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219 of 223 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some dark, some spooky -- some neither, but still great
This is another collection of great music at a low, low price brought to you by the X5 group, this time on a "darkness" theme released on Halloween 2010. This should be a must buy for anyone new to these "99 most whatever" sets. At the bargain "Daily Deal" price of $1.99 for over 11 hours of music coming in at 1.07 GB, it's not even worth thinking twice if you're new to...
Published on October 31, 2010 by T. Fisher

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good music, but not very good MP3s
The music in this selection is good; I liked several of the inclusions, and was well worth the 4.99 price.

There were a couple of surprising exclusions; I would have expected Rachmaninoff's 3rd piano concerto, first movement (or, as I like to call it, "the song of the nervous breakdown") in particular.

The main reason for the 3-star rating...
Published 20 months ago by K McK


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219 of 223 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some dark, some spooky -- some neither, but still great, October 31, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The 99 Darkest Pieces Of Classical Music (MP3 Music)
This is another collection of great music at a low, low price brought to you by the X5 group, this time on a "darkness" theme released on Halloween 2010. This should be a must buy for anyone new to these "99 most whatever" sets. At the bargain "Daily Deal" price of $1.99 for over 11 hours of music coming in at 1.07 GB, it's not even worth thinking twice if you're new to classical music or to these collections. Just get it.

There are a lot of "greatest hits" here. Favorites like "The Ride of the Valkyries", the opening to Beethoven's 5th Symphony, Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King", Tchaikovsky's "Sugar-Plum Fairy", and the famous bits of "Carmina Burana" will be known to everyone. Same with nice versions of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and "Night on the Bare Mountain", which many will know from Disney's Fantasia movie. And a whole lot more, really.

Quite a bit of the music is wonderfully spooky -- like the opening Totentanz by Franz Liszt (too bad it's such a short excerpt), the famous Toccata and Fugue for organ by Bach, or the "Aquarium" from Saint-SaŽns' "Carnival of the Animals", which sounds like it should be in a Harry Potter movie. And again, a whole lot more.

The "darkness" theme works a lot of the time, but definitely not all the time. Since when are allegros from Mozart symphonies (Nos. 25 and 40) dark? Or anything from Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" -- even if the end of "Summer", included here, does have a furious edge to it? There is plenty of light music here that doesn't really fit the supposedly dark theme.

But who cares, really? It's still great music.

Is the set worth it if you've bought the earlier ones? For me, at the Daily Deal price, it is. This collection has 43 new recordings of music not featured on the previous "99 most whatever" sets in my music library. Sixteen are recordings of music that has appeared on previous sets, but performed here by different artists. The remaining 40 tracks are outright copied from earlier sets -- the most repeats are from the Allegros set (16), and the Relaxing set (10), but many appeared on other thematic or composer collections.

A lot of these "new" recordings are modern -- there is a good dose of Shostakovich. Also the first part of Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring"; some contemporary composers such as Arvo Part, Henryk Gorecki, or Krzysztof Penderecki; and some composers that were new to me, like Earl Hatch or Alfred Fissinger. It's nice to see that as X5 is coming closer to exhausting the vaults on Beethoven, Mozart, Bach and Vivaldi, and are turning to more modern composers to fill up these sets -- bravo.

For me, having a lot of this music already, the value of the set really came down to two things. First, it's a good mix of good music I can put on in the background when I feel like it, without having to make my own playlist. That's nice sometimes. Second, it gives me about 10-15 main tracks I was very happy to add to my collection. Most important was track 28, the 1st movement of Henryk Gorecki's Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. The 2nd and 3rd movements from the same performance were featured on the "99 Most Relaxing" set, so this completes the work. That alone, for me, was worth half the price, at least.

I have a big preference for full works rather than excerpts. Of course there are a lot of short cuts from longer works on a set like this. But there appear to be 20 full-length recordings of shorter works here, which is good.

At this writing I have listened to extended samples of all the new tracks in this set, and the quality of the recordings and the playing is uniformly very good, sometimes excellent. Bitrates are variable, averaging 175-249 kbps, but only three tracks are below 200 kbps -- all of them for solo instruments, which in general require less data to obtain similar levels of quality.

I keep wondering how long the X5 Group is going to keep putting out these sets. I guess the answer is as long as people keep buying them.

Strongly recommended for anyone new to classical music, recommended for others.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Definite Bargain If You're Okay with Some None-Too-Dark Songs, October 29, 2013
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This review is from: The 99 Darkest Pieces Of Classical Music (MP3 Music)
There are plenty of reviews which will give you the gist of this album, and the consensus is right. 99 songs for this cheap is worth the buy, but you won't be getting 99 "dark" songs. Still, it's a fun collection with some familiar and some rare pieces. If you're up in the air as to whether you want to buy the album, I recommend going ahead and rewarding yourself. It's over eleven hours of music, and a great big chunk of them are very enjoyable.

To address the concern about composers: the files list the performing group as the artist, and the composer of the piece is not found in the file. The update that turned this album from 50 songs to 99 apparently removed whatever composer file info there might have once been. It's not in the .mp3 file itself, so no matter what music program you use, it's not going to show up with any amount of fiddling. To try to remedy that, I tracked down the composers for each track, and I've listed them below for those of you who are interested.

1. Franz Liszt - Totentanz For Piano And Orchestra: Andante - Allegro - Allegro Moderato (Attacca)
2. Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No. 5 In C Minor, Op. 67, ''Fate'': Allegro Con Brio
3. Arvo Pärt - Fratres For Strings And Percussion (1977/1991)
4. Richard Wagner - The Valkyrie: Ride Of The Valkyries
5. Camille Saint-SaŽns - Danse Macabre in G Minor, Op. 40
6. Sergei Rachmaninoff - Morceaux De Fantaisie, Op. 3: II. Prélude In C-Sharp Minor: Lento
7. Antonio Vivaldi - Stabat Mater, RV 621: I. Stabat Mater Dolorosa
8. Pyotr (or Peter) Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake Suite, Op. 20: Scène (Lake in the Moonlight)
9. Carl Orff - Carmina Burana: O Fortuna
10. Béla Bartók - Music For Strings, Percussion And Celesta, Sz 106: I. Andante Tranquillo
11. Tomaso Albinoni - Adagio In G Minor For Strings And Organ, ''Albinoni's Adagio''
12. Sergei Prokofiev - Romeo And Juliet, Suite No. 2, Op. 64c: Montagues And Capulets
13. Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 14 In C-Sharp Minor, Op. 27:2, ''Moonlight Sonata'': Adagio Sostenuto
14. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Symphony No. 40 In G Minor, K. 550: Allegro Molto
15. Ludwig van Beethoven - Egmont, Op. 84: Overture In F Minor
16. Dmitri Shostakovich - Sonata In D Minor For Cello And Piano, Op. 40: II. Allegro
17. Giuseppe Verdi - Messa Da Requiem: Dies Irae - Tuba Mirum
18. Ludwig van Beethoven - Sonata No. 8 In C Minor For Piano, Op. 13, ''Pathétique'': III. Allegro
19. Samuel Barber - Adagio For Strings, Op. 11a
20. Edvard Grieg (Check out all of Grieg's Peer Gynt; it's well worth it) - Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46: In The Hall Of The Mountain King
21. Antonio Vivaldi - Concerto In D Minor For Oboe And Strings, Op. 1: II. Adagio
22. Dmitri Shostakovich - Ballet Suite No. 2, Op. 84b: IV. Sentimental Romance
23. Johann Sebastian Bach - Toccata And Fugue In D Minor For Organ, BWV 565
24. Antonio Vivaldi - The Four Seasons, Op. 8, ''Summer'': I. Allegro Non Molto - Allegro
25. Antonio Vivaldi - The Four Seasons, Op. 8, ''Summer'': II. Adagio - Presto - Adagio
26. Antonio Vivaldi - The Four Seasons, Op. 8, ''Summer'': III. Presto
27. Sergei Rachmaninoff - Ten Preludes, Op. 23: No. 5 In G Minor
28. Henryk Górecki - Symphony No. 3 For Soprano And Orchestra, ''Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs'' (1976): I. Lento - Sostenuto Tranquillo Ma Cantabile
29. Camille Saint-SaŽns - The Carnival Of The Animals: Aquarium
30. Franz Schubert - Symphony No. 4 In C Minor, D. 417, ''Tragic'': IV. Allegro
31. Gustav Holst - The Planets, Op. 32: I. Mars, The Bringer Of War
32. Gustav Holst - The Planets, Op. 32: V. Saturn, The Bringer Of Old Age
33. Gustav Holst - The Planets, Op. 32: VII. Neptune, The Mystic
34. Ludwig van Beethoven - Sonata No. 12 In A-Flat Major For Piano, Op. 26 (Funeral March): III. Marcia Funébre Sulla Morte D'Un Eroe (Funeral March For A Dead Hero)
35. Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No. 3 In E-Flat Major, Op. 55, ''Eroica'': II. Marcia Funébre: Adagio Assai
36. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Fantasy No. 2 In F Minor For Organ, K. 608
37. Dmitri Shostakovich - Symphony No. 10 In E Minor, Op. 93: II. Allegro
38. Hector Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique, Op. 14, ''Episode De La Vie D'un Artiste'': IV. Marche Au Supplice (March To The Scaffold)
39. Johann Sebastian Bach - Partita No. 2 In D Minor For Solo Violin, BWV 1004: V. Chaconne
40. Modest Mussorgsky - Fantasy For Orchestra, ''A Night On The Bare Mountain''
41. Léon BoŽllmann - Suite Gothique Pour Grande Orgue, Op. 25: IV. Toccata
42. Johann Sebastian Bach - Concerto No. 2 In E Major For Violin And Strings, BWV 1042: II. Adagio
43. Clause Debussy - Syrinx For Solo Flute, L 129
44. Modest Mussorgsky - Pictures At An Exhibition: II. Gnomus
45. Erik Satie - Six Gnossiennes (1897): Gnossienne No. 1
46. Johannes Brahms - Piano Quartet No. 3 In C Minor, Op. 60: I. Allegro Ma Non Troppo
47. Béla Bartók - Music For Strings, Percussion And Celesta, Sz 106: III. Adagio
48. George Handel - Messiah, Part 1: For Behold, Darkness Shall Cover The Earth
49. Earl Hatch - Furioso And Waltzes In D Minor
50. Gioachino Rossini - Petite Messe Solennelle For Choir, Piano And Organ: I. Kyrie Eleison
51. Franz Liszt - Nuages Gris (Grey Clouds), S. 199
52. Igor Stravinsky - Le Sacre Du Printemps (The Rite Of Spring): Part 1, L'adoration De La Terre (Adoration Of The Earth)
53. Ludwig van Beethoven - Sonata No. 14 In C-Sharp Minor For Piano, Op. 27:2, ''Moonlight'': III. Presto Agitato
54. Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No. 7 In A Major, Op. 92: II. Allegretto
55. Frédéric Chopin - Sonata No. 2 In B-Flat Minor For Piano, Op. 35: III. Marche Funébre (Funeral March): Lento
56. Franz Schubert - String Quartet No. 14 In D Minor, D. 810, ''Death And The Maiden'': I. Allegro
57. Paul Dukas - The Sorcerer's Apprentice: Symphonic Scherzo
58. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Symphony No. 25 In G Minor, K. 183: I. Allegro Con Brio
59. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - The Nutcracker, Op. 71a: XVC. Pas De Deux - Variation II: Dance Of The Sugar-Plum Fairy
60. Dmitri Shostakovich - String Quartet No. 3 In F Major, Op. 73: III. Allegro Non Troppo
61. Maurice Ravel - La Valse (The Waltz), M 72: Choreographic Poem For Orchestra
62. Edvard Grieg - Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46: II. Aase's Death (Andante Doloroso)
63. Hector Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique, Op. 14, ''Episode De La Vie D'un Artiste'': V. Songe D'une Nuit Du Sabbat (Dream Of A Witches' Sabbath)
64. Johann Sebastian Bach - Suite No. 5 In C Minor For Solo Cello, BWV 1011: IV. Sarabande
65. George Handel - Concerto No. 10 In D Minor For Organ And Orchestra, HWV 309, Op. 7: I. Adagio
66. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Masonic Funeral Music In C Minor, K. 477 (Maurerische Trauermusic)
67. Jean Sibelius - Lemminkäinen Suite, Op. 22: The Swan Of Tuonela: Andante Molto Sostenuto
68. Franz Liszt - Harmonies Poétiques Et Réligieuses, S. 173: VII. Funérailles
69. Krzysztof Penderecki - Song Of Cherubim For Mixed Choir (1986)
70. Johann Sebastian Bach - Prelude In C Minor For Solo Lute, BWV 999
71. Antonín Dvořák - Stabat Mater In F Minor: Introduction
72. Ludwig van Beethoven - Sonata No. 23 In F Minor For Piano, Op. 57, ''Appassionata'': I. Allegro Assai
73. Antonio Vivaldi - L'Estro Armonico, Op. 3 - Concerto No. 8 In A Minor For Two Violins And Strings, RV 522: I. Allegro
74. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Symphony No. 4 In F Minor, Op. 36: I. Andante Sostenuto - Moderato Con Anima
75. Johann Sebastian Bach - Passacaglia And Fugue In C Minor, BWV 582
76. Antonio Vivaldi - Concerto In C Major For Sopranino Recorder, Strings And B.C, RV 443: II. Largo
77. Carl Orff - Carmina Burana (Cantiones Profanae), Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi: II. Fortunae Plango Vulnera (I Bewail The Wounds Of Fate)
78. Johann Sebastian Bach - Double Concerto In D Minor For Two Violins, BWV 1043: Vivace
79. Anonymous, as far as I can tell. It's a Gregorian chant, and I could not find a composer for the life of me - Missa De Angelis - E Canti Dell'Anno Liturgico: Ego Sum Alpha Et O
80. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Suite For Solo Marimba: I. Mist
81. Dmitri Shostakovich - Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a (After String Quartet No. 8): II. Allegro Molto
82. Franz Liszt - Sunt Lacrymae Rerum, S. 162d
83. George Handel - Concerto Grosso No. 12 In B Minor, HWV 330, Op. 6: II. Allegro
84. Johannes Brahms - Tragic Overture In D Minor, Op. 81: Allegro Ma Non Troppo - Molto Più Moderato - Tempo Primo Ma Tranquillo
85. Anton Bruckner - Symphony No. 4 In E-Flat Major, ''The Romantic'': II. Andante
86. Gioachino Rossini - Petite Messe Solennelle For Choir, Piano And Organ: IX. Credo: Crucifixus
87. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - String Quartet No. 15 In D Minor, K. 421 (Haydn Quartet No. 2): I. Allegro
88. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Symphony No. 40 In G Minor, K. 550: IV. Finale: Allegro Assai
89. Sergei Rachmaninoff - Sonata In G Minor For Cello And Piano, Op. 19: II. Allegro Scherzando
90. Johannes Brahms - Piano Quartet No. 3 In C Minor, Op. 60: II. Scherzo: Allegro
91. Zoltán Kodály - Sonata For Solo Cello, Op. 8 (1915): I. Allegro Maestoso Ma Appassionato
92. Dmitri Shostakovich - String Quartet No. 4, Op. 83: II. Andantino
93. Ludwig van Beethoven - Coriolan, Op. 62: Overture in C Minor
94. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Requiem Mass In D Minor, K. 626: II. Kyrie
95. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Requiem Mass In D Minor, K. 626: III. Sequentia: Dies Irae
96. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Requiem Mass In D Minor, K. 626: V. Sequentia: Rex Tremendae
97. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Requiem Mass In D Minor, K. 626: VII. Sequentia: Confutatis
98. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Requiem, K. 626: Lacrimosa dies illa
99. Arvo Pärt - Cantus In Memoriam Benjamin Britten For Strings And Bell (1977)

Hope this is helpful to at least a few people.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I feel smarter already :), November 25, 2010
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DasBierMeister (Pennsylvania, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The 99 Darkest Pieces Of Classical Music (MP3 Music)
This is the best bargain I have bought in my entire life of 29 years. I'm only at track 16 and I can already tell that this is well worth the two dollars. I'm a man who listens to most genres of music, and this is the first collection of classical music that I ever bought...and I am one happy man. There are so many songs that give me memories of great movies, my middle school music class, and of course it is brewing new ones as I speak (or typing this review). Even if you're not a fan of classical music, I still suggest that you purchase this product. YOU WILL find something you'll like on this. BUY NOW! It's only two dollars for 11 hours of timeless music that defines the era of man.
P.S.
If you're one of those people who think that classical music is just for rich snobs or old farts, think again. The last two albums I purchased from Amazon were by Black Label Society and Slayer.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Spooktacular!, October 31, 2010
This review is from: The 99 Darkest Pieces Of Classical Music (MP3 Music)
Great for Halloween. I've only listened to the first 11 songs, and I already feel like I've gotten more than I paid for. Excellent selection, and it is obviously a great value. It is really getting me in the mood to hand out candy to the victims, err, I mean children .
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Composer names ARE there, May 28, 2011
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This review is from: The 99 Darkest Pieces Of Classical Music (MP3 Music)
Unbelievable value. A fantastic selection of classical works for almost nothing. I am still trying to figure out what is the catch. If, like me, you purchase it and end up going nuts trying to figure out who are THE COMPOSERS of the pieces, because you are listening to them in your iTunes and all the info you are getting is the title (and the number of the symphony without the composer name means little to me), and the name of the orchestra performing the piece (who cares!), all you have to do is go to the "view" menu, select "view options" (or, press Command + J if you are on a Mac) and check the "Composer" column on. The info is all there! And enjoy. (P.S. This setting seems to be "list specific"; meaning, make the adjustment while you are displaying the list for this album. The composer column won't be there when you select another list -- that was my experience, at least. I don't know what happens if you turn "composer" on while displaying the whole music library.)
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Darkest??, November 1, 2010
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Micky "micky21" (St. Louis, MO USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The 99 Darkest Pieces Of Classical Music (MP3 Music)
I love classical music because many pieces have sorrowness, darkness, and weirdness. Here, someone selected some 100 pieces. All of these pieces use minor keys. But, I am not sure these are the "darkest" pieces of classical music. But, well done. For example, selection of Penderecki indicates these folks know classical music pretty well.
I would include some of Renaissance and Medieval music such as Carlo Gesualdo or 14c French music.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection, November 20, 2010
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This review is from: The 99 Darkest Pieces Of Classical Music (MP3 Music)
While not every recording is the best in the world, there are several tracks that would justify being sold at a dollar a track. And that makes this a steal. If you like classical music and want a nice sample of music to further explore, this is a great album.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great price, good music, November 1, 2010
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This review is from: The 99 Darkest Pieces Of Classical Music (MP3 Music)
This is very good classical music at a great price. However, I feel the name is misleading and thus only gave it four stars not five. Don't buy it if you expect this to be dark classical. Again, very good classical music and well worth the price.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 11.8 hours of goosebumps., November 17, 2010
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This review is from: The 99 Darkest Pieces Of Classical Music (MP3 Music)
This is basically the quintessential collection of every single piece of epic classical music, save those written specifically for movies, of course. (So you'll find no "Imperial March" on here.) With things such as Ride of the Valkyries, Hall of the Mountain King, O Fortuna, Montagues and Capulets... I mean, I've been sitting here for two hours listening to it and I'm not even a fifth of the way through. Definitely recommend it, even for those who aren't classical fans. You could definitely do worse for the money.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what a steal!, November 26, 2010
This review is from: The 99 Darkest Pieces Of Classical Music (MP3 Music)
I can't say that I own any classical cd's but this is an awesome buy. Okay so not all is "spooky" but definitely a great intro cd to the masters and the greats. I'm about to get my classical education on...Love it!
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