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Meisterwerke für das Klavier, auch „Pianoforte“ („leise-laut“) genannt. Hier überwiegt das Piano. CD 2 wieder stärker ins 20. Jahrhundert führend.

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 music

Classical music enthusiasts will be delighted to find impressionist, atmospheric excerpts from Federico Mompou's Impresiones Intimas and Leos Janácek'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 (14056) is slightly more impressionist or atmospheric, featuring works by Debussy, Ravel, and Skryabin. Largo II 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 Jen? 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 Arietta No. 1 Op. 12 by Edvard Grieg 1'07"
2 Intermezzo No. 1 in E Flat Major Op. 117 by Johannes Brahms 5'14"
3 Consolation No. 4 by Franz Liszt 2'26"
4 Sarabande from English Suite No. 2 in A Minor BWV 807 by Johann Sebastian Bach 3'18"
5 Der Müller und der Bach (arr. Liszt) by Franz Schubert 4'31"
6 Romance No. 2 Op. 28 by Robert Schumann 2'48"
7 Epilogo from Escenas Romanticas by Enrique Granados 1'58"
8 Au Lac de Wallenstadt from Années de Pèlerinage (Première année-Suisse) by Franz Liszt 2'44"
9 Arioso from Italian Concerto in F Major BWV 971 by Johann Sebastian Bach 5'06"
10 Prelude No. 6 in B Minor Op. 28 by Frederic Chopin 2'00"
11 Consolation No. 1 by Franz Liszt 1'06"
12 Szene am Bach: Andante molto from Symphony No. 6 in F Major Op. 68 (Pastorale) by Ludwig van Beethoven 13'31"
13 Adagio from Sonata No. 17 in D Minor Op. 31/2 (Tempest) by Ludwig van Beethoven 8'10"
14 Adagio, ma non troppo from Sonata No. 31 in A Flat Major Op. 110 by Ludwig van Beethoven 10'35"
15 Adagio molto e cantabile from Symphony No. 9 in D Minor Op. 125 by Ludwig van Beethoven 13'37"
  Total Time: 79'39"
  Disk 2:  
1 Bagatelle in E Flat Op. 126 No. 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven 2'39"
2 Nocturne in B Flat Minor Op. 9 No. 1 by Frederic Chopin 4'57"
3 Intermezzo in B Flat Minor Op. 117 No. 2 by Johannes Brahms 4'46"
4 Andante sostenuto from Sonata in B Flat Major D. 960 by Franz Schubert 9'49"
5 Nocturne in E Minor Op. 72 No. 1 by Frederic Chopin 4'34"
6 Intermezzo in B Minor Op. 119 No. 1 by Johannes Brahms 4'05"
7 Second movment from Sonata No. 1 Op. 6 by Alexandre Skryabin 4'13"
8 La Fille au cheveux de lin from Préludes, Book 1 No. 8 by Claude Debussy 1'59"
9 Gymnopédie No. 1 by Erik Satie 2'37"
10 La Vallée des Cloches from Miroirs by Maurice Ravel 4'52"
11 Guirlandes Op. 73 No. 1 by Alexandre Skryabin 3'22"
12 Prelude in G Flat Major Op. 23 No. 10 by Sergey Rakhmaninov 4'04"
13 4éme Nocturne by Erik Satie 2'51"
14 Fragilité Op. 51 No. 1 by Alexander Skryabin 2'08"
15 Elégie by Leopold Godowsky 2'10"
16 Gnossienne No. 4 by Erik Satie 2'53"
17 Regarde du Pére from Vingt Regards Sur L'Enfant Jesus by Olivier Messiaen 7'17"
  Total Time: 70'55"

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)