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CD 1 bewegt sich mit Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Brahms, Chopin und Liszt im traditionell-klassischen Bereich. CD 2 wagt sich mit Rakhmaninov, Skryabin, Leoš Janáček, Debussy, Prokofiev, Milhaud und Messiaen in die „Moderne“ des 20. Jahrhunderts. Doch immer sind es die leisen Töne, die in die Stille führen.

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) (19908-2) 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 instrumental music

Classical music enthusiasts will be delighted to find impressionist, atmospheric excerpts from Federico Mompou's Impresiones Intimas and Leoš Janáček's On the Overgrown Path in the Largo compilations; but even classical music newcomers will be able to hum along to Debussy's Clair de lune and Chopin's Nocturne in B Flat Minor. Largo I is slightly more impressionist or atmospheric, featuring works by Debussy, Ravel, and Skryabin. Largo II (14058-2) contains some of the beautifully distilled, elegant classicism of Erik Satie, Chopin, and Beethoven.

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 Largo compilations feature the world–class talents of Jenő Jandó, Peter Nagy, and Idil Biret. Several of these groups and soloists are among the most widely recorded artists in the classical music world.

tracklist

  Disk 1:  
1 Aria from Goldberg Variations BWV 988 by Johann Sebastian Bach 3'15"
2 Adagio cantabile from Sonata No. 8 in C Minor Op. 13 (Pathétique) by Ludwig van Beethoven 4'42"
3 Impromptu No. 2 in A Flat Major Op. 142 by Franz Schubert 7'14"
4 Consolation No. 3 in D Flat Major by Franz Liszt 3'25"
5 Andante cantabile con espressione from Sonata in A Minor KV 310 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 9'38"
6 Intermezzo in A Minor from Fantasias Op. 116 by Johannes Brahms 3'19"
7 Nuages gris by Franz Liszt 3'15"
8 Andante from Sonata No. 25 in G Major Op. 79 by Ludwig van Beethoven 2'08"
9 Die Friedeker Muttergottes from On the Overgrown Path by Leoš Janáček 3'15"
10 Lob der Tränen (arr. Liszt) by Franz Schubert 3'17"
11 Impromptu No. 3 in G Flat Major Op. 90 by Franz Schubert 4'57"
12 Etude in E Major Op. 10 No. 3 (Tristesse) by Frederic Chopin 4'31"
13 La lugubre gondola (First version) by Franz Liszt 3'47"
14 Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fut from Images Vol. 2 by Claude Debussy 4'30"
15 On Wings of Song Op. 34 No. 2 (arr. Liszt) by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy 4'35"
  Total Time: 77'04"
  Disk 2:  
1 Andante cantabile from Poème No. 1 Op. 32 by Alexander Skyrabin 2'48"
2 Pajaro triste from Impresiones Intimas by Frederico Mompou 3'11"
3 In Tränen from On the Overgrown Path by Leoš Janáček 2'38"
4 Clair de lune from Suite bergamasque by Claude Debussy 4'13"
5 Un sospiro from Etude de Concert No. 3 in D Flat Major by Franz Liszt 5'02"
6 Nocturne in C Minor Op. 48 No. 1 by Frederic Chopin 5'02"
7 Les Larmes from Fantasie tableaux Suite No. 1 Op. 5 by Sergey Rakhmaninov 5'32"
8 Pagodes from Estampes by Claude Debussy 4'24"
9 Prélude in C Sharp Minor from Morceaux de fantasie Op. 3 by Sergey Rakhmaninov 4'39"
10 Adagio from Sonata for Piano (From the Street) by Leoš Janáček 9'39"
11 Andante sognando from Piano Sonata No. 8 in B Flat Major Op. 84 by Sergey Prokofiev 4'24"
12 Träumerei from Kinderszenen Op. 15 by Robert Schumann 3'11"
13 Modéré from Scaramouche Op. 165 b by Darius Milhaud 3'39"
14 Oiseaux tristes from Miroirs by Maurice Ravel 3'10"
15 Voiles from Préludes Vol. 1 by Claude Debussy 4'35"
16 Regard du silence from Vingt regards sur l'enfant Jésus by Olivier Messiaen 5'58"
  Total Time: 73'34"

the series

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