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Classical Music

Early Music


Chant

Chant Lowest new price: $5.65
Lowest used price: $0.01
List price: $16.98
Brand: Emm/Emi Classics

Here is the two-decades-in-the-making recording from the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos, featuring Gregorian Chant a millennium-old, recorded with up-to-date technology. Indescribably moving.

Thanks to good marketing, good cover art, and good luck, this disc probably has sold more copies than most other recordings of Gregorian chant put together. It's often quipped that most of those discs have been listened to exactly once and put away--to the puzzlement of many musicians and critics, who point out that there are more beautiful, more varied performances by professional singers available. Yet the singing of these Spanish Benedictines has a special quality that probably explains this disc's popularity--a reverent serenity that no doubt stems from the fact that the monks are actually praying, not just performing. Granted, Chant can become a bit monotonous with repeated listening, but it really gives you the sense of devotion that has always been the purpose of "Gregorian" chant. If this recording (ahem) enchants you at first, wonderful. If you get bored with it later, don't give up--there has been an extraordinary variety of styles and sounds over the 1,500-year history of plainchant, so go exploring with Anonymous 4, Ensemble Gilles Binchois, Sequentia, or Ensemble Organum. You won't be sorry. --Matthew Westphal

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Chant: Music For The Soul

Chant: Music For The Soul Lowest new price: $8.20
Lowest used price: $8.96
List price: $16.98
Brand: CISTERCIAN MONKS OF

Chant, is the most peaceful music imaginable. Chant: Music for the Soul, is the ultimate in relaxation and stress relief - the perfect antidote to our fast-moving modern world. Chant has proven to heal, calm and also give strength; its power is timeless and universal. Previous albums of chant have sold in the tens of millions. Further fueling the huge general demand is Chant's use in the smash-hit computer game Halo - this is chant for a new computer-gaming generation. One of the earliest known forms of music dating from the early Middle Ages, Gregorian chant was popularized by Enigma and the Benedictine Monks of Silos in the early and mid-1990s. Its hauntingly simple and hypnotic sound has attracted many followers, and Universal is determined to find the real masters of this music to perform a 21st Century version.

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Faure: Requiem, Op. 48 / Durufle: Requiem, Op. 9

Faure: Requiem, Op. 48 / Durufle: Requiem, Op. 9 Lowest new price: $10.37
Lowest used price: $5.79
List price: $17.98

The chorus is at center of Shaw's reading of the score, presumably the more lightly scored 1893 version that Fauré‚ himself created (Telarc does not specify). The account flows very well, and the work of both soloists is highly satisfying, particularly Judith Blegen's airy soprano in Pie Jesu. The recording dates from 1985-86 and is one of Telarc's best, with excellent presence overall and real bass in the organ. --Ted Libbey

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Requiem

Requiem Lowest new price: $7.22
Lowest used price: $10.17
List price: $11.98

Features:

  • Record Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • Catalog#: 00289 4777164
  • Country Of Release: NLD
  • Year Of Release: 2008
  • Notes: Berliner Philharmoniker/Herbert Von Karajan

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Hildegard von Bingen: Canticles of Ecstasy

Hildegard von Bingen: Canticles of Ecstasy Lowest new price: $7.31
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Brand: HILDEGARD OF BINGEN

Hildegard von Bingen: Canticles of Ecstasy by Cologne Sequentia Ensemble for Medieval Music

Although Hildegard von Bingen's music has been around for 900 years--and recordings of her music for decades--it seems that only now, as we approach the turn of another millennium, the time is right for the world to pay attention. In this first-rate traversal of her music--the most popular of several volumes released by the early-music ensemble Sequentia--we hear music that resulted from Hildegard's legendary visions, which often included song texts that she subsequently collected and dispensed to her religious community of women. As rendered here by the voices and instruments of Sequentia, her music invokes an unobscured sense of mystery, conforming to Hildegard's belief that music was our bridge to the harmonies of the heavens. Whether or not we're experiencing that "heavenly harmony" here, the simple, direct, beautifully turned melodies, sung by pure, finely tuned, warm-colored women's voices, often eerily accompanied by an instrumental drone, is heavenly enough. --David Vernier

Features:

  • Record Label: Deutsche Harmonia Mundi
  • Catalog#: 05472 773202
  • Country Of Release: NLD
  • Year Of Release: 2012
  • Notes: Sequentia

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Pavarotti's Greatest Hits

Pavarotti's Greatest Hits Lowest new price: $12.43
Lowest used price: $6.99
List price: $17.98
Brand: PAVAROTTI,LUCIANO

Back by popular demand Pavarotti's Greatest Hits. First released as an LP in 1980 and then again in 1985, this is one of Pavarotti's best-selling albums. Instantly recognizable cover features classic photo of Luciano Pavarotti dressed as Pagliaccio from I pagliacci. Chock-full of his all-time greatest hits including Nessun dorma, La donna Š mobile, Vesti la giubba, Funiculi Funicul… and more! Reissued in a slim-line jewel box for the first time and at a special 2 for 1price point. Celebrate the life and career of Luciano Pavarotti the world's most famous tenor and King of the High C's!

Here's a feast of great tenor singing. It's also a feast of thrills--one selection after another offers Pavarotti's remarkable, full-throated excitement in the music, whether the infectious spirit of his renditions of Neapolitan songs or the trumpet-like High C's he effortlessly tears off in the extended scene from Donizetti's La fille du regiment. Apparent throughout is Pavarotti's big-hearted emotional generosity that infuses this superb collection with an immediacy and communicative power that's impossible to resist. Of course, "Nessun dorma!" is here to lead off the set with the tenor's biggest hit, but his other Puccini arias are, if anything, even more compelling. Verdi is represented by such well-loved Pavarotti favorites as "La donna è mobile" and "Questa o quella" from Rigoletto. He's as compelling in the "Ingemisco" from Verdi's Requiem, the voice blooming in the "Inter oves" section and then fined down to a gorgeous pianissimo. But there's not a single weak track on these discs, whose attractions are enhanced by full texts and translations. --Dan Davis

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A to Z of Classical Music (3rd Extended Edition)

A to Z of Classical Music (3rd Extended Edition) Lowest new price: $8.91
Lowest used price: $0.01
List price: $12.99

A-Z of Classical Music is a remarkable 932-page, illustrated book, detailing the lives of all the great composers as well as many less known, but equally fascinating, musical masters. Like the Naxos range of recordings itself, A-Z of Classical Music is a rich source of inspiration for anyone either just embarking on a lifetime of musical enjoyment or for whom classical music has long been a way of life. Included within is an extensive glossary of musical terms plus a unique guide to classical music used in acclaimed films. Two-and-a-half hours of the finest music from across the centuries are contained on the accompanying CDs.

Is it a two-CD set with a particularly thick booklet, or a 562-page book with a compilation album attached? Either way, the unpretentious text by Keith Anderson offers an introduction to the lives and works of dozens of composers, together with recommended recordings from the Naxos and Marco Polo catalogs. Anderson includes a useful 59-page glossary of musical terms and an extensive listing of classical pieces used in films. The odd thing about the 36 extracts and complete pieces on the CDs is that they do not form an A-to-Z at all. Rather, they are arranged chronologically, from 1,000-year-old Gregorian chant to the opening movement of contemporary composer Philip Glass's Violin Concerto. Between these two points is the early music of Palestrina and Byrd; the Baroque glories of Vivaldi and Bach; the 19th-century Romantic masters, from Beethoven to Tchaikovsky; and such 20th-century greats as Rachmaninov and Stravinsky. Opera, song, and chamber music are barely represented, but only so much can fit into 151 minutes. Essentially a deluxe sampler of the vast Naxos catalogue, the discs offer a good introduction to some of the most famous and melodic music ever composed, while the book will be very useful to newcomers to the potentially confusing world of classical music. --Gary S. Dalkin

Features:

  • Record Label: Naxos
  • Catalog#: 8555319-20F
  • Year Of Release: 2001

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Andrea Bocelli: Sacred Arias

Andrea Bocelli: Sacred Arias Lowest new price: $3.53
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List price: $18.98

Tuscan tenor Andrea Bocelli was already an international superstar (for Romanza, Aria, and Sogno) when he made his first album of arias and sacred music. "I have known these pieces since childhood," he explains, and it's clear that he loves them all. Recorded in a Roman cathedral, Sacred Arias is deeply spiritual and tenderly sung in the world's most beautiful voice. A Billboard bestseller, certified platinum. (62 minutes)

When he was growing up, Andrea Bocelli recalls finding inspiration in a favorite recording of sacred music performed by tenor legend Franco Corelli. Bocelli--who in the meantime has come to inspire millions of fiercely loyal fans himself--returns to the genre as the guiding theme of Sacred Arias, the release of which coincides with the first English-language biography of the singer. These performances are filled with the singer's phenomenally well-known vocal signature: his flair for long, sweetly floating high notes and the gentle sense of cadence he brings to a melody. It's a mistake to compartmentalize Bocelli into a singer of "operatic" versus "popular" styles: in truth his approach is at heart the same. Lack of color and control in his phrasing remains a drawback, but the emotional empathy Bocelli evokes is never in doubt. The arias collected here sample some of the most famous devotional pieces: Schubert's "Ave Maria" and Mozart's transporting "Ave Verum," as well as an arrangement of "Silent Night" in which Bocelli tries out his English. There's also a decidedly odd choice of bedfellows for a program of "sacred" music, such as a song from Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder (whose "angel" is the object of an overpoweringly erotic attraction) and Handel's figurative ode to a tree, "Ombra mai fu." Still, Bocelli sings with an unfeigned directness that is sure to expand his already enormous following even further. --Thomas May

Features:

  • BOCELLI ANDREA SACRED ARIAS

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Baroque Guitar

Baroque Guitar Lowest new price: $4.06
Lowest used price: $3.06
List price: $6.98

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Gregorian Chant: The Definitive Collection

Gregorian Chant: The Definitive Collection Lowest new price: $9.57
Lowest used price: $9.52
List price: $15.49

Continuing its longstanding relationship with the choir of the abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos, Jade Music is releasing Gregorian Chant: The Definitive Collection.

The album regroups a selection of the most beautiful and well-known pieces of chant from the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos. It is ideal for listeners wanting to discover music created in the 12th century music that continues to be passed from generation to generation.

The album includes pieces from the celebrated Mass of the Angels and Requiem Mass among other notable performances. The singing has a special quality a reverent serenity that stems from the fact that the monks are actually praying, not just performing. Recorded in the great Romanesque church of the abbey, the acoustic ambience is perfectly suited to the sung prayer and the exceeding quality of their beautiful art.

Features:

  • Brand Name: WEA CORP Mfg#: 731383639326
  • Shipping Weight: 1.00 lbs
  • Manufacturer: JADE/MILAN
  • Genre: Classical Music
  • All music products are properly licensed and guaranteed authentic.

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