Various Artists

Fifty Shades of Grey: The Classical Album

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While E.L. James' erotic best-seller has produced its share of controversy, Fifty Shades of Grey: The Classical Album is as safe and unprovocative as a companion CD to a book can be. The author has chosen 15 classical pieces that create a gentle, reflective mood, which many readers will appreciate as background music, much as James enjoyed listening to these selections while she wrote her book. Excerpts from popular works by Bach, Villa-Lobos, Verdi, Rachmaninov, Fauré, Vaughan Williams, and Canteloube give the program a comfortable familiarity, along with such perennial favorites as Pachelbel's Canon in D, Chopin's Prelude in E minor, Delibes' Flower Duet, and Debussy's La fille aux cheveux de lin. The artists are among the most celebrated, including Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the Tallis Scholars, Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Adrian Boult and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Riccardo Muti and the Philharmonia Orchestra, along with several vocalists and instrumentalists of note. Newcomers to classical music will find this album to be user-friendly, though anyone who already owns a few greatest-hits compilations will be acquainted with most of the music.

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