Classical Music

Messiah

By George Handel

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With out a doubt, the "Messiah" is the most frequently performed choral composition throughout the world. The first part, "Christmas," concludes with the "Hallelujah Chorus" and is heard around the world at Christmas time. The lesser -known part two is performed during the Easter season. If you have never heard the "Hallelujah Chorus," then you must be from another planet!

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Lorin Maazel Conducts Wagner

By Richard Wagner

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Many people are frighted to death of Wagner's music because of its extreme length. BUT have no fear, this is a recording of his operas' Overtures and Preludes. These preludes and overtures have been used in many movies like Excalibur, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Shadow of the Vampire, Apocalypse Now and more. Wagner's music can be powerful, big muscled, or so sad to make one weep.

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La Mer; Jeux; Le Martyre de Saint Sebastien; Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un Faune

By Claude Debussy

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There are two masterpieces on this recording, "La Mer" (The Sea) and "Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune" (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun). In "La Mer," Debussy's use of instrumental colors brilliantly produce the many sounds and moods of the sea. The "Prelude" as described by Debussy were "successive scenes which the desires and dreams of the faun pass through in the heat of the afternoon."

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Four Seasons

By Antonio Vivaldi

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Vivaldi wrote well over 700 compositions (four hundred concertos, forty some operas, and many compositions for the voice). In the "Four Seasons," it is the first movement, "Spring," that is the most recognizable of the four seasons. It was used for months by the Weather Channel. "Spring" also found its way into movies, i.e. Elvira Madigan and The Banger Sisters to mention a couple. In "Spring", Vivaldi gives us a sense of brightness and lightness, just perfect for the feel of Spring.

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El Salon Mexico; Appalachian Spring; Rodeo; Dance Symphony; Fanfare for the Common Man

By Aaron Copland

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This music is typical of all of Copland. You will hear his use of jazz and folk music. Beginning with Copland's homage to the land below the Rio Grande, "El Salon Mexico," and continuing on with his lesser-known "Dance Symphony" (a ghoulish work taken from his never-staged 1920's ballet "Grohg"), Dorati and his orchestra move to the stirring "Fanfare For The Common Man," and then traverse the suites Copland extracted from his two ultra-popular ballets--"Rodeo" and "Appalachian Spring."

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Pachelbel's Greatest Hit: Canon in D

By Johann Pachelbel

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The Canon also appears on the CD titled Dinner Specials which also features nice representative compositions by Vivaldi, Mozart and J.S. Bach.

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Carmina Burana

By Carl Orff

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It is believed the text for this secular cantata was written by monks/young clergy students from the 12th or 13th centuries. Some texts are about love, eroticism, and humor. The music is like Audio Fireworks. The "O Fortuna" has been utilized in oh so many movies.

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Bolero; Alborada del Gracioso; Rapsodie Espanole; La Valse

By Maurice Ravel

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Many folks will immediately recognize "Bolero." It begins with a lonely snare drum and one woodwind instrument. The drum keeps repeating itself over and over throughout, and getting louder and louder as more instruments are added over and over with the full orchestra finally coming in, leading to a stunning climatic ending. "Bolero" has been featured in several films. Remember the movie 10? The library has other recordings of Ravel's orchestral works, all quite stunning in their orchestration.

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Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Opus 46; Peer Gynt Suite No. 2, Opus 55

By Edvard Grieg

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Grieg is a master of charming melodies used throughout all his music. The "Peer Gynt Suite No.1" is no exception. "Morning" begins with a graceful melody which suggests a morning with a sun rise feel and the chirping of birds. The last section, "In the Hall of the Mountain King" is probably the best known of "Peer Gynt Suite No.1" having been utilized in numerous movies.

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Bach for Dummies

By Johann Sebastian Bach

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The opening work is his "Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor" for Organ. This is a "crank up the volume" and let the organ push you back into your chair. All of the music on this CD offers up a well-rounded selection of Bach's music.

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