Limited edition 100 CD box set on the premiere classical label Deutsch Grammophon. Subtitled from Gregorian Chant to Gorecki. For some it will be the ultimate reference tool. For others a big place to start on something they always wanted to know about. Either way, the idea is to present a comprehensive history of Classical Music from its origins to the present day, covering all periods, including all major composers.
A comprehensive survey of classical music - for the casual listener, this might be all the classical music you need in your collection; for others this provides a starting point for further exploration. Unlike many collections of this sort, most of these 30 discs contain performances by some of biggest names in classical music. Included are: Bach's Complete Brandenburg Concertos; Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons"; Beethoven's Symphonies 5 and 9, plus the Piano Concertos #4 and 5; Symphonies by Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Mahler and Brahms; concertos by Tchaikovsky, Brahms, and Mendelssohn; music by Ravel, Handel, Gershwin, Debussy, Moussorgsky.
When Richard Maunder's editions get together with Christopher Hogwood and co, you know instantly that the result will be spot on. The sound of the boy treble line (singing alto as well) is earthy yet in tune, and well complemented by the strong lower parts. The orchestra is supportive yet unobtrusive. The dynamics and phrasing are all well chosen and executed. The choice of soloists is inspired, especially Arleen Auger - such a beautiful voice. It is just a pity that there is not more on the disc - some have argued in the 'Dona ut Kyrie' tradition that an Agnus Dei could be tacked on at the end using the music of the Kyrie. An excellent recording.
The Academy of Ancient Music does a wonderfully and good performance playing the pieces by Vivaldi one seldom hears and they are precious and surprising heart-touching compositions in the inimicable style of the enthusiastic Antonio. Good purchase of 6 CDs!