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18 große Komponisten von Barock (Händel, Albinoni, Bach) bis Spätromantik (Elgar, Barber, Mahler). Zu Beginn das Adagio aus Ravels Klavierkonzert in G-Dur - ein gelungener Einstieg in die Welt zwischen Traum und Wirklichkeit.

the project

Classical music is hot. In fact, it is probably the biggest story of the l990s in the recording industry. Classical crossover hits like Nigel Kennedy's recording of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, Henryk Gorecki's Symphony no. 3, the Gregorian Chant album by the monks of Silo, and Michael Nyman's score for the Jane Campion film The Piano—to name just a few—have broken out of classical music's traditional bounds and hit the pop charts. Suddenly, a classical recording that sells 10,000 units is no longer pushing the envelope; today's top classical releases are reaching sales heights formerly reserved for pop icons like Madonna and the Rolling Stones.

This stunning turnaround in classical music's marketing power did not come out of nowhere, though. Celestial Harmonies helped set the stage for it with its Adagio (Complete Edition) (19908) series. Since 1981, long before the current interest in classical music began, Celestial Harmonies' compilations have been used worldwide for relaxation, meditation and even music therapy. And in a stunning reversal of music industry rules, absolutely no advertising or promotion was needed to achieve substantial sales figures. And while the rest of the classical world scurries around looking for the next big hit, Celestial Harmonies has released an updated digital version of an already proven winner: The Adagio series, a total of seven double–CDs. With sales of over 300,000 units in the past decade, the reason for the series' success is no mystery. As modern life has become increasingly complex and stressful, listeners have turned to music as a source of relief—especially the timeless, contemplative sounds of classical music. It seems that as the pace of our lives gets progressively faster, the music that many listeners are seeking is increasingly slow. The Adagio series, presents over seventeen hours of the world's finest slow music, making it the largest such collection anywhere.

the music

Adagio I includes the famous Air from the Bach Suite no. 3 (better known as the Air on the G String) and the heartrending Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber, which listeners have heard in countless films (most notably Platoon). Adagio I also includes the immensely popular slow movement of Dvorak's New World Symphony—better known in the United States as the haunting spiritual Goin' Home. But this set also includes the rarely–heard Invocation from Jules Massenet's Les Erinnyes and the beautiful but overlooked Poème of Ernest Chausson.

Adagio II (14052) includes some idyllic instrumental music from Rossini and Wagner; both were better known for their dramatic operas, but both knew the value of a beautiful melody, and of having the time to enjoy it. Popular movements from the Mozart Clarinet Concerto and the Rakhmoninov Piano Concerto no. 2 are among the other sixteen works on this set.

the musicians

These compilations were put together by Celestial Harmonies' President, Eckart Rahn, and Sister Marie Therese Levey, RSJ, of Australia. They drew upon a vast repertoire of classical and sacred music recordings, from some of the most talented orchestras, chamber ensembles, and soloists in Europe. The Polish National Radio Symphony, the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra are among the ensembles heard in the Adagio recordings.

tracklist

  Disk 1:  
1 Adagio from Piano Concerto in G Major by Maurice Ravel 8'54"
2 Largo from Xerxes by Georg Friedrich Händel 3'38"
3 Air from Suite No. 3 in D Major BWV 1068 by Johann Sebastian Bach 5'16"
4 Adagio in G Minor (arr. Giazotto) by Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni 9'22"
5 Invocation from Les Erinnyes by Jules Massenet 2'47"
6 Elegy Op. 58 by Edward Elgar 3'57"
7 Solveigs Lied from Peer Gynt by Edvard Grieg 4'33"
8 Notturno Op. 70, No. 1 by Guiseppe Martucci 6'20"
9 Largo from Symphony No. 9 in E Minor by Antonin Dvorak 11'22"
10 Adagio from Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo 10'53"
11 Romance No. 2 in G Major Op. 50 by Ludwig van Beethoven 9'48"
  Total Time: 77'43"
  Disk 2:  
1 Dance of the Blessed Spirits from Orfeo ed Euridice by Christoph Willibald Gluck 6'04"
2 Dernier Sommeil de la Vierge from La Verge by Jules Massenet 4'39"
3 Letzter Frühling (Last Spring) Op. 34 No. 2 by Edvard Grieg 4'14"
4 Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis by Ralph Vaughan Williams 15'31"
5 Adagietto from Symphony No. 5 in C Sharp Minor by Gustav Mahler 12'02"`
6 Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber 7'45"
7 Sospiri Op. 70 by Edward Elgar 4'51"
8 Poème Op. 25 by Amédée-Ernest Chausson 14'49"
  Total Time: 70'35"

the series

Adagio I: A Special 2 ½ Hour Collection of Orchestral Classics (14050)
Adagio II: A Special 2 ½ Hour Collection of Orchestral Classics (14052)
Andante: A Special 2 ½ Hour Collection of Chamber Music Classics (14054)
Largo I: A Special 2 ½ Hour Collection of Piano Classics (14056)
Largo II: A Special 2 ½ Hour Collection of Piano Classics (14058)
Magnum Mysterium I: A Special 2 ½ Hour Collection of Sacred Music Classics (14060)
Magnum Mysterium II: A Special 2 ½ Hour Collection of Sacred Music Classics (14062)