Various Artists

Sensual Tunes

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As part of Berlin Classics' multivolume Moods series, Sensual Tunes presents short classical pieces and movements from larger works that will suit most relaxation purposes and provides over an hour of melodic favorites in solid performances with pleasant reproduction. The music has been taken from albums first released by Edel Classics, and some of the recordings predate digital technology, so there is a mix of ADD and DDD tracks. All the same, the sound has been carefully mastered to even out sound levels and make volume adjustments unnecessary. The mellow selections by Giuseppe Verdi, Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, and Georges Bizet amply represent the Romantic era, and many will be familiar to even the most casual classical listener, while the later works by Zoltán Kodály, Max Reger, and Maurice Ravel give an agreeable sampling of the early modern period. With such world-class orchestras as the Dresden Staatskapelle and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, and with lesser ranked ensembles such as the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the Dresdner Philharmonic, and the Berliner Sinfonie-Orchester, the performances run from fine to excellent, though none of them are sub-par; under the direction of eight conductors, the interpretations are somewhat variable in style but never less than acceptable. This budget compilation is great for beginners, though most experienced listeners will find it dispensable.

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