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Ultimate Classics

Ultimate Classics

Decca's Ultimate Classics is a five-CD box set that presents the best-known pieces of classical music in a straightforward, no-frills program. Most of the selections are quite famous, taken from larger works by such great masters as Handel, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven,


Decca's Ultimate Classics is a five-CD box set that presents the best-known pieces of classical music in a straightforward, no-frills program. Most of the selections are quite famous, taken from larger works by such great masters as Handel, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and many others, so beginners and casual listeners are sure to find many of the most familiar melodies here. The information provided with the set consists only of tracklistings and identification of performers, so there is no material on the background of the music, the composers' lives, or the original albums these recordings appeared on. This may be a drawback for some listeners who need an introduction to music appreciation, but for others, having a direct "name that tune" approach may feel easy enough and make the experience less intimidating. Decca chose recordings from the 1970s and '80s, so the ADD recordings are slightly variable in quality, though the set as a whole is well-suited to comfortable home listening.

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  1. Solomon, oratorio, HWV 67: The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
  2. Ellens Gesang III ("Ave Maria"), song for voice & piano, D. 839 (Op. 52/6)
  3. Cantata No. 147, "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben," BWV 147 (BC A174): Jesu, joy of man's desiring
  4. Canon in D major, various arrangements
  5. The Lord's Prayer
  6. Serenade No. 13 for strings in G major ("Eine kleine Nachtmusik"), K. 525: Allegro
  7. Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64: Andante
  8. Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), opera: One fine day
  9. Nutcracker, suite from the ballet, Op. 71a: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy/Waltz of the Flowers
  10. Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16: Allegro molto e marcato
  11. Nabucco, opera (Nabucodonosor): Va, pensiero (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves)
  12. Pomp and Circumstance March No.1, for orchestra in D major, Op. 39/1
  13. Orphée aux enfers, operetta in 2 acts: Overture
  14. Casanova, musical comedy (Strauss works arr. by Benatzky): Nun's Chorus
  15. Cantata No. 208, "Was mir behagt," (Hunt Cantata), BWV 208 (BC G1, G3): Sheep may safely graze
  16. Bagatelle for piano in A minor ("Für Elise"), WoO 59
  17. The Lost Chord, song for voice & piano
  18. Zémire et Azor, opera in 4 acts: Pantomime and Finale
  19. Rigoletto, opera: La donna è mobile
  20. Cavalleria rusticana, opera (melodramma) in 1 act: Intermezzo
  21. The Prince of Denmark's March (Trumpet Voluntary) for brass, winds & percussion (or keyboard or trumpet & organ) in D major
  22. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: I know that my Redeemer liveth
  23. Jerusalem ("And did those feet in ancient time"), for chorus & organ (or orchestra)
  24. La Traviata, opera: Act 1. Prelude
  25. Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major ("Emperor"), Op. 73: Rondo. Allegro
  26. Fantasia on Greensleeves, for harp, flute & strings (arranged by R. Greaves; from the opera "Sir John In Love")
  27. Boléro, ballet for orchestra (or piano): Finale
  28. Peer Gynt Suite for orchestra (or piano or piano, 4 hands) No. 1, Op. 46: Morning Mood
  29. All in the April evening
  30. Aida, opera: Grand March and Ballet
  31. Thaïs, lyric comedy in 3 acts: Méditation
  32. The Holy City, sacred ballad for voice & piano (or orchestra and chorus, ad lib)
  33. Elijah (Elias), oratorio, Op. 70: Oh rest in the Lord
  34. The Crucifixion, for tenor, bass, chorus & organ: God so loved the world
  35. Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18: Moderato
  36. Berceuse de Jocelyn ("Angels Guard Thee")
  37. Symphony No. 9 in E minor ("From the New World"), B. 178 (Op. 95) (first published as No. 5): Largo (excerpt)
  38. Les Pêcheurs de perles, opera in 3 acts: Pearl Fishers' Duet (Au fond du temple saint)
  39. The Hebrides, overture for orchestra in B minor ("Fingal's Cave"), Op. 26 (4 versions)
  40. La bohème, opera: Che gelida manina
  41. Concierto de Aranjuez, for guitar & orchestra: Adagio
  42. Bohemian Girl, opera: I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls
  43. String Quartet in F major, (prev. attr. Haydn, Op.3/5): Serenade
  44. The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Take a pair of sparkling eyes
  45. Sanctuary of the Heart, Meditation religieuse
  46. Ave Maria, for voice & piano (or other vocal arrangements; after Bach's Prelude No. 1 from the Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1)
  47. The Lord Is My Shepherd, for chorus
  48. Blow the Wind Southerly (Northumbrian Folk Song)
  49. Londonderry Air (Danny Boy), folk song
  50. Karelia Suite, for orchestra, Op. 11: Alla marcia
  51. Suite bergamasque, for piano, L. 75: Clair de lune
  52. Symphony No. 9 in D minor ("Choral"), Op. 125: Ode to Joy (excerpt)
  53. Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), opera, K. 492: Overture
  54. Serse (Xerxes), opera, HWV 40: Largo
  55. Ave verum Corpus, motet for chorus, strings & organ, K. 618
  56. Mors et vita, trilogy of oratorios for soloists, chorus & orchestra: Judex
  57. Tolomeo, rè d'Egitto, opera, HWV 25: Silent Worship
  58. Romance for violin & orchestra No. 2 in F major, Op. 50
  59. Baïlèro, folksong for voice & orchestra (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 1, No. 2)
  60. Scheherazade, symphonic suite for orchestra, Op. 35: The Young Prince and the Young Princess
  61. Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23: Allegro non troppo (excerpt)
  62. Songs (5) for voice & piano, Op. 49: Lullaby
  63. Abide with me (Tune: Eventide)
  64. Horn Concerto No. 4 in E flat major, K. 495: Rondo (Allegro vivace)
  65. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Hallelujah Chorus

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