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The A-Z of Classical Music by Keith Anderson
3rd expanded edition, 2009
2 CDs plus 932-page booklet,
slipcased
ISBN: 978-1-84379-250-5
Full tracklisting at end of review
NAXOS 8.558212-13 [2 CDs: 2:33:01]

 

Experience Classicsonline


 
Naxos, through Klaus Heymann, have never been content just to issue CDs. It has done that and continues to do it in dizzying profusion. Their CDs are priced at bargain level so they are made accessible to the widest audience. While always showcasing Naxos products this and other initiatives serve a valuable educational purpose too.
 
The first point to make is that the A-Z of Classical Music 3rd edition has been expanded to include even more composers and 150 bonus music tracks. The 930-page illustrated book tracks in outline the lives of hundreds of composers, from Aaltoila to Zwilich, via the conventionally accepted ‘Greats’.
 
Although things have certainly moved on since 2000 do have a look at Ian Lace’s review of the first edition of this set. It will help you find your bearings.
 
The Bonus Area to which you will have access if you get this 3rd edition has more than 17 hours of music - 150 tracks to stream and 25 tracks to download.
 
The links with film are not neglected; indeed the book has 28 pages of names of films complete with the classical music used in each and the number of the Naxos CD that includes that classical piece. It’s not necessarily the same performance as the soundtrack though. Even so Naxos have recognised that films are a valuable pathway towards appreciation of classical music.
 
The book includes 85 pages of plain language definitions of classical terminology to help the beginner … and others.
 
The core of the two inch thick book that forms a substantial part of the slip-cased package is close to 800 pages of personable composer entries written by the redoubtable Keith Anderson – a one-man musical renaissance long associated with Naxos. Dates, essential biographical and stylistic references – they’re all there.
 
Numerous composers are covered but the set does have its blindspots. For example there’s nothing for two richly significant Scandinavian composers Gösta Nystroem and Allan Pettersson. Perhaps when Naxos issue their first CDs of these composers …
 
For any young or other person suffering the first stirrings of an interest in classical music I cannot imagine a better compact gateway through which to explore and discover.
 
Rob Barnett
 

 
Detailed tracklisting
 
Disc 1
 
Adams, John
Short Ride in a Fast Machine
Performed by: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Conducted by: Alsop, Marin

 
1. Short Ride in a Fast Machine 00:04:05

Bach, Johann Sebastian
Concerto for 2 Violins in D minor, BWV 1043: II. Largo ma non tanto
Jablokov, Alexander, violin
Nishizaki, Takako, violin

Performed by: Capella Istropolitana

Conducted by: Dohnanyi, Oliver

 
2. Concerto for 2 Violins in D minor, BWV 1043: II. Largo ma non tanto 00:06:46

Bartok, Bela
44 Duos for Two Violins, Book 1, Sz. 98: No. 14. Parnas Tanc (Pillow Dance)
Pauk, Gyorgy, violin
Sawa, Kazuki, violin

 
3. 44 Duos for Two Violins, Book 1, Sz. 98: No. 14. Parnas Tanc (Pillow Dance) 00:00:40

Beethoven, Ludwig van
Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, "Pathetique": I. Grave - Allegro di molto e con brio
Jando, Jeno, piano

 
4. Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, "Pathetique": I. Grave - Allegro di molto e con brio 00:08:28

Berlioz, Hector
Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14: IV. Marche au supplice
Performed by: San Diego Symphony Orchestra

Conducted by: Talmi, Yoav

 
5. Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14: IV. Marche au supplice 00:04:43

Brahms, Johannes
Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90: III. Poco allegretto
Performed by: London Philharmonic Orchestra

Conducted by: Alsop, Marin

 
6. Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90: III. Poco allegretto 00:05:49

Britten, Benjamin
Simple Symphony, Op. 4: II. Playful Pizzacato
Performed by: Northern Sinfonia

Conducted by: Bedford, Steuart

 
7. Simple Symphony, Op. 4: II. Playful Pizzacato 00:03:00

Chopin, Fryderyk
Impromptu No. 1 in A flat major, Op. 29
Biret, Idil, piano

 
8. Impromptu No. 1 in A flat major, Op. 29 00:04:32

Debussy, Claude
Nocturnes: No. 2. Fetes
Performed by: Lyon National Orchestra

Conducted by: Markl, Jun

 
9. Nocturnes: No. 2. Fetes 00:06:39

Dvorak, Antonin
Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 33: III. Allegretto grazioso - Molto vivace
Performed by: Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra

Conducted by: Gunzenhauser, Stephen

 
10. Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 33: III. Allegretto grazioso - Molto vivace 00:05:46

Elgar, Edward
Garnett, Richard, lyricist(s)
 
Sea Pictures, Op. 37: IV. Where Corals Lie
Connolly, Sarah, mezzo-soprano

Performed by: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Conducted by: Wright, Simon

 
11. Sea Pictures, Op. 37: IV. Where Corals Lie 00:03:35

Grieg, Edvard
Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16: II. Adagio
Gimse, Havard, piano

Performed by: Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Conducted by: Engeset, Bjarte

 
12. Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16: II. Adagio 00:06:16

Handel, George Frideric
Bible - New Testament, lyricist(s)
 
Messiah, HWV 56: Part I: For unto a child is born
Performed by: Scholars Baroque Ensemble

 
13. Messiah, HWV 56: Part I: For unto a child is born 00:04:03

Haydn, Franz Joseph
Trumpet Concerto in E flat major, Hob.VIIe:1: III. Finale
Schuster, Jurgen, trumpet

Performed by: Cologne Chamber Orchestra

Conducted by: Muller-Bruhl, Helmut

 
14. Trumpet Concerto in E flat major, Hob.VIIe:1: III. Finale 00:04:39

Janacek, Leos
Sinfonietta, JW VI/18: IV. Allegretto
Performed by: Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra

Conducted by: Lenard, Ondrej

 
15. Sinfonietta, JW VI/18: IV. Allegretto 00:02:38

Liszt, Franz
2 Concert Etudes, S145/R6: No. 2. Gnomenreigen
Wolfram, William, piano

 
16. 2 Concert Etudes, S145/R6: No. 2. Gnomenreigen 00:03:09

Mahler, Gustav
Bethge, Hans, lyricist(s)
 
Das Lied von der Erde: III. Von der Jugend
Harper, Thomas, tenor

Performed by: Ireland National Symphony Orchestra

Conducted by: Halasz, Michael

 
17. Das Lied von der Erde: III. Von der Jugend 00:03:10

 
Disc 2
 
Mendelssohn, Felix
Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49: II. Andante con moto tranquillo
Performed by: Gould Piano Trio

 
1. Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49: II. Andante con moto tranquillo 00:06:39

Monteverdi, Claudio
Guarini, Giovanni Battista, lyricist(s)
 
Occhi, un tempo mia vita
Performed by: Delitiae Musicae

Conducted by: Longhini, Marco

 
2. Occhi, un tempo mia vita 00:03:03

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus
Clarinet Quintet in A major, K. 581: II. Larghetto
Balogh, Jozsef, clarinet

Performed by: Danubius Quartet

 
3. Clarinet Quintet in A major, K. 581: II. Larghetto 00:05:57

Palestrina, Giovanni Pierluigi da
Motet: Hodie Christus natus est
Performed by: Oxford Schola Cantorum

Conducted by: Summerly, Jeremy

 
4. Hodie Christus natus est 00:02:47

Prokofiev, Sergey
Piano Concerto No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 53: IV. Vivace
Paik, Kun Woo, piano

Performed by: Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra

Conducted by: Wit, Antoni

 
5. Piano Concerto No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 53: IV. Vivace 00:01:33

Puccini, Giacomo
Forzano, Giovacchino, lyricist(s)
 
Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro
Gauci, Miriam, soprano

Performed by: Belgian Radio and Television Philharmonic Orchestra

Conducted by: Rahbari, Alexander

 
6. Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro 00:02:27

Rachmaninov, Sergei
10 Preludes, Op. 23: No. 5 in G minor
Nebolsin, Eldar, piano

 
7. 10 Preludes, Op. 23: No. 5 in G minor 00:03:51

Rossini, Gioachino
Il Signor Bruschino: Sinfonia
Performed by: Virtuosi Italiani

Conducted by: Desderi, Claudio

 
8. Il Signor Bruschino: Sinfonia 00:04:34

Schoenberg, Arnold
6 Little Piano Pieces, Op. 19: II. Langsam
Hill, Peter, piano

 
9. 6 Little Piano Pieces, Op. 19: II. Langsam 00:00:53

Schubert, Franz
Piano Quintet In A major, Op. 114, D. 667, "Die Forelle" (Trout): IV. Thema with Variations
Toth, Istvan, double bass
Jando, Jeno, piano

Performed by: Kodaly Quartet

 
10. Piano Quintet In A major, Op. 114, D. 667, "Die Forelle" (Trout): IV. Thema with Variations 00:07:12

Schumann, Robert
String Quartet No. 2 in F major, Op. 41, No. 2: I. Allegro vivace
Performed by: Fine Arts Quartet

 
11. String Quartet No. 2 in F major, Op. 41, No. 2: I. Allegro vivace 00:04:41

Shostakovich, Dmitry
Jazz Suite No. 1: I. Waltz
Performed by: Russian State Symphony Orchestra

Conducted by: Yablonsky, Dmitry

 
12. Jazz Suite No. 1: I. Waltz 00:02:29

Strauss, Richard
Hesse, Hermann, lyricist(s)
 
4 Letzte Lieder (4 Last Songs), TrV 296: No. 1. Fruhling
Merbeth, Ricarda, soprano

Performed by: Weimar Staatskapelle

Conducted by: Halasz, Michael

 
13. 4 Letzte Lieder (4 Last Songs), TrV 296: No. 1. Fruhling 00:03:41

Stravinsky, Igor
Petrushka (1946 version): Tableau I: Russian Dance
Performed by: Philharmonia Orchestra

Conducted by: Craft, Robert

 
14. Petrushka (1946 version): Tableau I: Russian Dance 00:02:46

Tchaikovsky, Pyotr Il'yich
Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64: III. Valse
Performed by: Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra

Conducted by: Wit, Antoni

 
15. Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64: III. Valse 00:05:39

Telemann, Georg Philipp
Viola Concerto in G major, TWV 51:G9: IV. Presto
Kyselak, Ladislav, viola

Performed by: Capella Istropolitana

Conducted by: Edlinger, Richard

 
16. Viola Concerto in G major, TWV 51:G9: IV. Presto 00:02:46

Verdi, Giuseppe
Piave, Francesco Maria, lyricist(s)
 
Rigoletto, Act III: La donna e mobile
Ramiro, Yordy, tenor

Performed by: Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra

Conducted by: Rahbari, Alexander

 
17. Rigoletto, Act III: La donna e mobile 00:02:16

Vivaldi, Antonio
Bassoon Concerto in B flat major, RV 501, "La notte" (excerpts)
Benkocs, Tamas, bassoon

Performed by: Nicolaus Esterhazy Sinfonia

Conducted by: Drahos, Bela

 
18. III. Il sonno 00:01:46

19. IV. Sorge l'aurora 00:02:49

Wagner, Richard
Tristan und Isolde, Act III: Isolde's Liebestod
Performed by: Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra

Conducted by: Wildner, Johannes

 
20. Tristan und Isolde, Act III: Isolde's Liebestod 00:07:14


Total Playing Time: 02:33:01
 


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