Steps in Silence

Various Artists

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Steps in Silence Review

by Blair Sanderson

Berlin Classics' Steps in Silence, an installment in the budget Moods series, is an album of Classical and Romantic favorites and aside from the CD's title, which strangely suggests the absence of music or sounds altogether, the program is a typical lineup of slow, subdued pieces and movements from longer works that are intended for relaxation or quiet background listening. With the exception of the obscure but pleasant Un poco adagio from the Sonata in D major by Camillo Schumann, all of the selections and their composers are famous, so the only unexpected thing about this compilation is the inclusion of unusual arrangements of Franz Liszt's Liebestraum No. 3 in A flat major, impressionistically scored for full orchestra, and Frédéric Chopin's Nocturne No. 2 in E flat major, revamped for solo violin and orchestra. While one might expect such oddities on cost-cutter discs, some identification of the arrangements should have been noted on the outside of package, instead of being hidden in the booklet. Beyond that quibble, the music is played by some of the label's finest artists, including flutist Eckart Haupt, pianists Renate Schorler, Dieter Zechlin, and Andreas Pistorius, and such first-rate ensembles as the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Neues Bachisches Collegium Musicum, and the Dresden Staatskapelle, among others of note. The sound from track to track is well balanced and the volume has been evenly adjusted to prevent any loud surprises that would really make the title a misnomer.

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