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Drive Time: Pacific Coast Highway

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 28, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Drive Time Series ~ Pacific Coast Highway
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 28, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • Run Time: 67 minutes
  • ASIN: B0009OUB1A
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #495,930 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Ed Uyeshima HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 19, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I'm all for repackaging great music under the guise of something more digestible to the general public. That's why Sony Classical's Drive Time series is an intriguing marketing idea which groups classical pieces of a similar subgenre using a world-renowned roadway as the unifying theme. This one uses the Pacific Coast Highway as the constant imagery, and Gilbert Hetherwick (credited with the concept) and reissue producer Richard King have chosen pieces that have a pastoral, often Nordic feeling to them. Various world-class orchestras from London to the Boston Pops play the pieces impeccably under the batons of Lorin Maazel, John Williams and Sir Colin Davis among others.

The program opens appropriately with Beethoven's pastoral Symphony #6 (1808), which was actually subtitled "Recollections of Country Life", a stunning melding of woodwinds and strings somewhat similar in tone to Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons". Then we get music from a brethren of Scandinavian masters. Finnish composer Jean Sibelius is well represented here with two pieces from his symphonies, the introductory Allegretto movement of #2 (1902) and the concluding Allegro Molto movement of #5 (1915), both of which show a strong sense of his dramatic use of folk melodies. There is the famous "Holberg's Time Suite" (1869) by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg with its fanciful opening flourish, as well as Danish composer Carl Nielsen's Symphony #3 (1911), which works beautifully within the sonata form.
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Format: Audio CD
I love the HOLBERG SUITE and I love all of Nielsen's SYMPHONIES. On that note, I would give this compilation five stars. However, I think that compilations are a very personal thing. Given a starting point for a compilation, for example, a particular piece by Vivaldi, Bartok, Schumann, Ives, or Vaughan Williams, it is likely that every person in the world will choose a different group of pieces to complete the compilation.

At any rate, this is about the theme of the PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY, more usually known as ROUTE ONE. I have extensive experience with ROUTE ONE, in particular, the segment from SANTA CRUZ up north to POINT ARENA. Thus, I recommend listening to HOLBERG SUITE, the Nielsen SYMPHONY, and the other pieces on this compilation, when traveling to the following spots:

(1) SANTA CRUZ. This is an old-fashioned amusement park, complete with a boardwalk and pier. The pier extends about a quarter mile out into the ocean, and features a couple of gift shops and clean restaurants. The amusement park contains a huge wooden roller coaster, guaranteed to make children scream, and guaranteed to send older adults to the hospital for surgery on their vertebra. At the southern end of this amusement park is a section with rides for small children. Don't forget to order batter-fried fish covered with fresh garlic. Santa Cruz is not far from the town of GILROY, a huge garlic-growing region.

(2) DAVENPORT. Davenport is 11 miles north of Santa Cruz, and features a very good restaurant, plus many cliffs and a few sea stacks. The stone formations found along the coast, from a quarter mile south and a quarter mile north, of Davenport are worth a 100 mile trip. Unfortunately, there are no arches. Arches in the ocean can be found further north, at JENNER.
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