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41. The Most Famous Opera Duets
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42. The Most Famous Opera Arias
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43. Best of the Millennium: Top 40
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44. The Lord of the Rings: The Two
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45. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship
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46. Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor
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47. Brooklyn The Musical (2004 Original
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48. Beethoven: Symphonien Nos. 5 &
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49. Fiddler on the Roof: 30th Anniversary
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50. 25 Beethoven Favorites
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51. Star Wars Trilogy (Score)
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52. Hymns
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53. Classical Wedding
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54. Mozart: The Great Piano Concertos,
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55. Bach: Six Unaccompanied Cello
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56. Beethoven's Wig 2: More Sing-Along
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57. Braveheart: Original Motion Picture
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58. Sogno
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59. West Side Story
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60. King Arthur (Score)

41. The Most Famous Opera Duets
list price: $3.98
our price: $3.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000002SCA
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 859
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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This is a misnomer--not all of these duets are all that famous--but it's a fine compilation nonetheless. You'll hear selections from Bizet's The Pearl Fishers (Nicolai Gedda and Ernest Blanc at their most elegant French), Madama Butterfly (Carlo Bergonzi and Renata Scotto--an impassioned pair), Lucia di Lammermoor (a classy Alfredo Kraus and Edita Gruberova), the lovely Lakme duet, The Presentation of the Silver Rose from Der Rosenkavalier (with the earnest Christa Ludwig and the other-worldly Teresa Stich-Randall), and a fine Trovatore "Miserere" (with Leontyne Price and Franco Bonisolli singing up a storm). There are many others, too--a veritable cornucopia of couplings--and a treat for the opera lover. --Robert Levine ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Selection at a Great Price
When it comes to opera artists, my motto is "The more Gedda, the bettah." You get a substantial amount of him at his best on this CD, which has a lot of great duets from a variety of operas. You have one of the most beautiful duets ever in my opinion as the first track on the CD(Bizet's aria about two friends in love with the same woman, "Au Fond du Temple Saint" from Les Pecheurs des Perles); this recording with Nicolai Gedda singing the tenor part of Nadir is the best one could ask for.

The rest of the best include "Bei Mannern, welche Liebe" from Mozart's Die Zauberflote(a beautiful ode to the connection between men and women), and (not surprisingly), "O mimi, tu piu non torni" with Gedda and Sereni from La Boheme.

Other notable arias include a nice recording of the famous "Sull'aria," from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, and an above par recording with Victoria de los Angeles and Carlo de Monte of "Un di, felici, eterea" from Verdi's La Traviata.

This would be a great CD to start an opera collection. Enjoy.

4-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful introduction
I bought this CD because wanted the "Lakme" duet that I heard in a movie. Little did I know the rest of the music would blow me away. This is an excellent intro to opera for people like myself that have never really been "into" opera. The selections are short, just a taste, and the price is unbelievable. I highly recommend this selection to anyone who wants to get their feet wet.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Blissful Collection of Arias
As an avid opera fan, I was thrilled to find this CD. The duets are beautifully arranged and the sound is superb. I love to listen to this CD on a lazy afternoon, while laying in my bed. This music simply takes me away into my own little dreamworld. I also love the idea that there are 14 songs on this CD, which is great for the price. So sit back. Have a nice cup of tea and enjoy the opera.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful Collection
This is a wonderful collection of duets. It has been said that not all of them are that famous, well, that is simply not so. They are all famous since the operas featured are all extremely well known and part of the standard repetoire of all opera houses, and perenial favorites in small opera companies because they draw the crowds. So, don't be deceived by the official Amazon review that gives the impression there are duets that are new and relatively unknown. You won't be getting anything you have not heard before, or that you are not familiar with.

The recordings are all wonderful, and of course, are exerpts from complete recordings. If you find that you enjoyed these renditions (not all of them are the best representation of the opera from which they come, but they are all exceptional in quality) and are not familiar with the operas, go out and listen to them, you may be surprised with the quality of the music you expose yourself to. For those of us who have been listening to opera for a long time, make sure you don't have all this in our collection. If you buy it just reading the title, you may be frustrated discovering it is once again everything you already have, and in probably more than one rendition.

5-0 out of 5 stars You can't go wrong with this CD
I got this very reasonably priced cd just to have my favorite duets such as "Au Fond du Temple Saint" and "The Flower Duet. If you have friends who are just starting to like classical opera, this is a terrific little gift. Almost everyone melts at the sound of these duets. And it's convenient to have so many on one CD. A real winner. ... Read more

42. The Most Famous Opera Arias
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Asin: B000002SCE
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 550
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction
This CD is offered at a very attractive price, and features an excellent selection of opera arias. Most of the great composers are represented (such as Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, and Bizet) as well as some lesser-known but worthwhile names (such as Gluck, Gounod, and Saint-Saens).

There is only one superstar singer on this album (Placido Domingo singing "Celeste Aida"), but don't let that deter you: the singing is uniformly rich, skillful, and warm. As another reviewer has pointed out, of the total of 16 tracks, 3 are performed by tenors and 13 by sopranos, but I feel nonetheless that the selection of arias found here is both broad and representative.

The orchestras that are featured are lesser-known ensembles from Western and Central Europe, but they play with conviction and precision, and the CD's sound-recording quality (all the tracks are either "ADD" or "DDD") is first-rate.

All in all, this is a great product brought to you from the vaults of the prestigious EMI Classical label. This is the perfect CD to add to your order if you need to get your grand total above $25 to qualify for free shipping

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction
This CD is offered at a very attractive price, and features an excellent selection of opera arias. Most of the great composers are represented (such as Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, and Bizet) as well as some lesser-known but worthwhile names (such as Gluck, Gounod, and Saint-Saens).

There is only one superstar singer on this album (Placido Domingo singing "Celeste Aida"), but don't let that deter you: the singing is uniformly rich, skillful, and warm. As another reviewer has pointed out, of the total of 16 tracks, 3 are performed by tenors and 13 by sopranos, but I feel nonetheless that the selection of arias found here is both broad and representative.

The orchestras that are featured are lesser-known ensembles from Western and Central Europe, but they play with conviction and precision, and the CD's sound-recording quality (all the tracks are either "ADD" or "DDD") is first-rate.

All in all, this is a great product brought to you from the vaults of the prestigious EMI Classical label. This is the perfect CD to add to your order if you need to get your grand total above $25 to qualify for free shipping

5-0 out of 5 stars A great collection for beginners!
I am brand new to most opera - my main exposure has been Bugs Bunny cartoons! But, I've always loved hearing the Three Tenors sing, and I liked the symphony the few times I have been. So, I thought maybe there was something I was missing. I ordered this CD and from the first minute I was transfixed. I don't understand a word of what they are singing, and I understand from other reviews that these are not the famous folks performing the selections, but this CD is wonderful! I have never been moved to tears by anyone's voice in my life, but Anna Moffo (from Rigoletto, the first selection on the album) did it to me. She also sings a selection from The Barber of Seville, which is beautiful. There's a song by Placido Domingo, and many other gifted and beautiful voices besides. If you are looking for an introduction to opera, buy this one!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Place To Start
As some other reviews have mentioned, no, this doesn't cover the full scale of the opera repertory, but it's geared to beginners, and I can't think of a better place to start than this that's out on the market right now. So don't listen to them.

While this collection is some small, it still has a collection of some famous arias, all sung at levels of very good and up. Anna Moffo's "Caro Nome" as the first track is mind-blowing--the cadence she pulls at the end is absolutely celestial; I've skipped back many a time just to hear her. The following aria from Rigoletto isn't done quite as well (Kraus doesn't even go for the high C), but is sufficient.

Other notable tracks on this album include Edita Gruberova's cavatina from Romeo and Juliette "Je Veux Vivre," Yelena Obraztsova "Mon Coeur" from Samson and Delilah (absolutely beautiful), Domingo's "Celesta Aida," (definitely one of the best recordings of this aria out there), another Moffo gem with "Una Voce Poco Fa" from Il Barbiere, an excellent "Che Gelida Manina" by an underrated tenor, Nicolai Gedda, who holds the high C in "speranza" for the longest I've ever heard any tenor hold it, and possibly the best aria on the whole CD, Gruberova's rendition of "Der Halle Rocke." For some reason, a previous reviewer said this was a horrible recording of it---I beg to differ, drastically; I'd even venture to turn some people away from listening to this track, since it's possibly the best recording of this aria ever made. I've covered my ears at many sopranos her shriek through the colorature, but she sings it like an angel.

Overall, this is a great CD to start with. There are a few problems, like another reviewer mentioned, there are few male arias and no baritone/bass arias whatsoever, but the sound and clarity is good. I must say, though, that I did have a problem with scratching on the CD---a friend of mine owns the same CD and also it appeared to scratch fairly easily, so watch out.

Want to have some real fun? Blast Gruberova's "Der Halle Rocke" while you're driving down the street with the windows open. See how many funny looks you get.


4-0 out of 5 stars Be forewarned
The music is wonderful, and the price can't be beat, but be forewarned -- only 3 of the 16 selections are sung by men. Evidently the producers of this Highlights CD felt that the overwhelming majority of the great opera arias are sung by women. This is clearly a matter of taste, but disconcerting nevertheless. ... Read more

43. Best of the Millennium: Top 40 Classical Hits
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Asin: B00004GOZA
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 513
Average Customer Review: 4.21 out of 5 stars
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For those who want the most remembered passages of classical music's best-loved works, here's a package for you. On this bargain priced double-CD, you'll find music from 40 different classical composers; for the most part, the recordings excerpted here are some of the very best. Of course, you only get one Bach sampling (Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, played by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra) and one Mozart (A Little Night Music conducted by Herbert von Karajan), but this is still a nice collection--perhaps the starting point for a budding collection of classical music. This set's downfall? Unfortunately, though the liner notes discuss the evolution of classical music chronologically, the tracks are programmed in alphabetical order by composer's last name. This makes for some startling transitions! Emil Gilels's reflective performance of the Adagio from Beethoven's "Moonlight" sonata is followed by the crashing cymbals and bombast of Carmen's "March of the Toreadors," a recipe for a heart attack if there ever was one. Still, there's something here for everyone and the liner notes even explain what movies this music can be found in. A nice touch. --Jason Verlinde ... Read more

Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars A solid sampler to get one started
As a simple beginning introduction to classical music, this affordable dual CD is a solid sampler.

Taking many easy to recognize pieces, the editors have identified where one may have heard them before. Certainly almost all these works have been heard in several famous and well known films.

I bought it solely to be able to hear a full orchestration of one of Satie's Gymnopodea's. And needless to say the performance of that particular piece is exceptional here.

I have also used this CD and its many selections in my drama classes to provide stimuli for many types of scenes: improvisational and formal alike. It also helps greatly as mood music for rehearsal and preparation. Certainly "Carmina Burana" really makes Shakespeare's "Once More into the Breach" speech from Henry V rock and roll.

Is this an end all and be all collection? Absolutely not. But it is a great place to begin.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Magnificent!
This is one of the (if not THE) best, well-rounded classical CDs ever made. It is great for anyone that is just being introduced to classical music, because they will probably have heard some of the songs on here. Also, this CD is great for classical music lovers, as it is a good mix of their favorite songs. I'm 13, and own a few other classical CDs, but this one will always stand out above the rest. It is also a bargain price for 2, absolutely jam-packed (77min. each!) CDs.

1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
The only reason I wanted this CD is for Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. However March of the Toreadors immediately follows it. I see that it was arranged in alphabetical order but I wonder if it wasn't also a cruel joke. I now am conditioned to have my nerves jolted every time I put in the CD and listen to the Moonlight Sonata.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not that good.
The only good thing I can say is that it includes about 10 songs I personally love.
But I can also say it includes at least 5 songs that are extremely cheesy.
The rest of the songs are in the so-so category :)
But what I find really dissappointing is the volume leveling, its terrible!
Just to mention a few, Monlight Sonata (Beethoven) and Clair De Lune (Debussy) are barely hearable, increasing the volume not only causes white noise but it will break your ears when playing one of the loud songs (like the March Of The Toreadors).

4-0 out of 5 stars Some say worn out, i say thats because its a classic...
I bought this cd not expecting to recieve such joy from it. the recordings are flawless and beautiful, and they go very well together on this cd... though i felt it was missing something.
personally, out of openion, these wold not all be on my 40 greatest compositions of the millenium. i was quite surprised that Bach's tacatto in D minor was not featured on this cd. my true feelings for this song are not the greatest, but many have argued it was one of the best compisitions written (i think i'll leave that to personal openion myself).
i read a review of someone saying it was just tired music from comercials... pitiful review i might add. just because something is worn out is not a horrible thing... we must defien what a classic means, and to me, if almost every person who has ever watched television knows this music from comercials, or for any other reason, then i would call it a classic. to tell you the truth, i don't think the world would be quite the same if all this calssic music hadn't been composed, and this cd is just a living reminder of that. Some of these reviews are also just a reminder of how narrow minded some people can be toward true classical music.
i loved the cd, but i only gave it 4 stars for my own personal reasons. i think that no cd should claim it has the best of something, becuase you might be minorly disapointed with the selection (i was, and if that offends any one, i am truely sorry). But it didn't stop me from enjoying this beautiful, ageless, music. ... Read more

44. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
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Asin: B00007BH5C
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 438
Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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Howard Shore's music for the massively successful first film chapter of Tolkien's Ring saga won him the Oscar® for Best Original Score, something of a surprise given the music's ambitious scale and determinedly dark overtones, factors that handily blurred the line between typical film fantasy music and accomplished concert work. Its sequel takes the same, often Wagnerian-scaled dramatic tack, following the film's story line into even more brooding and ominous dark corners. The previous film's Hobbit-inspired pastoralism is supplanted here by rich ethnic textures that expand the musical scope of Middle-earth and the World of Men; the Hardanger, a Norwegian fiddle, represents the Rohan and the North African rhaita colors the Mordor theme, while log drums, dilruba, wood xylophone, and cimbalon add intriguing textures elsewhere. The score's looming orchestral clouds are brightened by Shore's masterful choral writing, which infuses ancient liturgical influences with various solo turns by Isabel Bayrakdarian, indie-pop star Sheila Chandra, Ben Del Maestro, and Elizabeth Fraser. "Gollum's Song," the composer's concluding collaboration with lyricist Fran Walsh, is delivered with Björkish, postmodern angst by Emiliana Torrini, and helps punctuate the story's modern sense of allegory. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (178)

5-0 out of 5 stars More of the same....Never Sounded So Good!
In as grand a scale as can exist, this is Shore's second movement to the most epic cinematic symphony of all time. I think I did a solid Fellowship review, so my commentary on "The Two Towers" = my first review + the following:

Shore now wildly intertwines some of the beloved familiar themes with new ones. The instantly classic violin signature for Rohan erupts triumphantly from a well prepared three minute bed of a lush string lead-in.

The Ents, always a favorite part of mine, are given musical life in quite the spine-tingling fashion. Sparse percussion and atonal bassoons make you feel like you yourself are lost and wandering in an atmosphere that is so silent but eerily ready to bubble over with an ancient life.

And here's the gem:

Just as with the tasteful Enya tune from the first installment, someone hit a grand-slam with the idea for "Gollum's Song." Penned by Shore with Fran Walsh (and perfectly sung by the appropriately off-center voice of Emiliana Torrini), this also gives monstrous credit to Shore as a songwriter as well! "Gollum's Song" is EVERYTHING that a good song should be, regardless of genre/style. Some of the freshest chord changes I've heard in quite some time are topped off with a frighteningly haunting melody, touching lyrics, careful orchestration, and excellently alienating emotional aesthetics. And along with all that - it's peculiarly catchy! One may feel him or her self really feeling for Gollum with this gutwrenching piece of music, without any real visual accompaniment. The movie crew made you feel for a computer-generated character, and now the sound crew has you feeling those same things all over again - but this time, blind. A++++ on this one.

The careful detail of language, period instrumentation, awe-inspiring chord progressions, and musical story-telling remains as solid and passionate as ever, and it leaves you just begging the question of how will Howard bring it all home with the climactic final disc (if you don't have it already!). In case you feel that the middle installment is less significant than its surrounding partners, be advised: that would be a mistake.

5-0 out of 5 stars More of the Same... Never Sounded So Good!
In as grand a scale as can exist, this is Shore's second movement to the most epic cinematic symphony of all time. I think I did a solid Fellowship review, so my commentary on "The Two Towers" = my first review + the following:

Shore now wildly intertwines some of the beloved familiar themes with new ones. The instantly classic violin signature for Rohan erupts triumphantly from a well prepared three minute bed of a lush string lead-in.

The Ents, always a favorite part of mine, are given musical life in quite the spine-tingling fashion. Sparse percussion and atonal bassoons make you feel like you yourself are lost and wandering in an atmosphere that is so silent but eerily ready to bubble over with an ancient life.

And here's the gem:

Just as with the tasteful Enya tune from the first installment, someone hit a grand-slam with the idea for "Gollum's Song." Penned by Shore with Fran Walsh (and perfectly sung by the appropriately off-center voice of Emiliana Torrini), this also gives monstrous credit to Shore as a songwriter as well! "Gollum's Song" is EVERYTHING that a good song should be, regardless of genre/style. Some of the freshest chord changes I've heard in quite some time are topped off with a frighteningly haunting melody, touching lyrics, careful orchestration, and excellently alienating emotional aesthetics. And along with all that - it's peculiarly catchy! One may feel him or her self really feeling for Gollum with this gutwrenching piece of music, without any real visual accompaniment. The movie crew made you feel for a computer-generated character, and now the sound crew has you feeling those same things all over again - but this time, blind. A++++ on this one.

The careful detail of language, period instrumentation, awe-inspiring chord progressions, and musical story-telling remains as solid and passionate as ever, and it leaves you just begging the question of how will Howard bring it all home with the climactic final disc (if you don't have it already!). In case you feel that the middle installment is less significant than its surrounding partners, be advised: that would be a mistake.

5-0 out of 5 stars absolutely beautiful
this is some of the most beautiful music ever composed for a film or otherwise. "Gollum's Song" is probably the most heartbraking piece of music I have ever heard. It sums up his sorry existence perfectly - "where once was light, darkness falls". The vocal by Emiliana Torrini is wonderful.

I cannot recommend this CD high enough!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Let's talk about the Music
There are probably over a thousand reviews for the movies, but let's talk about the music of the movies.

I have to say that of all the movies, this soundtrack is the best of all three. The haunting string melodies, powerful trumpet melodies, and moving context of the music as a whole is wonderful.

I don't normally buy soundtrack scores. But, this is one of the few in my collection.

This is a wonderful collection of music.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning!!!
This is one of the most stunning CD's I have ever had the privilage to listen to!
Being an avid Tolkien fan since I was five years old, I was as happy as a lady could be when the soundtracks came out.
From the exciting opening number to the calm and tear-jerking ending, this breathtaking CD captures every essence of Tolkien's magical world, from it's darkest and deepest pits of horror (illustrated beautifully by THE PASSAGE OF THE MARSHES) to the most pure and uplifting Elven music (EVENSTAR), to the complete despair of the entire quest (THE LEAVE TAKING and THE FORBIDDEN POOL) to the unbelievably powerful victory music of ISENGARD UNLEASHED and FORTH EORLINGAS, to the almost disturbing sadness of GOLLUM'S SONG, this CD is a masterpiece! ... Read more

45. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
list price: $19.98
our price: $14.99
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Asin: B00005QZWI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 231
Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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Score composer Howard Shore has informed this first installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy with his distinctly modern sensibilities. Revolving loosely around a brief, heroic brass theme, this epic is infused with a powerful rhythmic thrust and a musical range that encompasses centuries (from the Renaissance pastoralism of "Concerning Hobbits" to the fiery, Prokofiev-influenced drama of "A Knife in the Dark"). Key to the score's sense of mystery and magical place are the rich choral passages that are interspersed throughout, some so ominously gothic they make The Phantom Menace's "Duel of the Fates" sound almost sunny by comparison. Enya's contributions ("The Council of Elrond" and the song "May It Be") add a sense of organic tranquility, but it's Shore's Wagnerian-scaled orchestral score that should long be cherished by admirers of film music and hobbits alike. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (402)

5-0 out of 5 stars Enjoy ur journey to Middle-Earth
There were few music genius composers in my list like James Horner (composer of Titanic, A Beautiful Mind, Bicentennial Man, The Mask Of Zoro, Braveheart etc.) & Hans Zimmer (composer of the soundtracks of The Last Samurai, Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.) When I saw the first scene of the movie (Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Rings), I decided to add the music composer to my list! I'm a big fan of orchestral music and vocals. This music makes you feel the moments of the journey to Middle Earth that the fellowship of the rings had to go through, starting from the soft music in the Shire, to the emotional moments between Aragorn & Arwen, and to the dreadful sensation that evil was so close to achieving its goal.

ALL of the music are worth listening to, esp. the ones with the vocals e.g. The Prophecy, The Treason Of Isengard, A Knife In The Dark, Flight To The Ford, The Council Of Elrond, The Bridge Of Khazad Dum, Lothlorien, The Great River. I also loved the (Breaking of the Fellowship), which reflects the will to pursue & true friendship . I could listen to the soundtrack many times during the day, and still the amuzement does not fade away!

The addition of of the song (May it be) performed by Enya was a great touch! The song reflected the main theme of the first part of the Lord of the Rings. I started to listen to Enya after that song.
I noticed that some music were not incorporated in the Extended DVD version like the music of the (Great River), but it was part of the ordinary DVD movie.

Great Work Mr. Shore. ur work speaks for itself! This is a must-have-on-your-shelf soundtrack CD in addition to the original movie. 5/5.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Powerful and Moving Spoundtrack
First of all. I was SO enthralled with the movie and how the music seemed to fit every mood. The way Howard Shore was able to capture the essence of each scene was truly beautiful. And as much as I enjoy listening to this CD (I've had it a week and so far I have completely listen to it about half a dozen times) it has the same issue as almost every soundtrack. The music is based around 3 - 4 main themes, and depending on the screen action, it's mostly only the tempo that changes. This of course doesn't change the beauty of the music, just explains why the music begins to grow old quickly.

One thing I liked about Shores music here is how he chose certain styles for different characters. For instance, the Hobbits are represented by an almost Irish folk style. Beautiful yet solitary in sound and mood. Also the two songs included here by Enya match well. Her voice adds vocal expression to a wonderful melody.

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys beautiful orchestral music. Although I probably will stop listening to this for awhile I will most definitely keep revisiting it.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Musical Score!
In my opinion, the original motion picture soundtrack to the Lord of the Rings is the perfect musical score. The music is composed, orchestrated and conducted by Howard Shore, who in my opinion can be listed among the greatest music composers such as John Williams. Enya also contributes to this soundtrack, having composed and performed the music score for the ending credits, and performing the theme for Aragorn And Arwen. Contains 18 tracks:

1. The Prophecy

2. Concerning Hobbits - the music theme for the sequences set in the Hobbit-inhabited land of the Shire.

3. The Shadow of the Past - the music score that blends in with the part where the nature of the Ring is discovered.

4. The Treason of Isengard - One of the best scores of the soundtrack. It is the theme for the sequence in which Saruman becomes a traitor and battles with Gandalf.

5. The Black Rider Another great musical score. This theme is for the journey of the four Hobbit companions through the Shire and for the encountering of the Black Rider.

6. At the Sign of the Prancing Pony - Frodo Baggins adventures in the town of Bree at the Inn of the Prancing Pony is what this score is for.

7. A Knife in the Dark - The theme for the continuing journey of the hobbits in which sequence they arrive at the ruins of a temple and find themselves battling Ringwraiths.

8. Flight to the Ford - The Theme for the flight of Arwen and Frodo to Rivendell to escape the Black Riders.

9. Many Meetings - The theme for Rivendell, where the Elves abide.

10. The Council of Elrond - This is among the best scores in the album. The theme for the Council in Rivendell concerning the fate of the Ring. Also features Enya performing Aniron, the theme for Aragorn and Arwen.

11. The Ring Goes South - The theme for the sequence in which the Fellowship of the Ring sets out on their journey to Mordor.

12. A Journey in the Dark - The theme for Moria

13. The Bridge of Khazad Dum - The theme for the treacherous journey to the Bridge of Khazad Dum in Moria and the crossing over and escape from Moria. Another of the ones that are among the best scores on this album.

14. Lothlorien - The theme for Lothlorien, the woodlands of the Elves, through which the Fellowship of the Ring passes through in the film.

15. The Great River - The theme for the departure from Lothlorien.

16. Amon Hen - The theme for the encountering of the stone of Amon Hen.

17. The Breaking of the Fellowship - The score for the dispersion of the Fellowship of the Ring, in which only Frodo and Sam are left to continue the quest to destroy the Ring.

18. May it Be - The song performed by Enya. It is the score for the end credits of the film.

If you loved the film, buy this soundtrack. It is well worth the purchase price. For more information there is a site called ... I eagerly anticipate the soundtrack for the next LOTR film.

1-0 out of 5 stars Overblown album by an under qualified composer
Alright, I have viewed the last 70 reviews, and except for a few "minor quibbles" over "missing tracks" and such, there were no actually anti-Shore reviews. This is quite possibly one of the most over-rated and derogatory musical scores of all time. It is obvious that those who gave positive feedback to this have NEVER listened to true choral music or real classical. To be perfectly honest, all "sung" tracks are completely ripped off of Carmina Burana (of which I am sure all you "Shore lovers" have never heard of). He has taken the very best of wonderful 19th and 20th Century composers, and remixed them with absolutley disastorous results. In fact, not only is this album an abomination, but the way it fits with the film is even worse. The reacurring themes grow irratating at times sounding like a comic book movie, and at others, sounding like expensive versions of music from Saturday morning cartoons. But I can't blame Peter Jackson-- he's tone def!! This is great music to those who know nothing about it-- and to those who say "well it won 2 Acadamy Awards for best score", I tell them this "Titanic won 11". So just shut up about this being a "visionary score." In about ten years it will blow over. However, PJ's masterpiece will remain in history forever (hopefully with a different score).

5-0 out of 5 stars (Respectfully Untitled)
In this world, there exists a handful of human creations so epic, finding words for such things almost seems a way of devaluing the work. Unfortunately, as this soundtrack is one of them, we have but no choice other than cave in and write. If we do not, it would essentially be as if such grand feats were never accomplished in the first place.

To keep the review to a moderate and digestable length, there will be no specific documentary of each period instrument, harmonic change, melodic theme, and relation of how the audio translates to supportive information for the visual cinematic cues. Just know that 1) there has been a supremely creative effort to have very specific instruments enhance the mood and storyline, 2) a new and surprisingly fresh (though ironically reminiscent of a time long ago) chord change awaits the turn of every corner, 3) the carefully constructed (while non-academic) themes seem to come alive in a character every time while on screen, and 4) the music for each respective scene is so powerful in the film, it convinces the audience - if subconsciously - that there is indeed no other choice of sounds other than the precise ones that have been chosen and printed to film and cd forever. Don't get me wrong, there are also items # 5-infinity which we'll omit for interest of time.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Howard Shore is a living legend and genius to the fields of both musical composition and speaking to the soul. With all of the aforementioned elements, he has done what perhaps Professor Tolkien himself would bow down to: he has taken the ridiculously detailed blueprints for a whole different world, and created the same world all over again, in the form of auditory stimulation. The laborous contriving of entire ficticious languages are masterfully superimposed as thunderous choirs, on top of what sounds like a 10,000 piece orchestral behemoth soundscape.

From the characteristic playful music of the Hobbits to the hellishly heavy thunder of Mordor itself, this soundtrack will take you through an emotional journey of its own when you have nothing to watch along with the music. The way the themes cross moods and reappear reincarnated at later locations, in different forms, proves an intuitive influence at work in Shore's mind- much from Bach and Beethoven themselves, but not just in the traditional sense. Much successful experimenting with all musical elements make the resultant cd unpredictable and largely enjoyable all at once. Although anyone can appreciate this soundtrack, I do maintain that a firm knowledge of the literary masterpiece "The Lord of the Rings Trilogy" will augment the listening experience beyond belief. To love the story, as I do, blows it through the stratosphere.

A word should be put in for Enya as well. Whereas many soundtracks are comprised of an agitatingly asymmetric combination of composed music and [category: other], "Fellowship..." just can't seem to do any wrong. Indeed, when watching the movie, her passionately moving "May It Be" feels right at home with everything else. It was smart to include a derivation of one of the score's main themes as Enya's own melodic inspiration. Her music, too (represented by two pieces here), is masterfully executed and produced. Whoever included her made a wise call as talent/booking director.

Howard Shore, and all involved, deserve more than can be offered in any tangible reward. The three movies/soundtracks as a whole will have taken a few years out of everyone's lives who were dedicated to the project, and those years shall go down as a triumphant landmark on the achievenment of mankind, as opposed to a vague haziness of wasted time for each individual. Howard Shore and director Peter Jackson have done more in three years of their lives than what most hope to do in a lifetime. ... Read more

46. Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1992 Canadian Cast)
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Asin: B000001E0A
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1478
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat completed the transition from cantata for schoolkids to big-budget glitzfest with Steven Pimlott's 1991 London revival.Here's the 1992 Canadian version of that show, and even if it's not an ideal recording--Janet Metz as the narrator is no match for Laurie Beechman in the original Broadway cast and there's a little too much synthesizer in the orchestrations--this CD is valuable for the performance of former teen pop idol Donny Osmond as the title character.He's in excellent voice, and was so right for the role that he was selected to preserve it for the 2000 video production.And of course the songs are still here, showcasing Rice's witty lyrics and Lloyd Webber's chameleon tendencies--dabbling in country, calypso, French cafés, and a King-like pharaoh--as well as favorites "Any Dream Will Do," "Close Every Door," and "Go, Go, Go Joseph."This production also includes the "Joseph Remix" (also known as the "Joseph Megamix"), a nine-minute medley of themes arranged with a heavy beat that was used for a kind of onstage aerobics routine as the show's postscript. --David Horiuchi ... Read more

Reviews (50)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best recording of the show yet!
Laurie Beecham's narrator on the original broadway cast is still the best out there, but Janet Metz comes in a VERY close second. Donny Osmond is the best joseph! He makes everyone else sound "second rate". When i first heard of this musical, i expected it to be very offensive to catholics ( and others ) who know the biblical version of joseph's coat of many colors. BUT: Mr. Webber has put the show together with such care that it truly is a "family show". Even my grandparents (who are devout catholics) loved the show when they saw it. The music is great, the costumes are great, the performers are great, and above all- you can't lose with a story like this. You need only buy 1 joseph cd, this one. Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Osmond shines in Canada's "Joseph"
I have to admit, I purchased the CD of this version of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" mainly out of curiosity over Donny Osmond's performance as Joseph. Well, he is superb. His voice is clear and strong, and he delivers outstanding renditions of the character's songs. The rest of the cast in this, the 1992 Canadian version of this musical play, also does a fine job.

"Joseph," with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, is a consistently entertaining CD. The lyrics re-tell the story of the biblical patriarch Joseph (found in Genesis 37-45), and Rice sticks remarkably close to the source material. "Joseph" has many inventive and humorous touches (such as making the Pharaoh sing his part a la Elvis Presley, or having Joseph's brothers break out into a calypso song).

"Joseph" works because of its combination of a compelling story, clever lyrics, and superb music. If you have heard other CD versions but have not listened to this one, check it out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Donny Osmond is a perfect Joseph
I must admit, my sister and I went to see "Joseph" when it was in Boston a few years ago, mainly because we had childhood crushes on Donny Osmond! I absolutely loved the show. Donny Osmond was just fantastic in this role and the songs seem to be made for his voice. Whoever thought of casting him was right on. This CD is one you will sing along to while in the car, and even my 2 year old loves the music.

4-0 out of 5 stars It's ok
my name is Tyson. I'm 16 and have a passion for music. Donny Osmond is by far the best Joseph I have heard out of all the cast recordings. However, I don't care much for the Canadian cast, especially Janet Metz the narrator. Her voice actually starts to annoy me. I think the best narrator is from the l.a. cast. My school is doing Joseph right now, tomorrow night is the last two performances. I am the lightboard operator so I have heard it at least 16 times from our school's cast. My friend Matt definately does an incredible job as Joseph and the best high school OR college Joseph I have heard through my years of ushering and tech for the different shows.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Cast Recording Overall
This is the best overall cast recording of the three revival cast recordings available. After hearing (and seeing in Toronto Canada) Donny Osmond as Joseph, you won't want to hear anyone else in that role. I have all the other recordings of this show, and this is by far the best recording. True, the orchestrations are a bit electronic sounding, but then again, this is Andrew Lloyd Webber and the orchestrations make the best of the available instrumentation. The songs are uncomplicated, the lyrics are playful and witty. Janet Metz as the narrator can be a little wearing on the ears after awhile, but I personally like her performance the best of the three revival casts. The American cast with Michael Damian in the lead is a joke. And the British revival cast recording is mixed differently so that all of the performers seem to be soft and lost within the orchestra. If you want just one cast recording of Joseph, this one is the one to get! ... Read more

47. Brooklyn The Musical (2004 Original Broadway Cast)
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Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 845
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48. Beethoven: Symphonien Nos. 5 & 7 / Kleiber, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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Asin: B000001GPX
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1107
Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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Long regarded as the quintessential interpretation of the most popularand best-loved symphony ever written, this performance of the Fifth haseverything: passion, precision, drama, lyric beauty, and a coiled fury in thefirst movement that sets your pulse racing from the very first note. CarlosKleiber has made very few recordings in his distinguished career, but almost allare special. If you own no other copy of this symphony, this is the one to get.It comes with an exceptional performance of the Seventh--not quite as grippingas the Fifth, but definitely one of the great ones. There is classical music,and there are classic recordings of classical music. This one's a classic. -- David Hurwitz ... Read more

Reviews (104)

4-0 out of 5 stars Just misses greatness
While I acknowledge that these are very good performances of two classics of the orchestral repertory, I don't think they are quite in the elite group of truly classic recordings. Tempi are perfect, especially in the Fifth; the Allegretto and Finale of the Seventh seem to me to be ever so slightly too quick. The orchestral playing is glorious, as could be predicted from the Vienna Philharmonic (with the exception of a weak first bassoon). At times, as in the first movement of the Fifth, the demonic intensity of these performances is almost unbelievable. So ... why isn't it a great recording?

The most objective reason is the sound. Although silent and clear, the recording sounds extremely "dark" to me, as if it were recorded underground somewhere - and looking at the cover certainly doesn't help matters! But this isn't the real problem, because I gladly tolerate less-than-perfect sound.

The main problem is that these recordings miss two important aspects of Beethoven interpretation: mystery/spirituality and lyricism. The transition between the Fifth's third and fourth movements is an example of where Kleiber's relentlessly straightforward approach fails: he entirely misses the swirling mystery of the strings and timpani, and so the radiant opening of the final movement is merely a sonic climax, not a spiritual one. The other problem area is the slow movements. Although beautifully played by the VPO, they simply do not sing. I was particularly disappointed in the Seventh's Allegretto. I approved of Kleiber's quick tempo, but the performance didn't speak to me at all.

However, in the other movements, especially the first of the Fifth and the opening and closing movements of the Seventh, the performances are truly unbelievable. The relentless intensity of the Fifth's opening has been frequently commented on, but the Seventh has been relatively overlooked. The finale, with its antiphonally divided violins enhancing the drama, is incandescent.

Overall, a fine effort, but probably not my first choice. I realize mine is a dissenting view, but in my opinion there are important aspects of these symphonies which Carlos Kleiber doesn't realize.

4-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 5th...7th still a work in progress
From the opening notes of the 5th, kleiber's performance of this warhorse of warhorses slices right through you, making you feel as though you're experiencing the piece for the first time--no small feat. There's a dynamism and fire that few recordings match. Much to his credit, Kleiber maintains the epic drama through the first movement without resorting to any excessive rubato, particularly without dragging the opening note motiff the way so many overly-dramatic conductors do: no baaa-baaa-baaa-buuuuuuuuuummm for him. The performance is quicksilver, yet weighty, unlike many HIP performances I've heard. (Are you listening, Jeggy?) The Andante is like most andantes of this work. It doesn't convince me. I think this is one of Beethoven's least inspired movements, overall, though it contains some thrilling moments here and there. The scherzo is grand and imperious, then creepy and still, with a slightly freer use of rubato. The finale is wild and filled with abandon (listen to those brass choirs!), but lacks the pure grandeur that father Erich Kleiber managed to achieve with a broader tempo and the Concertgebouw in his famous 1950s recording. You pays your money and you takes your choice. My advice: buy 'em both.

The 7th is slightly less satisfying, though I still consider it an essential recording. There's great transparency and the divided strings are wonderful--the work should always be performed with them. But there's something fleeting about CK's approach that doens't sit right with me: not enough power in the first movement, nor sadness in some spots. The Allegretto, while at the brisk tempo and dashed eighth notes Beethoven demanded (corrected and returned indignantly to the publisher), is somehow detatched and devoid of the usual dark, somber character. Karajan in his 1962 performance follows Beethoven almost as closely to the letter but gets more of the spirit. The scherzo lacks some of the boisterousness I've come to expect and the finale is a tad restrained. Compare it, for example, to his live performance in 1983 with the Concertegebouw, preserved on a Philips concert video, or with a 1986 bootleg with the Bavarian State Orchestra. Both of these are better-developed (conceptually) 7ths in my opinion. With this 1976 recording we don't yet have the depth of understanding, the line, the expressive phrasing, or the subtle mood shifts that run throughout Beethoven's score. But it is a very fine performance nonetheless.

5-0 out of 5 stars The greatest Beethoven ever!!!
After years of performing and listening to these works there is very little that can be said negatively of the perfection of this particular set of sessions done in the mid 1970s. Kleiber really unleashes the most incredible sound from the VPO since the days of Solti. We also are treated to the warmest tone and the most incredible Brass and Woodwind work ever to be put to disc.

I also find one thing in the 7th intro quite amazing. Simply the tempo being slow is so right and played with such precision as to be breathetaking...the transition to the fast 6/8 is arguably the finest interpretation of this music without ever sounding forced.

The Beethoven 5th has the most incredibly tight opening ever as well. Surely one wonders why Kleiber is not more popular!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars This is it!
I honestly wouldn't care if Kleiber's version of the 7th were terrible (which it isn't) because his 5th is nothing short of astounding. This is THE 5th to own - hands down.

Kleiber has the Vienna Philharmonic playing this music as if they were playing it for the first time. The energy found in the first movement is nothing short of astounding. The players are on fire. The second movement is as beautiful as the first is frenetic. The balance created by the Vienna Philharmonic is beautiful and offers a poignant statement rarely heard in the many "routine" run throughs of the symphony. The scherzo is filled with the same gusto found in the opening allegro and leads into the amazing finale. In short, this 5th is beyond anything you have ever heard before - not only because the playing is perfect, but because Kleiber's interpretation breathes life into one of the most familiar pieces of music of all time. He brings out nuances in the score, highlights unique moments, and offers incredible incite into one of Beethoven's most moving musical achievements.

Although there are some complaints about the seventh, its still a fantastic run-through and Kleiber has a lot to say here as well. Even if you disagree with his interpretation, Kleiber still has created a fascinating recording. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing 5th - another idea for the 7th
I agree that the 5th is thrilling, it sounds fresher and more intensely thought out than any other I think I've heard. It ranges from tiptoe whispery to boathorn loud, as it should. In particular, the dynamic range change as it goes from the 2nd movement to the 3rd is not to be believed.

As far as the 7th ... To me, the Allegretto movement is what that's all about and Ashkenazy's version with the Philharmonia from the early 80's is the best. It's slow and very smooth, soft, and precise and the repeats don't get boring. ... Read more

49. Fiddler on the Roof: 30th Anniversary Edition (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
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Asin: B00005OB07
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1499
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This new version of the Fiddler on the Roof soundtrack coincides with the movie's 30th anniversary (which is also celebrated by a special edition DVD). The CD is notable for several instrumental tracks by John Williams, as well as for "Any Day Now," a previously unreleased song performed by Perchik/Paul Michael Glaser (better known for his starring role in TV's Starsky and Hutch). The soundtrack is often compared unfavorably with the original 1964 cast album, in which Zero Mostel played the part of Tevye (here performed by Topol, who had been in the 1967 London production). But this CD has a lot going for it, including glossy remastering and, of course, Isaac Stern as the fiddler. In the end, whatever version you decide to pick up, Fiddler remains one of the most enduring musicals of all time.--Elisabeth Vincentelli ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Generic review
I've listened to this particular version, but my review is more on the lyrics and their culturally transcendent attributes.

The music of "Fiddler on the Roof" is loaded with cultural connections, but my point is that most of the songs, and especially, "Matchmaker", "If I Were a Rich Man", and "Sunset, Sunset" are universally applicable and will resonate with any listener who understands their lyrics. "Matchmaker" sings of the longing for love, connection, and stable happiness. "If I Were a Rich Man" speaks of the dream within all of us for a better life, either through monetary wealth or less tangible forms of prosperity. And, "Sunrise, Sunset" is the melancholy but stubbornly celebratory lament against the passing of time, along with the richness of experience it brings.

Listen to the words, and you hear Life singing itself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Remastering of a Classic Soundtrack Album
This is a wonderful Soundtrack.
It was incredibley popular in High School in 1972 among teens.
?Who knew?
I have a real fondness for this soundtrack, and the movie it comes from, and if I need a good cry this will do It.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Motion Picture Soundtrack
Those who enjoyed the motion picture will absolutely love this 30th anniversary edition CD of the music.

Not only does it feature the beloved songs, sung by Topol and cast, but it also includes some of Tevye's conversations with God and the listener from the motion picture in such songs as "Tradition" and "Tevye's Dream." In addition, this version also includes previously unreleased songs, such as "The Wedding Procession", the First Act Finale and Entr'acte, "The Rejection Scene" beween Tevye and Chava, and "Any Day Now" sung by Perchik, which was not included either in the original motion picture or on the original motion picture soundtrack album.

It, of course, also includes music by soloist Isaac Stern. This CD is a real delight and a must-have for musical lovers or Fiddler fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!
Topol shines as Tevye and John Williams' orchestrations of Bock and Harnick's classic musical are incredible. Thirty years later, this release still has incredible merit. Extra tracks and some of Topol's incredible theatrical spoken monologues.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nu? A Soundtrack Recording?
I was taken to see this movie when it first premiered. I was four. I didn't understand the plot at all, and was bored silly, yet still managed to leave the theatre singing "Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match...."

Many times since I've listened to the soundtrack, and I later bought the video; this show so beautifully captures Jewish folk and klezmer music even while the tunes play so well on Broadway. And by now the songs have become so famous, that many recordings of Jewish folk music include "Sunrise, Sunset."

Of course, I had to get the CD to play in my car, and to my delight, it had songs that were not on other recordings: Chava's beautiful song is here!

I think the quality of the recording is very good; it's quite clear why this film won an Academy Award for its music, and this CD does it justice. ... Read more

50. 25 Beethoven Favorites
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Sales Rank: 1530
Average Customer Review: 2 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars Less than impressive...
I must say that I am very disappointed with this CD. It's bad enough that only select movements from symphonies, concertos, sonatas, etc. are put on compilation albums like this one, but it irritates me to no end that even the individual movements themselves are cut! Supposedly "edited for leisure listening", this CD in no way fulfilled my expectations of what it would be. Most tracks are about 3 minutes long (whereas they should actually be anywhere from 5-15 minutes).

But aside from this content problem, the quality of the tracks is not that good either. The sound has a dull, flat quality to it, and is not as rich or lively as other recordings I've heard of the same pieces. (And in case this means anything to you: there is a note on the CD case that states "Digitally mastered from the original analog tapes"). Whether this is good or not, the CD does not sound as great as it seems to claim.

(Also, on a more irrelevant note: If you are expecting this CD to contain 25 of the most widely-known, familiar pieces, then don't buy it, because not many of them are popular).

My advice would be to find another compilation (even if that means buying one with less tracks) that contains the full versions of the movements and that sounds much better than this one. ... Read more

51. Star Wars Trilogy (Score)
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Asin: B0002YCVLU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2281
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Given that it's largely credited with reinventing Hollywood--or at least fostering its overweening box office expectations--it'shard to imagine that the genesis of George Lucas' sprawling, multi-billion dollar Star Wars franchise was once considered a risky studio proposition at best. But Lucas himself has wisely singled out the robust, retro-romantic music of composer John Williams as the unlikely artistic linchpin that holds all of the saga's disparate dramatic, thematic and technical elements firmly together. Boxed together here then are three of the most successful and influential film scores of modern Hollywood, work that draws as much on Williams' masterful sense of classical music history as it does his own well-studied melodic and arranging instincts. Each of the three double-disc collections here contains all of the music written for Star Wars: A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi (and even Alfred Newman's intyroductory "Fox Fanfare"), newly upgraded via Direct Stream Digital remastering that adds stunning new presence and clarity to Williams' rousing, epochal scores. Each chapter also features a lenticular 3-D cover and newly designed fold-out film poster, as well as encoded disc features allowing online access to elaborate new Star Wars screen savers; the ultimate musical compendium of the original Star Wars triptych. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

52. Hymns
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Catlog: Music
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53. Classical Wedding
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Asin: B000000V1V
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 9239
Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you , Thank you , Thank you
This CD is wonderful, I found all the music for my wedding right here, and it sounds just like I wanted it to. I certainly recomend this to any bride looking for classy, beautiful music for thier wedding!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great CD for Your Wedding
My husband and I had a small elegant wedding (immediate family only). We wanted "classy" classical music for our ceremony. There were so many great songs on this CD that we had trouble choosing which ones to use! We settled on #1 (Hornpipe from the Water Music) and #16 (the traditional Wedding March). One would have thought the church was filled with a world-famous orchestra. I don't think anyone could go wrong with this CD if you want to use prerecorded classical music at your wedding.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great For Outdoor Weddings
I had my wedding outside, in a large gazebo, but did not have
the funds to hire a musican to play traditional wedding songs at my ceremony. I also wanted the traditional "Here Comes The Bride" with out worring how it would sound for certain instruments. 'Classical Wedding' was WONDERFUL alternative and made my outdoor garden wedding spectacular!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Trumpet
The trumpeter on this recording is Gary Armstrong. He is incorrectly listed as Gray Armstrong. Thank you.

4-0 out of 5 stars A great CD!
Reviewer: A music fan from Hartford CT
This CD was very helpful for our classical ceremony music.
I really like the musicians and the sound.
For the reception I used the CD "New Wedding Traditions Volume I" (from That CD had meaningful songs for our family and friends like "A Song For My Daughter" for my father bride-dance, "A Song For My Son" for the mother-groom dance,"A Wedding Thank You" for our bridal party and "To Our Family and Friends" for everyone.
I am very happy with both of these CDs because they gave me all the special wedding music I needed.
Gloria Easton ... Read more

54. Mozart: The Great Piano Concertos, Vol. 1
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Asin: B000004194
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1149
Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Deprived Beauty
The Beauty of this album is in it's deprived beauty.Though many classical professors state that these pieces needed room to grow,I beg to differ.It may have a cetain deprived quality,yet I think that that quality is merely in it's duality .The core focus is on the dramatic chordal changes even though that pertains to many of the most recognizeable pieces.I find this album collection essential for any classical musician to focus on.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mozart's Great Concertos, Vol. 1
This has Mozart's wonderful Concerto No. 21. This CD is worth it just for that alone! But it has 5 of the piano concertos in all. It doesn't however have No. 26, but that will surely be on Vol. 2. I'm a very picky classical listener, as there's a lot in classical that I don't like, but Mozart's best concertos, symphonies (like the first movement in Symphony No. 25), and other catchy tunes he wrote are a big favorite with me.

David Rehak
author of "Love and Madness"

5-0 out of 5 stars Split concerto!?
Is it actually the case that Piano Concerto No. 23 in A, on this double cd, is actually split between Disc 1 and Disc 2!? I much prefer a single work to be on one single CD. Argh!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great performances of some of Mozart's best Piano Concertos
To give you an idea of how much I like this, I have already bought two copies of this one and two copies of Vol. 2. (gifts) To begin with, the music is so beautiful, it occasionally brings a tear to my eye. Alfred Brendel (the pianist) plays with spirit, but doesn't overdo it like Daniel Barenboim does. (I have the complete Mozart Piano Concertos played by Barenboim from the EMI label, and he didn't play them this well) The only pianist I like better for Mozart is Alicia de Larocha, but her recordings are much more expensive, and she only recorded a few of these Piano Concertos.

If I were to recommend three sets of CDs to represent Mozart, I would choose his late symphonies (sold here on the Deutsch Gramophone (sp?) label) and Vols. 1 & 2 of his Piano Concertos through Philips. Also, look for Mozart's Horn, Oboe, and Bassoon Concertos, and his Piano Sonatas, which are also outstanding.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simpatico
Frankly, I don't care for some of Brendel's cadenzas. They're uninspired and too 20th century in feeling. Apart from this problem, though, a better synergy between conductor and soloist is hard to imagine. Marriner and Brendel are like two sides of the same sheet of paper. ... Read more

55. Bach: Six Unaccompanied Cello Suites
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Asin: B0000025QM
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 926
Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
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This is Yo-Yo Ma's first recording of Bach's Cello Suites, digitally recorded in 1983 and first issued on LP. He has since made a second recording of the Suites in 1998, taken from the soundtrack of a video series, so it's interesting that the earlier set remains available. If you've been lucky enough to hear Ma play this music in concert, you'll realize that neither set represents his Bach at its best. This rendition is generally quite straightforward, beautifully played and musically sound but sometimes not very emotional. The second set is more expressive but frequently seems self-conscious. Either of these recordings is a worthy representation of Bach's superb music, but neither attains the mature eloquence of Starker's final recording, a level Ma will probably reach himself in his third recording. --Leslie Gerber ... Read more

Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars Artistic, free, Great
While Casal's bow hand is aweful and that totally screws up thesound and Rostropovich's big concentration on the technicality and hispersonality gets in the way of playing, Yo-Yo Ma forces his musical strength to conquer it all. Unfortunately, there are technical errors that get committed by focus on artistry - well, you got it. It's free, emotional and light, heavy at times - just what you need for an emotional, dark piece of Bach's wonderful music for this wonderful instrument. I personally love this recording and recommend it to you.

2-0 out of 5 stars Yo-Yo Ma is just a youngster
Although Mr. Ma may try to hit depths only found in Bach's time, I personally believe he lacks the true experience needed to play the renowned suites. I personally believe that the only way to truly experience such amazing 'cello music is through an amazing 'cellist, Mr. Pablo Casals. Only then can you really experience the beauty of a rarely noticed instrument playing a timeless classic.
Mr. Ma stick to what you are good at, and let the professionals do the suites. ....

5-0 out of 5 stars sweet
Pablo Casals was the first to regard these suites as concert pieces rather than mere technical exercises, or so we are told. Rostropovich approaches them with great reverence, but perhaps too much reverence. Depending on your mood or musical philosophy you may well prefer the happy medium we have here.

(I think of the guitar: the rich vibrato of Andre Segovia and Christopher Parkening in contradistinction to the dryer sound preferred by many modern guitarists, and someone such as Ron Rendek, say, falls more or less in-between.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sets a new performance standard
While I have heard only one other piece played in a different style for whom I can compare to, I must admit that I believe this is an almost perfect rendition of all Bach's Cello Suites. I wonder where any criticism can come in, except to say that maybe his breathing is annoying. But who can stop their breath? Especially when you need to put so much heart into this beautiful thing... Perhaps it's disappointing to note that these musical melodies will activate not just your pleasure centers, but also the faces you take when you think. This will change a dinner's mood to philosophical and otherwise. You'll be forced--that's the key ingredient to good music--to pay attention. You can't walk around, you must sit, and, listen.

There is no other way to say this: the performance is flawless. It has no style. He has become a perfect melody of nothing, allowing the full style of Bach himself to come through, throwing away his ego's tendency to improvise. Noting that the pieces were meant to be played in full, these are the only cello recordings I believe that can be viewed, heard, smelt, felt, and understood through the whole recording. Other artists playing these works manage to gather up large emotional swells within us, but only for the beginning five minutes or so. Or so the first minute shows us, until we get bored and stop the music. These are pure rhythm-meditations, designed to make us think. Not for relaxation, but for peace.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exquisite!
A lot could be written about this recording. Let me just say that this is everything music should be: profoundly moving, simultaneously cerebral and visceral, and timeless. With out a doubt, Bach is pure genius and Ma does these compositions justice. ... Read more

56. Beethoven's Wig 2: More Sing-Along Symphonies
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Asin: B0001I2C8O
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1247
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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From a pure-pleasure standpoint, the first Beethoven's Wig was nothing to flip over, and the second disc in the series follows suit. However, that is not to say that this is not a valuable, and possibly ingenious record. Those unfamiliar with the premise will quickly get the picture: Producer/writer/lead singer/chief clever guy Richard Perlmutter gathers a bundle of important classical works (Paganini's Violin Concerto #2, Strauss' "Blue Danube Waltz") and makes up silly, catchy lyrics to lay over them; informing the listener about the piece or its composer. Standing out for their offbeat brilliance this time are "Dvorak the Czechoslovak" (Humoresque #7, Dvorak) and "Wow What a Wedding Cake" (Wedding March from A Midsummer Night's Dream, Medelssohn). Few stabs at swirling education into entertainment succeed so well. As a bonus, the second half of the CD repeats the symphonies straight up, presenting a nea! t opportunity to quiz kids 5-12 on what, and who, they've just heard. --Tammy La Gorce ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Beethoven's Wig 2 Delivers!
Richard Perlmutter's "Beethoven's Wig 2" is a rare and special type of album. Ostensibly, it is a children's album full of Mr. Perlmutter's sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, often witty, but always-intelligent lyrics, sung over famous classical pieces. The strength of this album, however, lies in its broad appeal and lasting power. "Beethoven's Wig 2" is great for your 5 or 6-year old, who will love Permutter's kid-friendly delivery and engaging stories. However, a 8 or 9-year old child will also love this album, being able to catch many more of Perlmutter's witticisms and puns. As a parent you will love the fact that your children are being exposed to, and more importantly, being engaged by Classical music (the original instrumental performances are also included on this album). As Perlmutter embeds quite a bit of musical history and factoids into many of the songs (i.e. "Dvorak the Czechoslovak" is a fantastic 3-minute summary of the great Czech composers life in America and how it, in part, inspired his famous Humoresque No. 7) you may learn a thing or two about Classical music yourself. Where else can you find an album that is appealing both to you and your children, exposes you to great music, teaches you, and most importantly makes you laugh and smile?

5-0 out of 5 stars Only 5 Stars! Deserves 10!
Only 5 Stars!!! If I could, I'd give Beethoven's Wig 2 ten or more stars! Richard Perlmutter has done it again - this cd is brilliant and has quickly become a beloved cd for our entire family. There is nothing better than listening to my children hum classical music and sing the lyrics to these great masterpieces! Every family should own a copy of this great CD! We can't wait for Beethoven's Wig 3!

3-0 out of 5 stars Lacks the cleverness of the first Beethoven's Wig
I was so excited to see that another volume of Beethoven's Wig was finally available, only to be terribly disappointed by the lack of cleverness and wit. Other than In the Hall of the Mountain King ("It's the Same Every Verse"), none of the songs really stood out. They lyrics felt forced and half-baked, like a term-paper written in the wee hours of the morning and completed only moments before the deadline. The songs just aren't particularly clever or polished. (...)!

I don't hate this album. I'm just disappointed. The first was much better, since the cleverness of the lyrics helped balance out the weakness of Mr. Perlmutter's performance. This second album is simply dull in comparison. Not terrible, but not half what I was hoping for.

5-0 out of 5 stars Listening Pleasure
Perhaps not quite as well known tunes as the first Beethoven's wig, but a treat to hear my 2 year old singing along in the backseat. The music of decent to good quality, a buffet sampler of a few great classical pieces. The pleasure may not be the same as the full rendition by an amazing performer BUT that is not the point of these CDs.

For me it is pure listening pleasure to have my family ask for classical music because of these CDs rather than groans over dad's music.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classy entertainment, learning, and fun for kids AND parents
As if the first Beethoven's Wig hadn't already done enough by performing the miracle of getting my daughter interested in classical music, along comes Beethoven's Wig 2 with another wonderful surprise. Not only does its artistry and humor match the first Wig (an almost impossible act to follow), but it's like listening to a music history lesson from a lovable professor as enthusiastic and passionate as Beethoven himself. Richard Perlmutter's lyrics to these classical masterpieces are packed with factual historical references so cleverly embedded in the fun of listening that at first you don't even realize how much your kids (and you!) are learning. Even the CD booklet contains fun and interesting quiz questions and answers about these famous composers' lives and music. Whether it's learning about Dvorak's inspiring visit to America, or that Chopin's "Cat Waltz" was inspired by a cat walking across the keyboard, there's something for everyone in Beethoven's Wig 2. And, like last time, the CD also includes orchestral versions of all selections without the lyrics when you just want to hear these magnificent pieces in their original form -- so it really is like a double album. Vocal arrangements and production are world class, but the sheer inventiveness of it all trumps everything. I highly recommend it but, more importantly, so does my daughter. ... Read more

57. Braveheart: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
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Asin: B000004286
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1570
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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A 1996 Academy Award nominee for Best Dramatic Score, Braveheart is one of composer James (Titanic) Horner's most accomplished works. Utilizing the full range of the London Symphony Orchestra, the Choristers of Westminster Abbey, and a small ensemble of traditional folk instrumentalists, Horner largely eschews the bombast typical of the genre and cuts a more emotionally complex--and satisfying--musical course through this 14th-century tale of betrayal and rebellion. This album presents ample evidence of why Horner is currently at the peak of his profession. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (116)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ancient and moving score
There are some movies which are simply musical gold mines. For the most part, these tend to be historical or epic movies like Ben Hur or Gone With the Wind. And certainly Mel Gibson's Braveheart presented such a golden opportunity to composer James Horner. Fortunately, Horner turned out to be excellent at mining the gold from this musical mine.

From the opening track, the discerning listener will understand that Horner is trying to produce a romantic, melancholy, and almost mystical atmosphere. The strings intertwine to create a sense that this legendary story of honor and freedom is being lifted out of an ancient mist. Then the mystic drone of the bagpipe is heard, and it is at this point that anyone with a true soul begins to break down. It is very rare that music can really touch the soul; it is even rarer for a soundtrack to do so. For all its greatness, a John Williams score is generally too boisterous to pierce to the heart. But Horner knows not only how to excite the senses with the drumbeats and battle-horns of war, but also how to arouse the long-forgotten desire to live a legend. In the end, it is very hard to resist the desire to don a kilt and rush, sword drawn, at some modern-day tyrant.

In this way, Horner's Braveheart is a masterpiece.

5-0 out of 5 stars James Horner Fan For Life!!
I cant remember when I actually became a James Horner fan...probably when Legends of the Fall came out. What a talent this man is! He composes the most incredible music for films - A Beautiful Mind,Land Before Time,Man without a Face (another Mel Gibson movie and FANTASTIC SCORE...the end credits to that movie is superb!)Lately I've been listening to his work from the movie "Iris"...again another great score.This man is just infallible when it comes to composing i tell favorites off that score would be track 1,3 and 6. But in my opinion nothing is as great as his work he's done on Braveheart. My favorites off of the Braveheart score would have to be 6,9,11,16,17,and 18. Why not just say the whole album?!?! Haha. This is such an inspirational score being a composer myself. James has been one of my great sorces of inspiration for me. I wish I could tell him just how much his music has ment to me and has encouraged me over the years. Braveheart is an amazing movie but I think wouldnt have been as perfect if it wasnt for the incredible music accompanying it. Theres just no other that can top this soundtrack in my opinion...its just simply wonderful/perfect/beautiful/flawless!

5-0 out of 5 stars One of My Favorite Soundtracks
Listening to the soundtrack of 'Braveheart' regularly has made me realize just how powerful music can make a film. I firmly believe that Braveheart would not have been as great a movie were it not for James Horner's music.

This is a very moving soundtrack. While there is a common musical theme/or sound that runs through the entire soundtrack (which is typical of movie soundtracks), Horner's imagination gives each song a new twist, added verse, or slightly different melody that keeps the listener's attention. Moreover, I love the sound of bagpipes (despite the fact that I come from a Welsh background) ; )

The tracks themselves have many various textures from smooth melodious flowing music to gruff, fully orchestrated pieces that rattle your player until there is an abrupt stop in the music and you are left wanting more. The feeling of the movie definitely comes out in the music.

Having been an avid soundtrack collector for over 20 years now, I can safely say that this is one of the best sountracks out there. I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best James Horner Score
After Horner wrote this score, he was content to copy from it in ensuing movies (such as Courage Under Fire). He even re-used the "ground breaking" melodic bagpipes in Titanic, to admittedly great effect.

One of my favorite scores, favorite composers, and favorite movies.

I also recommend Horner's Field of Dreams and Apollo 13 scores.

5-0 out of 5 stars I love the bagpipes!
This soundtrack is by far my favorite of any that I own. I listen to it practically everyday, and in every aspect it is perfect. It fits the movie perfectly, and it stands on its own as a tribute to traditional, moving celtic music. James Horner is an amazing composer, and this soundtrack will move you with such stirring tracks as "Freedom/The Execution/Bannockburn" and will have you waiting for more after the final track. This is a definite must-have for any movie lover, or lover of just plain beautiful music. ... Read more

58. Sogno
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Asin: B00000IGX2
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 995
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

Andrea Bocelli's Sogno ("Dream") is a pop album of entirely original compositions that evoke traditional and modern influences. Bocelli himself describes the CD as secular Italian traditional melodic music with a contemporary twist. The album's 14 tracks include "The Prayer," a Bocelli and Celine Dion duet produced by David Foster; "Come un Fiume Tu," an intriguing collaboration with soundtrack maestro Ennio Morricone; "O Mare e Tu," a duet with Dulce Pontes; and "Sogno" (the first single excerpted from the album), a light-as-a-feather, emotional composition sung by Bocelli with his typical vocal emphasis, which has made him famous around the world since the release of his self-titled debut. --Ernesto De Pascale ... Read more

Reviews (365)

5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful CD
When I received Songo I was first stuck at how different it was from Romanza. At first there were many songs I instantly loved (Conto Della Terra, Songo, Cantico, Immenso, I Love Rossini, Come Un Fiurme Tu and A Mio Padre) are all beautifully done with great emotion in Bocelli's voice. And there were a few songs I did not like at first (The Prayer, O Mare E Tu, and nel Cuore Lei); But as I continued to listen, I have come to love the whole CD and even find the four songs, I didn't initially like, to be fantastic and maybe the four best on the CD. I guess it just took me getting use to the Vocal harmonies between Celine Dion and Bocelli on the Prayer; Now I think The Prayer is one of Music histories most beautiful songs, Dion and Bocelli's soaring vocals are outstanding and the switching between Italian and English is so well done; Dulce Ponteswith Bocelli on O Mare E Tu is a truly hypnotic song and has strange middle eastern twist to it, that for Bocelli, at first, I did not get, BUT as I have played it more and more I have grow to love it, I just love Pontes seductive voice as she starts off the song and then Bocelli's comes in with his tenor voice singing "Ammore Mio" like he is struck by her seductive voice and I think its just its just fantastic, and very romantic. I love the way Bocelli and Pontes voices play with the music, it just draws me in; Eros Ramazzotti with Bocelli on Nel Cuore Lei is a very good Duet, It took me a little bit to get use to Eros' Voice, But now I think of him as a sort of Zucchero and I enjoy Nel Cuore immensely. Sometimes the songs you don't love at first, become the songs you love the most. Songo is a wonderful song it's so beautifully done, and Songo is a Great CD; it is a must have for the Bocelli fan and any fan of great singing and beautiful music. To me its right there with Romanza.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pseudo-Pavarotti for the tone deaf?
As a die-hard Andrea Bocelli fan, I must say (AGAIN) that I'm so sick and tired of the so-called "critics" who keep trashing him on account of his "vocal limitations." Okay, so he doesn't have too much power, but his voice is so much fun to listen to wonder so many Americans have fallen for him, ESPECIALLY with this album! The material despite the intense power a lot of them seem to have is material that DEFINITELY does the man justice. Although I like "Romanza" MUCH BETTER, since THIS is the more classical album, of which (unsurprisingly) 12 used copies are available here (this album sold 10 million plus in US!) and since I prefer his pop side over his classical one, obviously this is the REAL Bocelli.

Additional track comments:

1. Canto Della Terra. Very passionate and VERY ELECTRIFYING love song on which Andrea gives one of his best performances. This song can be listened to over and over and over again at max volume and yet it takes you on a whole new journey through time and space each time. Absolutely amazing!

2. The Prayer. One of the most touching songs I've ever heard, this is Andrea's biggest hit on American radio right now. Céline Dion also gives such an amazing vocal performance that obviously BOTH of them bring me to tears. And the way they sing the bridge in Italian makes me think "More Bocelli duets should be like this." He isn't Pseudo-Pavarotti to me! Yes, I've heard many real opera singers before Bocelli, and I hope to try out others soon such as Russell Watson, but Andrea's no Ricky Martin or Sisqo.

3. The title track. Bocelli sang this on his American Dream concert last year, and it just took my breath away.

4. Mai Più Così Lontano. He once said that this was his favorite out of all the songs he's sung because it reminds him of his father. I humbly agree, because it reminds me of my mother and how much I wish for her to be with my family more often.

Well, that's it for my yin-yang. You might also want to be on the lookout for the Sogno 2-CD set (that has 2 music videos on it) and/or, if you like to buy singles, the 4-track Canto Della Terra CD single. E-mail me at if you'd like to know where you can find them.

Until Andrea's next album, it's "time to say goodbye."

Ana, who'll likely never find another like Bocelli

1-0 out of 5 stars Easy Listening Does not Equal Artistry
I hate to poo-poo on something that gives others joy, but this CD is aurally repugnant. If you like Kenny G., Celine Dion, and John Tesh, then please, ignore this review. For the rest, let me record my feelings. Simply stated, just because someone with pop sensibilities spends some time on musical training, does not make them a musician, let alone an elite musician. And it certainly does not make this CD listenable.

The arrangements drip with processed cheese. Bocelli's phrasing is reminiscent of a lounge act (glissandos from nearly every note? Come on, man). And his musical instincts seem best suited for soundtracks of bad Disney movie rip-offs (see track 2).

But, most egregious of Bocelli's sins on this CD is that every track is ensnared in contemporary music's worst trap: Flavoring recycled popular melodies/themes with "something legitimate" in order to make people feel like they've "really heard something". No jazz musician counts Kenny G. among their ranks. Pop music. Jazz flavoring. But he's the number 1 selling "jazz artist" of all time. Elvis is neither a Jazz, nor a Blues, nor a Rock N' Roll artist. Pop music. Black "flavoring". (Jazz, Blues, and Rock N' Roll--a jazz/blues derivative--were once all considered art). Similarly, Elvis holds all kinds of sales records. And so it is with Bocelli (who, mercifully, does not enjoy that kind of success).

So, if you have the need to fill your life with easy listening music, I suppose this CD is a good choice for you. But, please, please, pretty please with sugar and cherries, don't act like you've been transported by the musicianship of this tripe. Enjoy it. But don't call it art. This CD is, at best, entertainment--and then, only for those with numbed stomachs.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dreamy music.......
I bought three Bocelli CDs.......the one that I love the most is 'Sogno' .........I cannot get enough of it....and late in the afternoon all I want to listen to is Bocelli.....the rest of the day I listen to a noncommercial classical station....
"Sogno" is simply the best...deserving of 10 stars.....

2-0 out of 5 stars Sounds too much like muzak
My mom bought this cd a while back because it was on sale. Now don't get me wrong, Andrea has a beautiful voice. Personally , I'd much rather listen to him than Pavarotti or any other opera singer. I don't know about his technical abilities, but unlike other opera singers his voice is warm and soulful.

So what's the problem? This is the trouble with opera singers who try to sing pop songs. You see, the timing and phrasing used in pop music is just completely different. And often the composers who write these crossover songs for singers like Bocelli don't have the faintest clue what makes and emotional and touching pop song. To make a long story short, pop efforts by classical singers sound more like muzak than anything else. You know, the kind of music they play in expensive stores and restaurants. The orchestrations are overblown and the pop instruments used sound pretty cheesy and are actually nothing special.

Bottom line being, if you want a good blend between classical music and pop or rock, I suggest you look elsewhere. The truth is that most classcial musicians do not know how to write crossover music without sounding like background music. There are plenty of pop musicians who do a much better job of blending genres. I suggest that instead you get Muse's latest album Absolution. The lead singer Matthew Bellamy's voice is as supple and flexible as a coloratura soprano's and on top of that he is an excellent pianist. The band combines hard rock and metal with classical orchestrations and singing and still manage to sound incredibly infectious. Trust me, it's a better buy. ... Read more

59. West Side Story
list price: $11.98
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Asin: B00023GGK8
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2339
Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (45)

5-0 out of 5 stars The absolute best recording
"West Side Story" features some of the greatests music ever to reach both the stage and the big screen. Leonard Bernstein's incredible score and Stephen Sondheim's wonderful lyrics are what make both the play and the film memorable.

Hands down, this recording from the film is the best of all recordings for several reasons.

1. Almost all of the music Bernstien wrote is available on this disc. This CD includes the Overture, the complete "Dance at the Gym" with the Blues, Mambo, and Jump that was missing from the LP release, the underscore for the "Rumble" sequence, and the "Finale" that underscores Tony's funeral procession. The only major piece that is missing is the "Ballet" sequence.

2. The orchestra plays the songs at reasonable tempos that are neither grudgingly slow nor lightning fast. Conductor Johnny Green knew what he was doing when he slowed the "Mambo" down from the original Broadway release; in the Broadway version, the "Mambo" is finished in less than 2 minutes!!!

3. In the movie, "America" features both the male and female Sharks; in the Broadway version, only the girls are in the song. With new lyrics and the guys, "America" is a much more memorable piece than it was before.

4. Finally, the music was re-orchestrated for the better. The orchestra sounds fuller and more powerful than in the Broadway release.

If you have any choice, buy the movie version; it is far superior to any other release. Or, buy both the movie and the Broadway versions, but stay away from any others. Only the originals are worth owning.

5-0 out of 5 stars Remastered and extended movie soundtrack
First off, the real star of this disc is the orchestra. With a 70 piece orchestra available for the film. Bernstein's score is given colours that no Broadway orchestra could ever achieve.

The film of WEST SIDE STORY is remarkably faithful to the original Broadway production, dropping the "Somehwere" Ballet but otherwise retaining all the songs (with a few minor interior trims, and a much sharper lyric written by Stephen Sondheim for "America.")

The original Columbia Lp for this soundtrack was about as full as stereo Lps could be in the early 60s, (approximately 55 minutes) so some of the orchestral music was edited out. The CD (which runs 77 minutes!) restores much of it and benefits from a thorough remastering. The booklet has good notes about the making of the film and a detailed synopsis (though at this point most everyone knows the story!) I would have elected to follow the Lp's solution and kept "Somewhere" as the final track instead of Tony death scene followed by Maria's sobbing. Her speech to the gang members - which was originally written as an outline for a song that was never wrtten - is edited out of the CD, so the scene is robbed of much of its power.

The Original Broadway cast is still a must since it captures the show when it was fresh and new even if some of the voices, the shark girls especially, are not the best.

There's a reason why this album has been a million seller and continues to sell well some 40+ years after its original release.

4-0 out of 5 stars Awesome, BUT., . .
THis is one of the best available recordings of West Side Story, but there are many things that have caused me to lower the rating. I'll go thru the Tracks
1. Overture - This is the ONLY place I have ever been able to find a recording of the Overture, Johnny (conductor) plays it very very fast, but nonetheless, musicians will love this track.
2. Prologue - I prefer this version to the Original Broadway version, but it has it's negative points. The bwest part is that the Fugue from "Cool" is weaved in and Out of this, as well as the music from the "Somewhere" Ballet and Nightmare.
3. Jet Song - Good version of the song, they change the words from "ever mother loving street" to "f***king ever lovin' street" at the end, which I think is unnecessary.
4. Something's Coming - They re-wrote the Song in a different key for the Movie, but it's a good version, with a very cool flute/oboe riff at the end.
5. Dance at the Gym - i) Blues - They totally rewrote this one too for the Movie, I like it, but the Trumpets have the melody the whole time rather than trading off with the Trombones, and they add a repeat in the song. . .but nonetheless it rocks. I'm glad someone finally played the guitar audibly on this track.
ii) Promenade - Nothing to say here, This is almost a filler, it is the scene where everyone forms two circles and walks around before dancing.
iii) Mambo - Slowest version I've ever heard in my Entire life, but it Works. It has an extended "D Trumpet" solo in it. It's not bad.
iv) Cha-Cha - Shortened significantly, bringing in the Vibraphone solo too soon.
v) Meeting Scene - Finally!!!! An album with the Meeting Scene!
vi) Jump - one of my favorites, it's nice to see this one too finally on album.
6. Maria - Very good perfromance both by the musicians and singers. Nothing changed here.
7. America - This scene and the lyrics were Completely re-written for the Movie, i don't know why. Instead of the girls only, it has The Sharks and their girls singing about the pros and cons of living In America. But this is the most well-known version and is enjoyable.
8.Balcony Scene (Tonight) - Nothing is changed, it's still the classic scene and classic song.
9. Gee, Officer Krupkee - This scene was rewritten from "Cool" to "Krupkee." Why? I don't know. But this is my favorite version of this song, although they change some lyrics.
10. Intermission Music - Was this even in the movie? Well it's the only version I've ever come across, but there's not much to complain about, only that the RUMBLE is supposed to be before intermission, but then again The Movie changed alot of things.
11. I feel Pretty - Extended version with Lines from the Movie, but I have yet to find an exact version. The Acoustic Nylon (Spanish) Guitar sounds good and is the foreground., the way I think Bernstein wanted this song to sound.
12. One Hand, One Heart -I never liked this song, but it sounds fine, nothing much changed here, if anything.
13. Tonight - Fast version, the Jets screw up their first line!! The actors cannot sing this one very well, and the lyrics and "who sings what" is all jumbled up and changed around severly.
14. The Rumble - Excellent Performance of the Rumble done by the Orchestra! This is the hardest song to play in all of West Side Story.
15. Somewhere - Talk about killing songs . . . Not only was the Ballet Sequence totally written out of the movie, but Somewhere was shortened and has Tony and Maria singing it rather than A Girl.
16. Cool - Almost made into A Rock song with the Electric "Plucked" bass and changing the Key to Bb until the Fugue, this song has changed for the better in my opinion. I love this version, the guitar can actually be heard, where as in the original you can't here it at all!! (Was it even there? It's written in the part). I love this song, CRANK IT UP!
17. Boy Like That/I Have a love - Superb performance, nothing changed.
18. Finale - Beautiful, except that in the last chord, the orchestra does not hit the low F# that is written in the part, so that annoys me, then again they didn't do it in the Broadway version either.
19. End Credits - Bernstein didn't write this, but It's nice music for the end of the movie.

So all in all i gave this CD a 4 out of 5, it's definitely worth buying, just aslong as you aren't looking for an exact performance of the original score, then go and buy a different version.

5-0 out of 5 stars My candidate for the greatest musical of all time...
This show is probably the most powerful musical I've ever seen. It tackles an age old tragedy of love versus hate and succeeds in telling it where most people fail. With this story, you have to show the effects of hate, and the strength of love, and how one can kill another; how one can rise above the other. Its a story that sinks into cliché and staleness time after time, but this show makes it youthful and passionate and raw and tragic. West Side Story is one of those rare pieces of art that grabs you and engages you entirely. You don't just listen, you become a bystander in this soaring, sweeping, saddening, shattering story. It has the power to affect you and touch your heart.

The star of the show is Bernstein's score, which is magnificent and could stand on it's own solely as an orchestral piece, but we're given the gift of lyrics by a young Stephen Sondheim and a book by Arthur Laurents. It's a love story where you feel this hopeful, glorious love of these two young people who have done nothing wrong and want nothing but their love for each other in a world which "won't let us be". To see this love, and thus all their hope, ripped from them is incredibly heartbreaking.

The show is very edgy, it pushed the envelope in an era when you didn't really do that. Rough topics are introduced: gang violence, juvenile delinquency, race issues, immigration, you name it. Two of the "light" songs, "Officer Krupke" and "America" are dark and satire. The former delves into psychological issues which other artistic mediums wouldn't really start exploring until much later. The latter engages in satirical banter about immigrant life in this country, scored to an infectious dance rhythm. The show was so far ahead of it's time in themes, it's social voice so lacking in arrogance and so full of bursting, aching, empathy and strong, urgent messages, I can't help but think it still is and that we haven't really learned a thing. You can still set this in 2004, it's ageless in all respects.

I've never listened to the Original Broadway Cast, but this version is very good. The two leads, Maria's role isn't sung as well as I would have liked, a bit weak, but Tony's role is sung quite beautifully.

This music switches between manic, energetic pieces written for dance, which explode at you in a feast of rhythm and melody, soaring ballads, and the heartbreaking, pulsing, life-giving thematic rivers flowing behind the whole show from beginning to end. This show lifts you high up, and it breaks your heart at the top, and it leaves you there crying with Maria as this wise, gorgeous music tries to heal you. That's West Side Story.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you like musicals ...
If you like musicals, then I promsie you you will love West Side Story, based losely on the tale of Romeo and Juliet, a stunning story about racial tension, coined a musical comedy, but much more fitting under a category of Musical tradegy. You will cry listening to the love songs, and the song "Cool" almost sweats doom. ... Read more

60. King Arthur (Score)
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002IQIWE
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1903
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

What are legends if not for reinventing -- and/or hyper-inflating into Hollywood summer fare? In retooling the Arthurian legend for the goth-beguiled video gameage,mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer did away with details small (the lady in the lake, sword in the stone, etc.) and large (this Arthur is actually Eastern European,by way of Rome). Composer Hans Zimmer picks up that gauntlet, producing an orchestral score bristling with massed brass, chorus and percussion -- if little of theindigenous mysticism that made his work on Gladiator/ so rewarding. What there is of that precious commodity is frontloaded via the song "Tell Me Know(What You See)," his evocative opening collaboration with Clannad's Moya Brennan. From there, Zimmer emphasized this version's Easternconceits with a half-dozen suites of cues that thunder in the Russian classical tradition -- and all the melodic range of "Jingle Bells." Zimmer--not to mentionPoledouris--has done it better, but fans of outsized orchestral Gothic moodfests may yet take this one to heart. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

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