The Ultimate Most Relaxing Classical Guitar Music In the Universe
Putting aside criticism for the hyperbole of this double CD's title, The Ultimate Most Relaxing Guitar Music in the Universe is hard to beat for its plentiful selections, and many casual listeners will find these evocative and generally quiet pieces to be agreeable and soothing. Others who want something more than just pleasant mood music will note that, with few exceptions, the majority of pieces are in the Spanish tradition of guitar music, and they will appreciate this collection for the inclusion of works by such important figures as Isaac Albéniz, Joaquín Turina, Fernando Sor, Heitor Villa-Lobos, and other major composers for the instrument. This set has been compiled from two previous albums, The Most Relaxing Guitar Music in the Universe and More of the Most Relaxing Guitar Music in the Universe, both released in 2005, so if you already own either or both, this reissue offers nothing new. Furthermore, the performances by Sharon Isbin, Shin-Ichi Fukuda, Alexander-Sergei Ramirez, Eduardo Fernandez, Machiko Kikuchi, and Vladimir Mikulka are all drawn from Denon's back catalog, and represent their work from the 1990s on, so if you already have their albums there will be some duplication. In terms of sound quality, the levels vary somewhat from track to track, and a few are slightly muted in tone, though by and large the reproduction is clear and well balanced for such an extensive sample of past recordings.