Various Artists

The Ultimate Most Relaxing Mozart in the Universe

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The Ultimate Most Relaxing Mozart in the Universe is, for the most part, a collection of slow movements extracted from sonatas, chamber works, and concertos, covering a broad range of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's instrumental works. For people who make few demands of their classical recordings, this set of pleasant and melodious excerpts will be serviceable as background music, since the playing in almost all the selections is first-rate and the sound quality high throughout. However, more discriminating listeners will likely object to the presence of two spurious works, the middle movements from the Violin Concertos No. 6 in E flat major and No. 7 in D major, which seem odd choices when authentic Mozart is so easy to come by, even in Denon's back catalog. Furthermore, they may note with displeasure the absence of any of the great Andantes from the string quartets or the symphonies, which makes including the above selections even more dubious. But beyond this matter, the program is reasonably varied and balanced, and the roster of performers features some of the label's most distinguished artists, including pianist Maria-João Pires, clarinetist Sabine Meyer, violinist Jean-Jacques Kantorow, and fine ensembles such as the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, the Festival Strings Lucerne, and the English Chamber Orchestra, to name a few.

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