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Celestial Harmonies
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Vivaldi, Corelli, Telemann, Mozart, Beethoven, Rossini, Chopin, Grieg, Dvorak, Wagner, Bruch, Lyadov, Rachmaninov, Williams - feinfühlig ausgewählte Musik für besinnliche Stunden.

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 (14050) 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 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 Largo from Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor Op. 37 by Ludwig van Beethoven 9'52"
2 Andantino from Sonata for Strings No. 2 in A Major by Gioacchino Rossini 3'12"
3 Andantino from Sonata for Strings No. 4 in B Flat Major by Gioacchino Rossini 4'33"
4 Largo from Viola Concerto in G Major by Georg Philipp Telemann 3'43"
5 Adagio from Cello Concerto in C Minor RV 434 by Antonio Vivaldi 3'04"
6 Adagio-Allegro-Adagio from Concerto Grosso in G Minor Op. 6 No. 8 by Arcangelo Corelli 3'33"
7 Adagio from Clarinet Concerto in A Major KV 622 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 7'16"
8 Larghetto from Concerto No. 8 in A Minor for two violins and basso continuo RV 522 by Antonio Vivaldi 3'45"
9 Adagio from Cello Concerto in E Minor Op. 85 by Edward Elgar 5'08"
10 The Enchanted Lake Op. 62 by Anatol Lyadov 7'56"
11 Siegfried Idyll by Richard Wagner 22'14"
  Total Time: 75'19"
  Disk 2:  
1 Larghetto from Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor Op. 21 by Frederic Chopin 9'22"
2 Adagio from Violin Concerto in G Minor Op. 26 by Max Bruch 8'06"
3 Adagio from Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor Op. 18 by Sergey Rakhmaninov 11'18"
4 Adagio from Piano Concerto in A Minor Op. 16 by Edvard Grieg 5'49"
5 Adagio from Cello Concerto in B Minor Op. 104 by Antonín Dvorák 12'26"
6 Kol Nidrei Op. 27 by Max Bruch 10'59"
7 The Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams 15'14"
  Total Time: 73'50"

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)