Various Artists

Dark Hours: Mystic Moments of Classical Music

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Dark Hours: Mystic Moments of Classical Music is a six-CD compilation of excerpts and short pieces that have a decided Gothic appeal, due to their gloomy or spooky subject matter. Drawn from recordings on the Berlin Classics label, the tracks are a mix of orchestral, choral, vocal, and instrumental performances that, apart from their musical values, are starting to show their age. Recorded between 1963 and 2006, a preponderance of the tracks appear to be analog, sometimes with shallow audio, and the artists' roster suggests that many of these performances were given in the last quarter of the 20th century. Yet these points will matter little to listeners who intend to use this set as background music for Halloween parties, for which it is best suited.

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