Neville Marriner

Barcarole: Favourite Orchestral Pieces

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Barcarole: Favourite Orchestral Pieces is a generous collection of Romantic gems performed by Neville Marriner and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, including popular selections by Georges Bizet, Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky, Jacques Offenbach, Jules Massenet, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Charles Gounod, and Benjamin Godard. Because the music is mostly taken from famous operas and ballets, the album offers a mix of highly colorful and serenely beautiful pieces, though all of them are extremely tuneful and memorable. Marriner and the orchestra play with polish and practiced ease, so the performances are dependable, if a little predictable, and listeners will likely feel comfortable with the dynamics, tempos, and pacing. Because these are among the best-known pieces of classical music, this CD is a good introduction for beginners, though most experienced listeners will have encountered them many times before and probably have most of them on other compilations. Recorded in 1987, the sound is clean but a little shallow and cool, comparable to many of EMI's early digital recordings.

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