- Missa "Ecco si beato giorno", for 40 voices: Agnes Dei II
Decca has culled an attractive assortment of performances from its vast archive or recordings for its collection, Classical 2012. The album may be dated 2012, but the performances are not necessarily by artists who were then active, although most were. Conductors Herbert von Karajan and Georg Solti, soprano Joan Sutherland, tenor Luciano Pavarotti, and pianist Jorge Bolet were prominent in the mid- to late 20th century, and their legendary performances have lost none of their luster. Artists relatively new to the international scene in 2012 are also represented by performers like conductor Gustavo Dudamel, tenor Joseph Calleja, and sopranos Danielle de Niese and Aleksandra Kurzak. With the deep trove of recordings in Decca's archive, it goes without saying that all the performances are top-notch and the sound is always at least very good, and often superlative. More than half of the selections are vocal, and the majority of those are operatic. The pieces are by far most often from the Romantic era, although there's a handful of works from earlier or later periods. The tone of most of the tracks is soothing and positive. The album should appeal to listeners looking for a general collection of excellent performances of a variety of types of classical music.