Best Classics 50

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
Despite the skepticism its title may engender, EMI's Best Classics 50 is a decent sampler of what many consider to be the greatest hits of classical music, independent of subjective preferences or special pleading for some overlooked gem. The picks on this three-disc set are justifiable for not only being well-known, memorable, and popular, but also for having a proven record with classical experts and the public alike. Some of the masterpieces are represented here by only a movement or a short excerpt, which space constraints obviously require, so listeners need to be aware that these are not all complete works; the selections are merely intended to provide easy access...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
Despite the skepticism its title may engender, EMI's Best Classics 50 is a decent sampler of what many consider to be the greatest hits of classical music, independent of subjective preferences or special pleading for some overlooked gem. The picks on this three-disc set are justifiable for not only being well-known, memorable, and popular, but also for having a proven record with classical experts and the public alike. Some of the masterpieces are represented here by only a movement or a short excerpt, which space constraints obviously require, so listeners need to be aware that these are not all complete works; the selections are merely intended to provide easy access into these compositions, in many cases by presenting their most familiar themes. The recordings range from 1959 to 1997, with most dating from the 1970s and '80s, so there is a fair amount of variability in the sound quality, but EMI has adjusted for that in the digital mastering and balanced setting of volume levels, so there are no sudden, loud surges to make one lunge for the controls. As is usually the case with collections of this kind, listeners benefit most from using it to identify pieces they like, then identifying good recordings of the complete work. In this respect, the artists of EMI are certainly worth considering, and this set can also serve as an introduction to the label's extensive backlist.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/29/2010
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • EAN: 5099945751721
  • Catalog Number: 57517
  • Sales rank: 58,397

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Solomon, oratorio, HWV 67: The Arrival of the Queen of Sheeba - George Frideric Handel & Neville Marriner (2:50)
  2. 2 Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in E major ("La Primavera," The Four Seasons; "Il cimento" No. 1), Op.8/1, RV 269: 1. Allegro - Antonio Vivaldi & Camerata Lysy Gstaad (3:42)
  3. 3 Toccata and Fugue, for organ in D minor, BWV 565 (BC J37): Toccata - Johann Sebastian Bach & Wayne Marshall (3:23)
  4. 4 Horn Concerto No. 4 in E flat major, K. 495: 3. Rondo (Allegro vivace) - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart & Neville Marriner (3:37)
  5. 5 Symphony No. 5 in C minor ("Fate"), Op. 67: 1. Allegro con brio - Ludwig van Beethoven & New Philharmonia Orchestra (6:35)
  6. 6 1812 -- Festival Overture, for orchestra in E flat major, Op. 49: Conclusion - Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky & Mariss Jansons (3:35)
  7. 7 Ode to Joy (An die Freude) - Ludwig van Beethoven & Westminster Cathedral Choir (3:22)
  8. 8 Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16: 1. Allegro molto moderato (opening) - Edvard Grieg & Neville Marriner (4:27)
  9. 9 Karelia Suite, for orchestra, Op. 11: Alla marcia - Jean Sibelius & John Barbirolli (4:41)
  10. 10 The Planets, suite for orchestra & female chorus, Op. 32, H. 125: Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity - Gustav Holst & New Philharmonia Orchestra (4:50)
  11. 11 Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23: 1. Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso - Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky & André Previn (3:23)
  12. 12 Finlandia, tone poem for orchestra, Op. 26 - Jean Sibelius & John Barbirolli (8:28)
  13. 13 Aida, opera: Gloria all'Egitto - Giuseppe Verdi & Riccardo Muti (4:35)
  14. 14 Romeo and Juliet, ballet in 4 acts, Op. 64: Dance of the Knights - Sergey Prokofiev & Riccardo Muti (1:53)
  15. 15 Radetzky-Marsch, for orchestra, Op. 228 - Johann Strauss I & Willi Boskovsky (2:54)
  16. 16 Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1, for orchestra in D major, Op. 39/1: Conclusion - Edward Elgar & London Philharmonic Orchestra (2:37)
  17. 17 Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30: 1. Allegro ma non tanto - Sergey Rachmaninov & Mariss Jansons (2:54)
  18. 18 Symphony No. 3 in C minor ("Organ"), Op. 78: Maestoso - Allegro - Camille Saint-Saëns & Matthias Eisenberg (8:08)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Cavalleria rusticana, opera (melodramma) in 1 act: Intermezzo - Pietro Mascagni & Riccardo Muti (3:44)
  2. 2 Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18: 2. Adagio sostenuto - Sergey Rachmaninov & City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (4:32)
  3. 3 Peer Gynt, incidental music, Op. 23: Morning - Edvard Grieg & Neville Marriner (4:17)
  4. 4 The Gadfly, suite from the film score, Op. 97a (assembled by Atovmyan): Romance - Dmitry Shostakovich & Piers Lane (3:15)
  5. 5 Adagio for strings (or string quartet; arr. from 2nd mvt. of String Quartet), Op. 11 - Samuel Barber & Eugene Ormandy (6:23)
  6. 6 Scheherazade, symphonic suite for orchestra, Op. 35: The Story of the Kalender Prince - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov & Riccardo Muti (3:53)
  7. 7 Thaïs, opera in 3 acts: Méditation - Jules Massenet & Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (6:47)
  8. 8 Prince Igor, opera (completed by Rimsky-Korsakov & Glazunov): Polovtsian Dances - Alexander Borodin & Alexander Konstantinovich Glazunov (3:52)
  9. 9 Spartacus, ballet: Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia - Aram Khachaturian & Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (4:46)
  10. 10 Romeo and Juliet, fantasy-overture for orchestra in B minor (3 versions): Excerpt - Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky & Mariss Jansons (5:04)
  11. 11 Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92: 2. Allegretto - Ludwig van Beethoven & New Philharmonia Orchestra (3:57)
  12. 12 Concerto for 2 violins, strings & continuo in D minor ("Double"), BWV 1043: 2. Largo ma non tanto - Johann Sebastian Bach & Bath Festival Orchestra (7:43)
  13. 13 Schindler's List, film score: Theme - John Williams [composer] & Tasmin Little (5:04)
  14. 14 Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Dance of the Reed Flutes - Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky & André Previn (2:21)
  15. 15 Symphony No. 6 in F major ("Pastoral"), Op. 68: 5. Allegretto - Ludwig van Beethoven & Riccardo Muti (6:41)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Zadok the Priest, coronation anthem No. 1 for chorus & orchestra, HWV 258 - George Frideric Handel & London Philharmonic Orchestra (6:05)
  2. 2 Cantata No. 140, "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme," BWV 140 (BC A166): Zion hört die Wächter - Johann Sebastian Bach & Consortium Musicum (4:49)
  3. 3 Miserere mei Deus (Psalm 51), motet for chorus - Gregorio Allegri & Timothy Beasley-Murray (5:48)
  4. 4 Deutsche Messe (German Mass), for mixed chorus, wind ensemble & organ, D. 872: Sanctus - Franz Schubert & Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (3:47)
  5. 5 Panis angelicus for tenor, organ, harp, cello & bass - César Franck & The Hallé Choir (4:58)
  6. 6 L' Enfance du Christ, oratorio for soprano, 2 tenors, baritone, 3 basses, chorus & orchetsra ("trilogie sacrée") H. 130 (Op. 25): L'Adieu des bergers - Hector Berlioz & René Duclos Choir (3:50)
  7. 7 Messe solennelle de Sainte Cécile for soloists, chorus, orchestra & organ in G major: Sanctus - Charles Gounod & René Duclos Choir (5:20)
  8. 8 Requiem, for 2 solo voices, chorus, organ & orchestra, Op. 48: In paradisum - Gabriel Fauré & Peter Barley (3:29)
  9. 9 Vesperae solennes de confessore for soloists, chorus & orchestra, K. 339: Laudate Dominum - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart & Bavarian Radio Chorus (5:09)
  10. 10 Cantique de Jean Racine, for 4-part chorus & organ (or orchestra), Op. 11 - Gabriel Fauré & Downside Abbey Monks and Choirboys (5:12)
  11. 11 Requiem Mass, for soloists, chorus & orchestra (Manzoni Requiem): Ingemisco - Giuseppe Verdi & Riccardo Muti (3:43)
  12. 12 Ave verum Corpus, motet for chorus, strings & organ, K. 618 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart & Cambridge Classical Players (3:05)
  13. 13 Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: I know that my Redeemer liveth - George Frideric Handel & English Chamber Orchestra (6:42)
  14. 14 Die Schöpfung (The Creation), oratorio, H. 21/2: The Heavens are Telling - David Willcocks & Franz Joseph Haydn (4:47)
  15. 15 Requiem, for 2 solo voices, chorus, organ & orchestra, Op. 48: Pie Jesu - Gabriel Fauré & André Cluytens (3:20)
  16. 16 Requiem for soloists, chorus, and orchestra, K. 626: Lacrimosa - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart & David Bell (2:58)
  17. 17 Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Hallelujah Chorus - George Frideric Handel & Ambrosian Singers (4:03)
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