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Lest anyone mistake this disc for a collection of rhapsodies in the strictest sense (i.e., the form used by Liszt, Enesco, and Bartók) it is important to point out that it is instead a compilation of music for relaxation. Formerly issued as Night Music 17, this selection of pretty pieces from the Naxos catalog is more varied than similar mood albums from the major labels, and it offers a sampling of works seldom heard on other "chill-out" collections. The program is full of Baroque, Classical, and Romantic slow movements, which are mixed together without much regard for consistency in ensemble, tone, or style. But if this album is treated merely as background music, there are at least no jolts to disrupt the casual listener. While all the performances are decent, and the roster of artists respectable, few selections stand out as exceptional. The Adagio from Schubert's "Octet," performed by the Schubert Ensemble, Budapest, and the Adagio from Haydn's "String Quartet No. 23," played by the Kodály Quartet, are perhaps the most enjoyable offerings and are of sufficient playing time to sustain interest. Yet the majority of tracks run under five minutes, and the shortest pieces come and go without leaving much of an impression.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/01/2001
Label: Naxos
UPC: 0730099661720
catalogNumber: 8556617


  1. Cassation for orchestra in G major, K. 63: Adagio
  2. Mazurka for piano No. 36 in A minor, Op. 59/1, CT. 86
  3. Symphony No. 53 in D major ("L'Impériale"/"Festino"), H. 1/53: Andante
  4. Octet for clarinet, horn, bassoon & strings in F major, D. 803 (Op. posth. 166): Adagio
  5. Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in A minor ("L'estro armonico" No. 6), Op. 3/6, RV 356: Largo
  6. Sonata a quattro (String Symphony) No. 1 in G major: Andantino
  7. Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (Introduction and 24 Variations), in A minor for piano & orchestra, Op. 43: Variation 18
  8. Cantata No. 147, "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben," BWV 147 (BC A174): Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
  9. Concerto à cinque, for 2 solo violins, violin, viola, cello & continuo No. 11 in B flat major, Op. 9/11, T. 9/11: Adagio
  10. String Quartet No. 23 in F minor, Op. 20/5, H. 3/35: Adagio
  11. Concerto Grosso in F major, Op. 6/6: Largo
  12. L' Arlésienne, suite for orchestra No. 2, from the incidental music (arranged by Ernest Guirard): Minuet
  13. Schwanengesang (Swan Song), song cycle for voice & piano, D. 957: Ständchen
  14. Piano Concerto No. 26 in D major ("Coronation") K. 537: Larghetto

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