Various Artists

Springtime in the Park

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EMI's collection, Springtime in the Park, includes an attractive assortment of classical pieces whose tone evokes the hopeful, serene, light-hearted moods of Spring. The pieces selected do in fact fit the theme beautifully, so listeners will be getting exactly what is being advertised. The music is nicely varied and spans the repertoire from the Baroque (Bach and Vivaldi) to the contemporary (Tobias Picker's elegiac, evocative Old and Lost Rivers, written in 1986). Most of the music is orchestral, but there are several tracks of chamber music. The performances are without exception of the highest quality, featuring some of the world's finest orchestras, conductors, and soloists. The sound, too, is always very good, since all the tracks are taken from recordings made in the digital era, and EMI has excellent standards for engineering. This may not be the album for listeners who are concerned with hearing complete works, since only individual movements or sections of movements are included, but it's ideal for anyone looking for mood music that maintains an untroubled, positive tone. Listeners who enjoy what they hear may be inspired to seek out complete performances of the pieces they like best.

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