Heavenly Adagios

Heavenly Adagios


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As its title implies, Heavenly Adagios is a collection of slow, reflective pieces of an inspirational nature, though it is not limited to sacred works. The two discs offer a sampling of religious music, excerpts from symphonic movements, intermezzos from operas, and orchestral arrangements of piano pieces, all of which are presented with an emphasis on beauty and tranquility. The quality of the performances is high, and Decca's roster of artists is stellar, with many great conductors, soloists, and orchestras turning in good work. While some of the arrangements will not satisfy purists -- the Bach chorales and Handel's "Ombra mai fu" are too lush -- the playing is polished and consistent with the album's generally romantic tone. Another concern is the variability of recording quality between the tracks, which is noticeable on a superior sound system. As is sometimes the case with such compilations, the dynamic range and variety of ensembles may be problematic for the listener, calling for occasional volume adjustments. There are a few jarring surprises, such as the great crescendos in "Walk to the Paradise Garden" by Delius and the fortissimo passages in Fauré's "Pavane" and Vaughan Williams' "The Lark Ascending." However, if played at a moderately low level, this album works fairly well as music for contemplation.

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Product Details

Release Date: 11/04/2003
Label: Decca
UPC: 0028947534525
catalogNumber: 000149602
Rank: 108928


Disc 1

  1. Cantata No. 147, "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben," BWV 147 (BC A174): Jesu, joy of man's desiring

    1. Jesu, joy of man's desiring
  2. Méditation, violin & orchestra version and various arrangements (from opera "Thäis")
  3. Requiem, for 2 solo voices, chorus, organ & orchestra, Op. 48: In Paradisium

    1. In Paradisium
  4. Gymnopedie for piano No.1
  5. Lakmé, opera: Dôme épais le jasmin (Flower Duet)

    1. Dôme épais le jasmin (Flower Duet)
  6. Carnival of the Animals, zoological fantasy for 2 pianos & ensemble: The Swan

    1. The Swan
  7. Cantata No. 140, "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme," BWV 140 (BC A166): Sleepers awake

    1. Sleepers awake
  8. Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), opera: Humming Chorus

    1. Humming Chorus
  9. Enigma Variations, for orchestra, Op. 36: Nimrod

    1. Nimrod
  10. A Village Romeo & Juliet, lyric drama, RT i/6: Walk to the paradise garden

    1. Walk to the paradise garden
  11. Pavane, for orchestra & chorus ad lib in F sharp minor, Op. 50
  12. Panis angelicus for tenor, organ, harp, cello & bass
  13. Serse (Xerxes), opera, HWV 40: Ombra mai fu (Largo)

    1. Ombra mai fu (Largo)
  14. The Lark Ascending, romance for violin & orchestra

Disc 2

  1. Clair de lune, for orchestra or various other arrangements (from "Suite Bergamasque" for piano), L. 75/3
  2. Cantata No. 208, "Was mir behagt," (Hunt Cantata), BWV 208 (BC G1, G3): Sheep may safely graze

    1. Sheep may safely graze
  3. Symphony No. 3, Op. 36 ("Symphony of Sorrowful Songs"): Second movement (excerpt)

    1. Second movement (excerpt)
  4. Stabat mater, for soprano, alto, strings & organ in F major: Stabat Mater

    1. Stabat Mater
  5. Ave Maria
  6. Quintet for 2 violins, viola & 2 cellos in C major, D. 956 (Op. posth. 163): Adagio (excerpt)

    1. Adagio (excerpt)
  7. Ave verum Corpus, motet for chorus, strings & organ, K. 618
  8. Symphony No. 6 in F major ("Pastoral"), Op. 68: Andante molto mosso: Scene by the brook (excerpt)

    1. Andante molto mosso: Scene by the brook (excerpt)
  9. Dance of the Blessed Spirits (Melody), various arrangements (from "Orfeo ed Euridice")
  10. Symphony No. 9 in E minor ("From the New World"), B. 178 (Op. 95) (first published as No. 5): Largo (excerpt)

    1. Largo (excerpt)
  11. Wiegenlied ("Guten Abend, gut Nacht"), song for voice & piano, Op. 49/4
  12. Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27: Adagio (excerpt)

    1. Adagio (excerpt)
  13. Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068: Air "Air on a G string"

    1. Air "Air on a G string"

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