc set, and it's difficult to argue with most of the choices. Without taking sides in the great ideological debates of the modern era -- traditionalist vs. avant-garde, tonal vs. atonal, styles vs. schools, and so on -- the label has


It's a tall order to compile the best classical music of the twentieth century, but EMI has selected its top 100 classics for this six-disc set, and it's difficult to argue with most of the choices. Without taking sides in the great ideological debates of the modern era -- traditionalist vs. avant-garde, tonal vs. atonal, styles vs. schools, and so on -- the label has picked the composers whose reputations seem most secure at the turn of the twenty-first century and has chosen representative excerpts of their music. Certainly, the titans of modernism are here, such as Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schoenberg, Béla Bartók, Dmitry Shostakovich, Sergey Prokofiev, Claude Debussy, and Benjamin Britten, to name just a few masters, but they don't cast such a large shadow that they eclipse either their more backward-looking predecessors or their more experimental successors. If anything, a complaint could be made that certain post-Romantic composers, such as Sergey Rachmaninov and Ralph Vaughan Williams, are over-represented, to the exclusion of other significant figures. Yet this is perhaps understandable for a set designed for accessibility, and it is clear that this was not intended to be a thorough survey, for otherwise, the breakdown of the program would have been more consistently planned. With the discs organized to cover "The Last of the Romantics," "Innovators," " Brave New World," "America," "Instrumental and Chamber," and "Choral and Vocal," the themes seem ill-suited for an in-depth educational program, though good enough for making casual acquaintance with the music in understandable groupings. The performances date from 1963 to 2007, so the ADD and DDD recordings are fairly variable in quality, and there is also a noticeable difference between the live concert recordings and studio sessions. Still, for a quick run through the many styles and developmental phases of the century, this collection is pretty hard to beat for its variety and sheer quantity of examples.

Product Details

Release Date:
Warner Classics


  1. Untitled CD-ROM Track
  2. Turandot, opera: Nessun dorma
  3. Die tote Stadt (The Dead City), opera, Op. 12: Glück, das mir verblieb
  4. Gianni Schicchi, opera: O mio babbino caro
  5. Le soleil des eaux, incidental music for a radio play for soprano & orchestra: La Sorgue
  6. Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, for voice & 8 cellos, A. 389: 1. Aria (Cantilena): Adagio
  7. Vier letzte Lieder (Four Last Songs), for soprano & orchestra, o.Op. 150 (TrV 296, AV 150): 3. Beim Schlafengehen
  8. Baïlèro, folksong for voice & orchestra (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 1, No. 2)
  9. Opus Number Zoo, for speaker & wind quintet: Ballo
  10. Arlecchino, "theatrical capriccio" (opera) in 1 act, KiV 270, Op. 50: Wie ist ihr Schlaf, Madame?
  11. Vocalise, transcription for orchestra, Op. 34/14
  12. Ecce Cor Meum (Behold My Heart), oratorio: 2. Gratia [excerpt]
  13. Requiem for chorus & orchestra: Pie Jesu
  14. Song for Athene, for chorus
  15. The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace, for soloists, chorus & orchestra: Agnus Dei
  16. Requiem for soloists, chorus & orchestra: Pie Jesu
  17. Nunc dimittis for voice, trumpet & strings
  18. Beatus Petronius, for double chorus & 2 organs
  19. Carmina Burana, scenic cantata for soloists, choruses & orchestra: O Fortuna
  20. String Quartet in F major: Assez vif (Très rythmé)
  21. Minuet for violin, viola & cello
  22. Quatuor pour la fin du temps, for violin, cello, clarinet & piano, I/22: 1. Liturgie de cristal
  23. Verklärte Nacht, for string sextet, Op. 4: [Excerpt]
  24. Lyric Suite, for orchestra (arr. from Nos.2-4 of string quartet version): 3. Allegro misterioso
  25. String Quartet No. 1 ("Métamorphoses nocturnes"): 1. Allegro grazioso
  26. Zapateado for guitar
  27. All in Twilight, pieces (4) for guitar: 1. Eighth note = 80
  28. Estudio, for guitar No. 1 in E Minor, A. 235/1
  29. Spiegel im Spiegel, for violin & piano
  30. Duos (44) for 2 violins, Volumes 1-4, Sz. 98, BB 104: No. 28. Sorrow
  31. Liebesfreud (Love's Joy), for violin & piano
  32. Gadfly, opera: Romance
  33. Estampes, Op 22: 2. Pagodes
  34. Poèmes (2) for piano, Op. 63: 2. Étrangeté
  35. El Amor brujo, ballet for mezzo-soprano & small orchestra in 1 act, G. 44: Ritual Fire Dance
  36. Short Ride in a Fast Machine, fanfare for orchestra
  37. American Beauty, film score: Any Other Name
  38. Three Dances, for 2 prepared amplified pianos: Dance No. 1
  39. Rhapsody in Blue, for piano & jazz band: [Excerpt]
  40. Rodeo, ballet: Hoe-Down
  41. Shaker Loops, for 7 strings or string orchestra: 4. A Final Shaking
  42. Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 22: 2. Andante sostenuto
  43. Three Occasions for orchestra: A Celebration of some 100 x 150 notes
  44. Nagoya Marimbas, for 2 marimbas
  45. Titanic, film score: My Heart Will Go On
  46. Adagio for strings (or string quartet; arr. from 2nd mvt. of String Quartet), Op. 11
  47. Fanfare for the Common Man, for brass & percussion (from Symphony No. 3)
  48. Schindler's List, film score: Main Theme
  49. Façades, for 2 flutes (or saxophones) & strings
  50. A Set of Pieces (3), for theatre orchestra, S. 20 (K. 1C28): No. 3. In the Night
  51. Flourish with Fireworks, for orchestra, Op. 22
  52. Asyla, for orchestra, Op. 17: 4.
  53. Canticle of the Sun (Sonnengesang), for cello, 2 percussionists & chorus: [Excerpt]
  54. The Protecting Veil, for cello & orchestra: The Incarnation
  55. Rain Coming, for chamber orchestra
  56. The Piano, film score: The Heart Asks Pleasure First / The Promise
  57. Guitar Concerto, for guitar & chamber orchestra, Op. 67: 1. Allegro
  58. Symphony No. 1: 1. Allegro giusto
  59. Drowned Out: [Excerpt]
  60. Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum, for 34 winds & 3 percussion, I/47: 3. Des profondeurs de l'abîme
  61. Symphony No. 8: 2. Ballabile [excerpt]
  62. Anaklasis, for string orchestra & percussion
  63. Symphony No. 3, Op. 36 ("Symphony of Sorrowful Songs"): 2. Lento e largo, tranquillissimo [excerpt]
  64. Yugen Dance of Men, ballet suite
  65. Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, for string orchestra & bell
  66. Boléro, ballet for orchestra: [Excerpt]
  67. Kammermusik No.1, for 12 instruments, Op. 24/1: 4. Finale: 1921. Lebhaft
  68. Pacific 231, symphonic movement for orchestra (Mouvement symphonique No. 1), H53
  69. Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, for 2 string orchestras: [Excerpt]
  70. Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny (Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny), opera: 2. Moderato assai
  71. Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring), ballet in 2 parts for orchestra: L'Adoration de la terre [excerpt]
  72. Sinfonietta, for orchestra, Op. 23: Rondo. Sehr lebhaft
  73. Pini di Roma (The Pines of Rome), symphonic poem, P. 141: 3. I pini di Villa Borghese
  74. Violin Concerto: 2. Presto capriccioso alla napolitana & Trio (Canz
  75. Concerto for Orchestra, Sz. 116, BB 127: 4. Intermezzo interrotto: Allegretto
  76. Les biches (The Does), ballet, FP 36: Rondeau
  77. Symphony No. 5, FS 97 (Op. 50): 2. Allegro [excerpt]
  78. Sea Interludes (4) from Peter Grimes, for orchestra, Op. 33a: Sunday Morning
  79. Petrushka, ballet (burlesque) in 4 scenes for orchestra (1947 version): Russian Dance
  80. Lulu-Suite, 5 symphonic pieces from the opera for soprano & orchestra ("Lulu-Symphonie"): 4. Variationen: Moderato
  81. Pieces (5) for orchestra, Op. 16: 4. Peripetie (Sehr rasch)
  82. Pieces (6) for orchestra, Op. 6: 6. Langsam
  83. Sinfonietta for orchestra ("Military," "Sokol Festival"), JW 6/18: 4. Allegretto
  84. The Planets, suite for orchestra & female chorus, Op. 32, H. 125: Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity [excerpt]
  85. Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102: 2. Andante
  86. Harnasie (The Highland Robbers), ballet pantomime for tenor, chorus & orchestra, Op. 55, M68: Rural Scene [excerpt]
  87. Noches en los jardines de España (Nights in the Gardens of Spain), for piano & orchestra, G. 49: 1. In the Generalife [excerpt]
  88. The Lark Ascending, romance for violin & orchestra: [Excerpt]
  89. Valse Triste, for orchestra (from Kuolema), Op. 44/1
  90. Images (3), for orchestra, L. 122: 2. Ibéria: 3. Le matin d'un jour de fête
  91. Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (Introduction and 24 Variations), for piano & orchestra in A minor, Op. 43: Variation 18
  92. Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85: 1. Adagio - Moderato
  93. Spartacus, ballet: Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia [excerpt]
  94. Concierto de Aranjuez, for guitar & orchestra: 2. Adagio [excerpt]
  95. Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30: 1. Allegro ma non tanto [excerpt]
  96. Lieutenant Kijé, film score and suite for orchestra, Op. 60: Troika
  97. Masquerada, incidental music: Waltz
  98. Romeo and Juliet, ballet in 4 acts, Op. 64: Dance of the Knights
  99. Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18: 1. Moderato [excerpt]

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