Time Life Presents: Classical Thunder

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As a Time-Life collection, this two-disc set of Classical Thunder -- big orchestral warhorses that will rattle your rafters if you've got the right gear -- is a little odd. It used to be that Time-Life stood for good, informative documentation that would let you learn something about the music you were listening to, whether pop or classical. In this case you get zilch in the way of information. The liner doesn't even credit the performers, which is unjust.

Still and all, if you like flash, crash, and thunder for your drive-time survival regime, you could do worse than this set of 32 excerpts featuring brass and percussion all the way. Wherever the performances came from, they've been mastered into a reasonably coherent whole without a lot of background noise. The disc opens with the famed low organ pedal of Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra and goes from there. Even people who haven't heard a lot of classical music will recognize a lot of these pieces from one place or another, and it could be a good disc to throw in the car changer to give your expensive speakers their due workout.

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