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Best Classical Music - HASSE, J.A.: Requiem in C major / Miserere in C minor (Rademann)
HASSE, J.A.: Requiem in C major / Miserere in C minor (Rademann)

HASSE, J.A.: Requiem in C major / Miserere in C minor (Rademann)

Carus83.349
User's Review: A royal send-off  For whatever reason, I’m aware of fewer Requiem Masses from the Baroque than from any other period. Not only did Johan Adolf Hasse write two of them—for titled patrons who died within months of each other—both are in major keys! The opening section’s stately and measured pace at once evokes the image of a casket being ceremoniously brought into the church, and it is repeated exactly at the end. (In between are some lovely, and not particularly gloomy, movements.) No fewer than six soloists are deployed in various combinations, and two sections are sung only by the men of the chorus... Read more

Best Classical Music - WAGNER, R.: Opera Arias (Deaton)
WAGNER, R.: Opera Arias (Deaton)

WAGNER, R.: Opera Arias (Deaton)

CRC3156
User's Review: Wonderful voice, sensitive artistry  I like to keep up with the latest Wagner singers and I was curious when I saw this new CD of arias by Marc Deaton. Where's he been hiding? Very fine voice, beautifully produced and wonderfully expressive... truly heroic in scale, but it retains a fine-grained lyric quality that is highly desirable. The conducting is good and the orchestra and recording quality is very good... Read more

Best Classical Music - DEBUSSY: Marche ecossaise / Images (arr. for orchestra) / RAVEL: Le tombeau de Couperin
DEBUSSY: Marche ecossaise / Images (arr. for orchestra) / RAVEL: Le tombeau de Couperin

DEBUSSY: Marche ecossaise / Images (arr. for orchestra) / RAVEL: Le tombeau de Couperin

HCD32106
User's Review: Kocsis completes Ravel's masterpiece  I purchased this recording primarily because of the presence of Maurice Ravel's Le Tombeau de Couperin, one of my all-time favourite pieces of music. Ravel's music is often paired with Debussy's, as it is on this recording. Although their uses of tonality are similar, Ravel nevertheless follows classical forms and pays homage to a much older western musical tradition... Read more

Best Classical Music - BERLIOZ, H.: Harold en Italie / PAGANINI, N.: Sonata per la Grand Viola (D.A. Carpenter, Helsinki Philharmonic, Ashkenazy)
BERLIOZ, H.: Harold en Italie / PAGANINI, N.: Sonata per la Grand Viola (D.A. Carpenter, Helsinki Philharmonic, Ashkenazy)

BERLIOZ, H.: Harold en Italie / PAGANINI, N.: Sonata per la Grand Viola (D.A. Carpenter, Helsinki Philharmonic, Ashkenazy)

ODE1188-2
User's Review: Wow, wow, wow!  Vladimir Ashkenazy is perhaps best known as a world-class pianist, but this recording certainly makes the case that he should have been a conductor – on the podium (at least on this recording) he is a monster! And coupled with David Aaron Carpenter’s virtuosic Viola playing, this is a must-have disc... Read more

Best Classical Music - MUSSORGSKY, M.P.: Pictures at an Exhibition / Intermezzo in modo classico / Piano Pieces (Goldstone) (Russian Piano Music, Vol. 8)
MUSSORGSKY, M.P.: Pictures at an Exhibition / Intermezzo in modo classico / Piano Pieces (Goldstone) (Russian Piano Music, Vol. 8)

MUSSORGSKY, M.P.: Pictures at an Exhibition / Intermezzo in modo classico / Piano Pieces (Goldstone) (Russian Piano Music, Vol. 8)

DDA25100
User's Review: We're going to give you Pictures at an Exhibition...  Ok yes I was one of those who was first introduced to Pictures at an Exhibition by rock legends Emerson Lake and Palmer. Since then I have taken a great interest in this piece of music and now have it in various different versions. This caught my eye because it is based on the composer's manuscript with some additional earlier variants. There are also some other Mussorgsky pieces that I was not familiar with that sit well with Pictures... Read more

Best Classical Music - RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, N.A.: Snow Maiden Suite (The) / Sadko, Musical Picture / Mlada Suite / The Golden Cockerel Suite (Seattle Symphony, Schwarz)
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, N.A.: Snow Maiden Suite (The) / Sadko, Musical Picture / Mlada Suite / The Golden Cockerel Suite (Seattle Symphony, Schwarz)

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, N.A.: Snow Maiden Suite (The) / Sadko, Musical Picture / Mlada Suite / The Golden Cockerel Suite (Seattle Symphony, Schwarz)

8.572787
User's Review (by Ted Wilks): Rimsky-Korsakov Orchestral Suites  Nikolay Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov (NRK) was both a composer and an officer in the Russian navy. He became a key member of the famous group called the "Moguchaya Kuchka" (Mighty Handful), whose aim was to follow in Glinka's footsteps and create a distinctly Russian school of music instead of adhering to traditional European musical conventions... Read more

Best Classical Music - CORELLI, A.: Violin Sonatas, Op. 5 (Montanari, Accademia Bizantina, Dantone)
CORELLI, A.: Violin Sonatas, Op. 5 (Montanari, Accademia Bizantina, Dantone)

CORELLI, A.: Violin Sonatas, Op. 5 (Montanari, Accademia Bizantina, Dantone)

ARTS47724-8
User's Review: Excitement Plus!  Accademia Bizantina goes to town in this collection of Corelli Sonatas. The playing never gets bogged down and the embellishments of violinist Montanari ensure that the slower movements never lose the interest that the faster ones establish. While the accompaniment is obviously arranged for the group, this doesn't mean that the music is any less authentic than any other modern day performance of baroque music... Read more

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