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Best Classics 100 Box set

4.2 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, August 29, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Classical music,

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Solomon, oratorio, HWV 67: The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
  2. Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in E major ('La Primavera,' The Four Seasons; 'Il cimento' No. 1), Op.8/1, RV 269: I.
  3. Toccata and Fugue, for organ in D minor, BWV 565 (BC J37): Toccata
  4. Horn Concerto No. 4 in E flat major, K. 495: III. Rondo (Allegro vivace)
  5. Symphony No. 5 in C minor ('Fate'), Op. 67: I. Allegro con brio
  6. 1812 -- Festival Overture, for orchestra in E flat major, Op. 49: Conclusion
  7. Symphony No. 9 in D minor ('Choral'), Op. 125: Ode to Joy
  8. Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16: I. Allegro molto moderato (opening)
  9. Karelia Suite, for orchestra, Op. 11: No. 3. Alla marcia
  10. The Planets, suite for orchestra & female chorus, Op. 32, H. 125: Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity (conclusion)
  11. Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23: I. Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso
  12. Finlandia, tone poem for orchestra, Op. 26
  13. Aida, opera: Gloria All'Egitto (Triumphal Scene & Grand March)
  14. Romeo and Juliet, ballet in 4 acts, Op. 64: Montagues and Capulets (Dance of the Knights)
  15. Radetzky-Marsch, for orchestra, Op. 228
  16. Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1, for orchestra in D major, Op. 39/1: Land of Hope and Glory (conclusion)
  17. Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30: I. Allegro ma non tanto (opening)
  18. Symphony No. 3 in C minor ('Organ'), Op. 78: Maestoso - Allegro (conclusion)

Disc: 2

  1. Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068: Air on the G string
  2. Orfeo ed Euridice (Italian version), opera in 3 acts, Wq. 30: Dance of the Blessed Spirits
  3. Canon in D major, instrumental arrangement
  4. Clarinet Concerto in A major, K. 622: II. Adagio
  5. Goldberg Variations, for keyboard (Clavier-Übung IV), BWV 988 (BC L9): Aria
  6. Adagio, for violin, strings & organ in G minor, T. Mi 26 (composed by Remo Giazotto; not by Albinoni): Extract
  7. Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor ('Moonlight'), Op. 27/2: I. Adagio sostenuto (extract)
  8. Concerto for flute, harp & orchestra in C major, K. 299 (K. 297c): II. Andantino (extract)
  9. Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64: II. Andante (extract)
  10. Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major ('Elvira Madigan') K. 467: II. Andante
  11. Symphony No. 9 in E minor ('From the New World'), B. 178 (Op. 95) (first published as No. 5): II. Largo (opening)
  12. Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26: II. Adagio (opening)
  13. Enigma Variations, for orchestra, Op. 36: Nimrod
  14. Concierto de Aranjuez, for guitar & orchestra: II. Adagio (opening)
  15. The Lark Ascending, romance for violin & orchestra: (conclusion)
  16. Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor: IV. Adagietto (conclusion)
  17. Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (Introduction and 24 Variations), for piano & orchestra in A minor, Op. 43: Variation 18

Disc: 3

  1. Les Pêcheurs de perles, opera in 3 acts: Au Fond du Temple Saint (Temple Duet)
  2. Rusalka, opera, B. 203 (Op. 114): Song to the Moon
  3. Lakmé, opera: DÃ'me Épais (Flower Duet)
  4. Carmen, opera: La Fleur que tu m'Avais Jetée
  5. Orfeo ed Euridice (Italian version), opera in 3 acts, Wq. 30: Che Farò Senza Euridice?
  6. Norma, opera: Casta diva
  7. La bohÃ..me, opera: Che Gelida Manina
  8. Gianni Schicchi, opera: O Mio Babbino Caro
  9. BaïlÃ..ro, folksong for voice & orchestra (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 1, No. 2)
  10. Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), opera: Vogliatemi Bene
  11. Nabucco, opera (Nabucodonosor): Va, Pensiero (Chorus of Hebrew Slaves)
  12. Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow), operetta: Es Libt' Eine Vilja
  13. Serse (Xerxes), opera, HWV 40: Ombra mai fu
  14. Ellens Gesang III ('Ave Maria'), song for voice & piano, D. 839 (Op. 52/6)
  15. Cantique de Noël for voice & orchestra ('Minuit, Chrétiens,' 'O Holy Night')
  16. Turandot, opera: Nessun Dorma

Disc: 4

  1. Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), opera, K. 492: Overture
  2. Jesu bleibet meine Freude, transcription for piano (after J.S. Bach, BWV 147)
  3. Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major ('Emperor'), Op. 73: I. Allegro (extract)
  4. The Prince of Denmark's March (Trumpet Voluntary) for brass, winds & percussion (or keyboard or trumpet & organ) in D major
  5. Mors et vita, trilogy of oratorios for soloists, chorus & orchestra: Judex
  6. La scala di seta (The Silken Ladder), opera: Overture
  7. Air (Sarabande) in E major, HWV 425
  8. Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Waltz of the Flowers
  9. Lieutenant Kijé, film score and suite for orchestra, Op. 60: Troika
  10. Fantasia on Greensleeves, for harp, flute & strings (arranged by R. Greaves; from the opera 'Sir John In Love')
  11. Clair de lune, for piano (Suite Bergamasque No. 3), L. 75/3
  12. The Swan Lake, ballet, Op. 20: Act II. No. 10
  13. The Deer Hunter, film score: Cavatina
  14. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11, CT. 47: II. Romance (Larghetto) (opening)
  15. Titanic, film score: My Heart Will Go On
  16. Time to Say Goodbye (Con te partirò), song
  17. An der schönen, blauen Donau (On the Beautiful, Blue Danube), waltz for orchestra (with chorus ad lib), Op. 314 (RV 314): [Excerpt]

Disc: 5

  1. Cavalleria rusticana, opera (melodramma) in 1 act: Intermezzo
  2. Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18: II. Adagio sostenuto (opening)
  3. Peer Gynt, incidental music, Op. 23: Morning
  4. The Gadfly, film score, Op. 97: Romance
  5. Adagio for strings (or string quartet; arr. from 2nd mvt. of String Quartet), Op. 11
  6. Scheherazade, symphonic suite for orchestra, Op. 35: The Story of the Kalender Prince (opening)
  7. Thaïs, opera in 3 acts: Méditation
  8. Prince Igor, opera (completed by Rimsky-Korsakov & Glazunov): Polovtsian Dances (beginning)
  9. Spartacus, ballet: Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia (extract)
  10. Romeo and Juliet, fantasy-overture for orchestra in B minor (3 versions): (excerpt)
  11. Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92: II. Allegretto (extract)
  12. Concerto for 2 violins, strings & continuo in D minor ('Double'), BWV 1043: II. Largo ma non tanto
  13. Schindler's List, film score: Theme
  14. Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Dance of the Reed Flutes
  15. Symphony No. 6 in F major ('Pastoral'), Op. 68: V. Allegretto (Shepherd's Hymn after the Storm)
  16. Symphony No. 6 in F major ('Pastoral'), Op. 68: V. Allegretto (Shepherd's Hymn after the Storm)

Disc: 6

  1. Zadok the Priest, coronation anthem No. 1 for chorus & orchestra, HWV 258


Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 29, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B000GPIPQA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,351 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
There is no shortage of CDs offering an introduction to classical music, but this would be my pick for the best. As this is a six CD-set, I'll provide six reasons for this opinion.

(1) Selections. Any product claiming to be the 100 best classics has its work cut out for it when distilling the huge range of material making up "classical music" (as it is conventionally described) into six CDs. EMI has succeeded here, in my opinion. There are tastes ranging from Baroque to 20th Century, and selections including symphonic, concerto and opera. The big name composers are here, with the 3 "titans" of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart receiving a little extra presence. There are a few surprises (James Horner's "Titanic"), but for the most part, the selections probably reflect conventional perceptions of "classical music".

(2) Performance Quality. I have heard some clasical music overviews with a noticeable dropoff in quality from track to track. That's not the case here. EMI's recordings are extensive, and it shows in these selections. Included here are some familiar conductors (Karajan, Marriner, Davis, Previn) and ensembles (Academy of St. Martin, London Philharmonic, Berliner Philharmoniker). The performances and recording quality are consistently high.

(3) Quantity. There are six CDs here, each with over 70 minutes of music. As some reviewers have pointed out, these are not full performances, but rather selections from famous pieces, which I would estimate typically run about three to five minutes in length. As the title idicates, it is a collection of 100 "Greatest Hits". This approach is a detriment for some, but my take is that a focus on hi-lites is appropriate for a classical music overview.
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I was excited to see such a great collection of classics, but I was really disappointed to listen and discover that many tracks are shortened dramatically. A fraction of Rhapsody in Blue- a ridiculously short fragment of Bethoveen Ninth Symphony- "Ode to Joy" a tiny part of the first movement of Rachmoninov's Piano Concerto no.3.

I'd rather have fewer tracks and the complete movements.
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EMI's Best Classics 100 provides six CDs with seven hours of selected classical music. The cover does a poor job of portraying who does the selecting and who performs the piece -- information inside however does detail the symphonies being recorded. Recordings from the Polish Chamber, Berlin Symphonies, Royal Philharmonic etc are mentioned. The recording quality is good and the price is low, representing a good purchase for a general collection.
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I've never been a huge fan of classical music, but my wife loves it. I got this for her as a gift (along with Best Classics 100 Volume 2) and she loves it. In fact, as she listens to it, I've actually begun to appreciate some of it. It still would not be my first choice, but I do think it is a good way for someone who is not familiar with classical music to get a little taste that they can begin to appreciate more as time goes on.
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We haven't ended up listening to this CD much, because the different CD's are in genres. I was listening to the CD with the more gentle songs while I was driving and literally almost feel asleep. I really don't like this way of collating material. Other than that. the musicianship is great and it's a fine introduction to classical "standards."
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This collection along with the vol 2 are a great set for people like me who appreciate classical music but are not heavily into it. These are the most famous pieces that everyone has heard, whether or not they know the name or the composer. My only complaint is when you save these on ITunes for your IPod, the names of the disks and sometimes the pieces are written in Japanese, or the style of listing the disks are different.
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