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[古典] 经典古典合集《The 50 Darkest Pieces of Classical Music》[iTunes Plus AAC]

发表于 2012-8-12 14:21:28 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
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This is another collection of great music at a low, low price brought to you by the X5 group, this time on a "darkness" theme released on Halloween 2010. This should be a must buy for anyone new to these "99 most whatever" sets. At the bargain "Daily Deal" price of $1.99 for over 11 hours of music coming in at 1.07 GB, it's not even worth thinking twice if you're new to classical music or to these collections. Just get it.

There are a lot of "greatest hits" here. Favorites like "The Ride of the Valkyries", the opening to Beethoven's 5th Symphony, Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King", Tchaikovsky's "Sugar-Plum Fairy", and the famous bits of "Carmina Burana" will be known to everyone. Same with nice versions of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and "Night on the Bare Mountain", which many will know from Disney's Fantasia movie. And a whole lot more, really.

Quite a bit of the music is wonderfully spooky -- like the opening Totentanz by Franz Liszt (too bad it's such a short excerpt), the famous Toccata and Fugue for organ by Bach, or the "Aquarium" from Saint-Saëns' "Carnival of the Animals", which sounds like it should be in a Harry Potter movie. And again, a whole lot more.

The "darkness" theme works a lot of the time, but definitely not all the time. Since when are allegros from Mozart symphonies (Nos. 25 and 40) dark? Or anything from Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" -- even if the end of "Summer", included here, does have a furious edge to it? There is plenty of light music here that doesn't really fit the supposedly dark theme.

But who cares, really? It's still great music.
Is the set worth it if you've bought the earlier ones? For me, at the Daily Deal price, it is. This collection has 43 new recordings of music not featured on the previous "99 most whatever" sets in my music library. Sixteen are recordings of music that has appeared on previous sets, but performed here by different artists. The remaining 40 tracks are outright copied from earlier sets -- the most repeats are from the Allegros set (16), and the Relaxing set (10), but many appeared on other thematic or composer collections.
A lot of these "new" recordings are modern -- there is a good dose of Shostakovich. Also the first part of Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring"; some contemporary composers such as Arvo Part, Henryk Gorecki, or Krzysztof Penderecki; and some composers that were new to me, like Earl Hatch or Alfred Fissinger. It's nice to see that as X5 is coming closer to exhausting the vaults on Beethoven, Mozart, Bach and Vivaldi, and are turning to more modern composers to fill up these sets -- bravo.

For me, having a lot of this music already, the value of the set really came down to two things. First, it's a good mix of good music I can put on in the background when I feel like it, without having to make my own playlist. That's nice sometimes. Second, it gives me about 10-15 main tracks I was very happy to add to my collection. Most important was track 28, the 1st movement of Henryk Gorecki's Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. The 2nd and 3rd movements from the same performance were featured on the "99 Most Relaxing" set, so this completes the work. That alone, for me, was worth half the price, at least.

I have a big preference for full works rather than excerpts. Of course there are a lot of short cuts from longer works on a set like this. But there appear to be 20 full-length recordings of shorter works here, which is good.

At this writing I have listened to extended samples of all the new tracks in this set, and the quality of the recordings and the playing is uniformly very good, sometimes excellent. Bitrates are variable, averaging 175-249 kbps, but only three tracks are below 200 kbps -- all of them for solo instruments, which in general require less data to obtain similar levels of quality.

I keep wondering how long the X5 Group is going to keep putting out these sets. I guess the answer is as long as people keep buying them.

Strongly recommended for anyone new to classical music, recommended for others.


Totentanz (Liszt)
The Nutcracker: Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy (Tchaikovsky)
Peer Gynt Suite No. 1: In the Hall of the Mountain King (Grieg)
Danse Macabre (Saint-Saens)
String Quartet No. 8 in C Minor: Allegro molto (Shostakovich)
The Planets: Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age (Holst)
Reqiuem: Dies irae (Mozart)
Moonlight Sonata: Adagio sostenuto (Beethoven)
Romeo and Juliet Suite: Montagues and Capulets (Prokofiev)
Pictures at an Exhibition: Gnomus (Mussorgsky)
Gnossienne No. 1 (Satie)
Symphony No. 40 in G Minor: Allegro molto (Mozart)
The Four Seasons, Summer: Presto (Vivaldi)
Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Fate: Allegro con brio (Beethoven)
Carmina Burana: O Fortuna (Orff)
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta: Adagio (Bartok)
The Planets: Mars, the Bringer of War (Holst)
Suite Gothique: Toccata (Boellmann)
Egmont Overture (Beethoven)
Piano Sonata No. 2 in B Minor: Funeral March (Chopin)
Messa da Requiem: Dies irae - Tuba mirum (Verdi)
Organ Concerto No. 10 in D Minor: Adagio (Handel)
Cello Sonata in D Minor: II. Allegro (Shostakovich)
A Night on the Bare Mountain (Mussorgsky)
Masonic Funeral Music in C Minor (Mozart)
Stabat Mater dolorosa (Vivaldi)
Coriolan Overture (Beethoven)
Ride of the Valkyries (Wagner)
Sopranino Flute Concerto in C Major: Largo (Vivaldi)
Carmina Burana: Fortunae plango vulnera (Orff)
Adagio in G Minor, Albinoni's Adagio (Giazotto)
The Carnival of the Animals: Aquarium (Saint-Saëns)
Nuages Gris (Grey Clouds) (Liszt)
Symphonie Fantastique: The March to the Scaffold (Berlioz)
Lemminkainen Suite: The Swan of Tuonela (Sibelius)
The Rite of Spring: L'adoration de la Terre (Adoration of the Earth) (Stravinsky)
Requiem: Lacrimosa dies illa (Mozart)
Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Eroica: Marcia funébre (Beethoven)
Prelude in C-Sharp Minor, The Bells of Moscow (Rachmaninoff)
Adagio for Strings (Barber)
Oboe Concerto in D Minor: Adagio (Marcello)
Symphony No. 10 in E Minor: Allegro (Shostakovich)
Swan Lake Suite: Scene (Lake in the Moonlight) (Tchaikovsky)
Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (Bach)
Symphony No. 7 in A Major: Allegretto (Beethoven)
Fratres (Schubert)
Symphony No. 4 in C Minor, Tragic: Allegro (Part)
Cello Suite No. 5 in C Minor: Sarabande (Bach)
Moonlight Sonata: Presto agitato (Beethoven)
The Planets: Neptune, the Mystic (Holst)

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发表于 2012-8-12 23:57:42 | 显示全部楼层
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发表于 2012-8-13 02:14:56 | 显示全部楼层
Thanks for this collection.
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发表于 2012-8-13 21:05:15 | 显示全部楼层
yes, with that tracklist, seems like is a good album for everyone.
The 50 greatest... and the best of german cla...
were good albums, i was searching this album
maybe in this week i return for it
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发表于 2012-8-14 07:36:07 | 显示全部楼层
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发表于 2012-8-14 08:54:17 | 显示全部楼层
Thanks for sharing!!!
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发表于 2012-8-14 10:59:59 | 显示全部楼层
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发表于 2012-8-14 17:48:44 | 显示全部楼层
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发表于 2012-8-14 18:12:51 | 显示全部楼层
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发表于 2012-8-17 02:53:57 | 显示全部楼层
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发表于 2012-8-17 22:09:08 | 显示全部楼层
Thanks for sharing!!!
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发表于 2012-8-18 02:57:07 | 显示全部楼层
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发表于 2012-8-18 10:22:01 | 显示全部楼层
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发表于 2012-8-18 22:23:18 | 显示全部楼层
谢谢分享    这张专辑很值啊
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发表于 2012-8-19 09:51:17 | 显示全部楼层
封面总感觉好黑暗= =
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