Various Artists

Classics on the Beach

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Classics on the Beach is only the second classical disc in ZYX's On the Beach series. It contains some of the usual, relaxing classical hits, including the Andante from Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 1, Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata, Solveig's Song from Peer Gynt, and the ubiquitous Pachelbel Canon. In order to stand out from the crowd of other budget, mood-setting collections, the producers added an Intermezzo for horn and orchestra by Reinhold Glière and the "Evocation Magique" from Adolphe Adam's ballet Giselle. Both fit the style of the rest very well. Also typical of other "chillout" discs, this one contains standard performances, for the most part, with the same names that keep showing up on other budget discs, such as Anton Nanut and Alberto Lizzio. The horn soloist in the Glière, Dariusz Mikulski, and pianist Dubravka Tomsic are the highlights of the disc. Mikulski has an extremely smooth, warm tone and phrasing, while Tomsic deftly adds dimension of shading to the "Moonlight" Sonata's opening movement. At the other end of the spectrum is the student-like technique of the clarinetist in the excerpt from Mozart's Clarinet Concerto, K. 622. Everything here is serviceable, good enough to serve as background music, but nothing that will truly transport anyone who is hoping to fully savor a day at the beach.

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