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Classical Music

Oratorio


25 Classical Favorites

25 Classical Favorites Lowest new price: $0.97
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Handel: The Messiah

Handel: The Messiah Lowest new price: $3.14
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Mozart was an early champion of Handel's epic oratorio; it's since become one of Handel's most treasured works and a Christmas perennial. Performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir, this is its top-selling recording: For unto Us a Child Is Born; Hallelujah!; The Trumpet Shall Sound; Glory to God two hours on 2 CDs!

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Essential Mozart

Essential Mozart Lowest new price: $6.80
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Christmas With the Cambridge Singers

Christmas With the Cambridge Singers Lowest new price: $49.85
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Features John Rutter’s What Sweeter Music, famous from Volvo’s popular "Lives Saved" commercials, plus 20 other carols, seasonal motets and choruses. "Delightfully arranged, magnificently performed and recorded… a winner all the way." -Gramophone

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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: $8.97
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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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Bach at Bedtime

Bach at Bedtime Lowest new price: $2.00
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Voice of the Violin

Voice of the Violin Lowest new price: $5.54
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I'm afraid that understates the ethereal quality of Bell's extraction of living musical notes from his Stradivarius. The spiritual oneness that happens with a virtuoso and his/her instrument is what makes the connection between the listener and the player. The instrument becomes a unique voice that communicates the essence of music, which itself, is an extension of the writer. If pure, then the quality is immeasurable and unspeakable, transferring only between spirits, and made all the more pure in the hands of a kindred soul. Joshua Bell possesses that kind of relationship, not only between the author of the music and the quality of the instrument, but also between the author and the listener. Bell excels as the bridge between them all.

Constantly exhorted to "sing," string players naturally try to emulate that most beautiful musical instrument, the human voice; no wonder they literally want to get their fingers on the treasures of the vocal repertoire. Joshua Bell has appropriated some of its best-loved songs and operatic arias, from Mozart through the romantics to Orff. Slow, sustained, lovely and yes, singing, these beguiling melodies and wide emotional range are eminently well suited to the violin. Credit for most of the arrangements is given to J.A.C. Redford, a well-known film and television composer, and indeed the throbbing strings and jarring modulations typical of sound-tracks invade his orchestrations, in startling contrast to the composers' own. In Debussy's "Beau soir," pianist Frederic Chiu partners Bell so beautifully that one wishes he had supplanted the orchestra in all the songs with piano accompaniment. The violin transcriptions of the vocal line closely follow the originals, except for Redford's compulsive habit of adding octaves in the repeats and jumping from the lowest to the highest register. Of course, Bell is very good at all this, and it's the playing that's really the thing. His tone is ravishingly beautiful, warm on the G-string, radiant up high, and always deeply expressive. His love and innate feeling for the music---its inward simplicity, romantic yearning and passionate ardor---speak straight to the heart. In the only authentic violin part, the obbligato of Richard Strauss' "Morgen!" he is joined by the golden-voiced soprano Anna Netrebko; at first overly intense, she relaxes into a blissful, magical ending. --Edith Eisler

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Choral Masterpieces

Choral Masterpieces Lowest new price: $4.98
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He Is Risen! - Hymns of the Easter Season

He Is Risen! - Hymns of the Easter Season Lowest new price: $11.90
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WILLIAM NEIL, Organist of the National Symphony Orchestra, is well known for his performances of traditional and contemporary organ music. Prior to his appointment in 2001 as Organist of The National Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC he served as Organist of Rockefeller Memorial Chapel at the University of Chicago. He has performed with ensembles like the New York Trumpet Ensemble, Millar Brass Ensemble and Washington Symphonic Brass, and with the National Symphony under the baton of Slatkin, Rostropovich, Siciliani, Hogwood and others. Mr. Neil is the first Washington organist invited to perform on the Charles Fisk Organ at the Meyerson Center in Dallas, Texas. In 2001, he was a featured soloist in the inaugural concerts of the new Casavant Organ at Robert Jacoby Hall with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. Inspired by the teaching of organists Leonard Raver, Arthur Poister and Will Headlee, and harpsichordist Anthony Newman, Mr. Neil has enjoyed a career! both onstage and in the classroom, serving on the faculties of George Mason University and The Catholic University of America as organ instructor. Many of his former students hold prominent academic and church music positions in the United States and around the world, and he is featured in recordings on the MSR Classics, Philips Classics, Sony Classical, Naxos, Summit and Newport Classics labels. William Neil was born and raised in Central Pennsylvania and attended Penn State University and Syracuse University.

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Bach for Breakfast

Bach for Breakfast Lowest new price: $1.93
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Brand: Bach

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