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Super Budget Love

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As a gift, Turn Up the Music's compilation Love may convey your affections almost as well as a mass-produced valentine, if only on the basis of its bold cover art; but its odd selections and peculiar arrangements will probably make the recipient wonder what is so romantic about this CD. The fifth movement of Mozart's Serenade No. 6 in D major provides a perky opening that is reinforced in its lively mood by a chipper excerpt from Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 20 in C major -- so far, not a hint of l'amour, only the bright, cheerful music one might expect on a children's playtime compilation. The Nocturne No. 3 in B major and the Nocturne No. 8 in D flat major by Chopin are the most beguiling tracks, and the listener may even accept Beethoven's Bagatelle in A minor, "Für Elise," as sufficiently dreamy music to set a sentimental mood. But Vivaldi's vivacious "Spring" from the Four Seasons, the peppy Allegro from Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 4 in D major, and the utterly chaste "Morning" from Grieg's Peer Gynt are interspersed, undermining any tender moments. The ineptly played and deeply cheesy MIDI arrangements of the Sinfonia from Bach's Cantata No. 56 and Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" are splashes of cold water sure to ruin any intimate moods. There is probably a reason why no performers are listed inside the package: this CD is an embarrassment that, apart from possibly alienating lovers, might actually be career destroying. The sound of this disc is variable from track to track, so if you got this instead of a greeting card, play it at a safe middle volume.

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