Various Artists

Healing: Music to Sooth the Mind and Body

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Albums with names like Healing: Music to Soothe the Mind and Body often contain ambient or new age music, recently composed and intended to have the beneficial effect registered in the title. But this Decca collection is an assemblage of calm, quiet classical music composed by the likes of Bach, Debussy, and Mozart, and played by an array of the label's classical artists including pianists Claudio Arrau, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and András Schiff, violinist Nigel Kennedy, and cellists Julian Lloyd Webber and Heinrich Schiff. In the course of soothing the mind and body, the music may also have the effect of putting the listener to sleep, and that seems to be intentional, given the inclusion of Chopin's Nocturne No. 2 in E Flat, Op. 9, No. 2 and, especially, the closer, harpist Marisa Robles' rendition of Brahms' Lullaby (Wiegenlied, Op. 49, No. 4), following the longest track, 16 minutes of Ralph Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending, conducted by Iona Brown. Certainly, there is nothing here to upset anyone, and classical music fans in particular will find this music soothing, as advertised.

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