Various Artists

Classical 2013

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Covering a wide array of genres and styles, Classical 2013 is a double-disc survey of artists on EMI's distinguished roster. Some names will be instantly familiar from their long standing with the label, such as cellist Jacqueline du Pré, soprano Maria Callas, contralto Kathleen Ferrier, and conductor Otto Klemperer, and their historic significance grounds this compilation. Far more of the artists are contemporary figures, some well-established and others rising stars. Certainly conductor Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic need no introduction, and soprano Angela Gheorghiu, the Artemis Quartet, pianist Alexandre Tharaud, tenor Ian Bostridge, soprano Diana Damrau, and the brothers violinist Renaud Capuçon and cellist Gautier Capuçon have lasting tenure with the label. The up-and-coming artists list presents such sensations as pianist Li Yundi, violinist Vilde Frang, trumpeters Alison Balsom and Tine Thing Helseth, conductor Vasily Petrenko, the boy choir Libera, and many others who enliven the concert scene with their talents and the catalog with their artistry. The tracks run between two and eight minutes, giving a generous sampling of the music of Bach, Beethoven, Bizet, Britten, Fauré, Gluck, Handel, Puccini, Rachmaninov, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, and Verdi among the classics, and pieces by contemporary composers Jake Heggie and Karl Jenkins. Because the collection encompasses small and large forces, encompassing a wide dynamic range, listeners should be prepared to adjust the volume as needed.

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