Ultimate Classics

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
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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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/14/2006
  • Label: Decca
  • UPC: 028947580850
  • Catalog Number: 000766302
  • Sales rank: 101,454

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Solomon, oratorio, HWV 67: The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba - George Frideric Handel & Neville Marriner (3:20)
  2. 2 Ellens Gesang III ("Ave Maria"), song for voice & piano, D. 839 (Op. 52/6) - Franz Schubert & Joan Sutherland (4:58)
  3. 3 Cantata No. 147, "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben," BWV 147 (BC A174): Jesu, joy of man's desiring - Johann Sebastian Bach & Choir of King's College, Cambridge (7:34)
  4. 4 Canon in D major, various arrangements - Johann Pachelbel & Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra (4:40)
  5. 5 The Lord's Prayer - Albert Hay Malotte & Ambrosian Singers (3:07)
  6. 6 Serenade No. 13 for strings in G major ("Eine kleine Nachtmusik"), K. 525: Allegro - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart & Neville Marriner (5:56)
  7. 7 Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64: Andante - Felix Mendelssohn & London Symphony Orchestra (7:50)
  8. 8 Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), opera: One fine day - Tullio Serafin & Giacomo Puccini (4:55)
  9. 9 Nutcracker, suite from the ballet, Op. 71a: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy/Waltz of the Flowers - Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky & Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (7:41)
  10. 10 Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16: Allegro molto e marcato - Edvard Grieg & André Previn (10:34)
  11. 11 Nabucco, opera (Nabucodonosor): Va, pensiero (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) - Giuseppe Verdi & Lamberto Gardelli (4:52)
  12. 12 Pomp and Circumstance March No.1, for orchestra in D major, Op. 39/1 - London Philharmonic Orchestra & Edward Elgar (6:36)
  13. 13 Orphée aux enfers, operetta in 2 acts: Overture - Jacques Offenbach & Ernest Ansermet (9:02)
  14. 14 Casanova, musical comedy (Strauss works arr. by Benatzky): Nun's Chorus - Johann Strauss II & Joan Sutherland (3:56)
  15. 15 Cantata No. 208, "Was mir behagt," (Hunt Cantata), BWV 208 (BC G1, G3): Sheep may safely graze - Johann Sebastian Bach & Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra (4:37)
  16. 16 Bagatelle for piano in A minor ("Für Elise"), WoO 59 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Vladimir Ashkenazy (3:04)
  17. 17 The Lost Chord, song for voice & piano - Arthur Sullivan & Ambrosian Singers (3:58)
  18. 18 Zémire et Azor, opera in 4 acts: Pantomime and Finale - André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry & Richard Hickox (5:15)
  19. 19 Rigoletto, opera: La donna è mobile - Giuseppe Verdi & Richard Bonynge (2:25)
  20. 20 Cavalleria rusticana, opera (melodramma) in 1 act: Intermezzo - Pietro Mascagni & Gianandrea Gavazzeni (3:21)
  21. 21 The Prince of Denmark's March (Trumpet Voluntary) for brass, winds & percussion (or keyboard or trumpet & organ) in D major - Jeremiah Clarke & Elgar Howarth (2:53)
  22. 22 Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: I know that my Redeemer liveth - George Frideric Handel & Chicago Symphony Orchestra (5:59)
  23. 23 Jerusalem ("And did those feet in ancient time"), for chorus & organ (or orchestra) - Canterbury Cathedral Choir & Hubert Parry (2:44)
  24. 24 La Traviata, opera: Act 1. Prelude - Giuseppe Verdi & Richard Bonynge (4:11)
  25. 25 Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major ("Emperor"), Op. 73: Rondo. Allegro - Ludwig van Beethoven & Vladimir Ashkenazy (10:41)
  26. 26 Fantasia on Greensleeves, for harp, flute & strings (arranged by R. Greaves; from the opera "Sir John In Love") - Ralph Vaughan Williams & Neville Marriner (4:25)
  27. 27 Boléro, ballet for orchestra (or piano): Finale - Maurice Ravel & Ernest Ansermet (5:03)
  28. 28 Peer Gynt Suite for orchestra (or piano or piano, 4 hands) No. 1, Op. 46: Morning Mood - Edvard Grieg & Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (4:07)
  29. 29 All in the April evening - Hugh S. Roberton & The Treorchy Male Voice Choir (3:23)
  30. 30 Aida, opera: Grand March and Ballet - Giuseppe Verdi & Carlo Franci (11:44)
  31. 31 Thaïs, lyric comedy in 3 acts: Méditation - Jules Massenet & Richard Bonynge (5:49)
  32. 32 The Holy City, sacred ballad for voice & piano (or orchestra and chorus, ad lib) - Stephen Adams (Michael Maybrick) & Ambrosian Singers (4:59)
  33. 33 Elijah (Elias), oratorio, Op. 70: Oh rest in the Lord - Kathleen Ferrier & Felix Mendelssohn (3:51)
  34. 34 The Crucifixion, for tenor, bass, chorus & organ: God so loved the world - John Stainer & St. John's College Choir, Cambridge (4:07)
  35. 35 Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18: Moderato - Sergey Rachmaninov & André Previn (11:13)
  36. 36 Berceuse de Jocelyn ("Angels Guard Thee") - Kenneth McKellar & Benjamin Godard (5:04)
  37. 37 Symphony No. 9 in E minor ("From the New World"), B. 178 (Op. 95) (first published as No. 5): Largo (excerpt) - István Kertész & Antonin Dvorák (5:15)
  38. 38 Les Pêcheurs de perles, opera in 3 acts: Pearl Fishers' Duet (Au fond du temple saint) - Georges Bizet & Nicolai Ghiaurov (6:38)
  39. 39 The Hebrides, overture for orchestra in B minor ("Fingal's Cave"), Op. 26 (4 versions) - Felix Mendelssohn & Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (10:17)
  40. 40 La bohème, opera: Che gelida manina - Giacomo Puccini & Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (4:45)
  41. 41 Concierto de Aranjuez, for guitar & orchestra: Adagio - Joaquín Rodrigo & Carlos Bonell (11:00)
  42. 42 Bohemian Girl, opera: I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls - Michael William Balfe & Joan Sutherland (4:43)
  43. 43 String Quartet in F major, (prev. attr. Haydn, Op.3/5): Serenade - Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra & Roman Hoffstetter (4:07)
  44. 44 The Gondoliers (The King of Barataria), operetta: Take a pair of sparkling eyes - Arthur Sullivan & D'Oyly Carte Opera Orchestra (5:15)
  45. 45 Sanctuary of the Heart, Meditation religieuse - Albert W. Ketèlbey & Eric Rogers (4:03)
  46. 46 Ave Maria, for voice & piano (or other vocal arrangements; after Bach's Prelude No. 1 from the Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1) - Charles Gounod & Leontyne Price (2:48)
  47. 47 The Lord Is My Shepherd, for chorus - Jessie Seymour Irvine & Huddersfield Choral Society (3:39)
  48. 48 Blow the Wind Southerly (Northumbrian Folk Song) - Kathleen Ferrier & English Traditional (2:31)
  49. 49 Londonderry Air (Danny Boy), folk song - Philip Jones Brass Ensemble & Irish Traditional (3:10)
  50. 50 Karelia Suite, for orchestra, Op. 11: Alla marcia - Jean Sibelius & Vladimir Ashkenazy (4:37)
  51. 51 Suite bergamasque, for piano, L. 75: Clair de lune - Pascal Rogé & Claude Debussy (5:42)
  52. 52 Symphony No. 9 in D minor ("Choral"), Op. 125: Ode to Joy (excerpt) - Ludwig van Beethoven & Stuart Burrows (7:32)
  53. 53 Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), opera, K. 492: Overture - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart & London Philharmonic Orchestra (4:00)
  54. 54 Serse (Xerxes), opera, HWV 40: Largo - George Szell & George Frideric Handel (5:37)
  55. 55 Ave verum Corpus, motet for chorus, strings & organ, K. 618 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart & Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields (3:55)
  56. 56 Mors et vita, trilogy of oratorios for soloists, chorus & orchestra: Judex - Charles Gounod & Richard Hickox (4:38)
  57. 57 Tolomeo, rè d'Egitto, opera, HWV 25: Silent Worship - Adrian Boult & George Frideric Handel (2:48)
  58. 58 Romance for violin & orchestra No. 2 in F major, Op. 50 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Willi Boskovsky (9:35)
  59. 59 Baïlèro, folksong for voice & orchestra (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 1, No. 2) - Joseph Canteloube & English Chamber Orchestra (6:50)
  60. 60 Scheherazade, symphonic suite for orchestra, Op. 35: The Young Prince and the Young Princess - Leopold Stokowski & Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (12:01)
  61. 61 Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23: Allegro non troppo (excerpt) - Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky & Vladimir Ashkenazy (9:14)
  62. 62 Songs (5) for voice & piano, Op. 49: Lullaby - Anton Guadagno & Johannes Brahms (2:22)
  63. 63 Abide with me (Tune: Eventide) - Choir of King's College, Cambridge & William Henry Monk (4:30)
  64. 64 Horn Concerto No. 4 in E flat major, K. 495: Rondo (Allegro vivace) - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart & London Symphony Orchestra (4:07)
  65. 65 Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Hallelujah Chorus - George Frideric Handel & Neville Marriner (3:43)
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