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Barber's Adagio: Romantic Favorites for Strings
Samuel Barber, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky
Barber's Adagio: Romantic Favorites for Strings
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1


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One of the best (and my favorite) "Adagio" albums has got ev
Shota Hanai | Torrance, CA | 07/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Previously, the "Romantic Favorites for Strings" album done by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, was released in the CBS Great Performances series. Now, thanks to CBS's digital remastering... not the mention adding three bonus tracks (!!!!!), one of the best (and my favorite) "Adagio" albums has got even better. The following is what I reviewed in the original album...

"If you've seen 'Platoon', and 'Lorenzel's Oil', repeatedly hearing the same traumatic music, and want to own it to your music library, this would be the definite CD to buy. A tiny bit slower than what's heard on the screen, but with more emotive sounds on the strings, the New York Phil under Bernstein's baton would surely put you to tears for sure. I claim this is one of the best recording of Barber's Adagio for Strings.

Vaughn-William's Fantasia based on the music by Tallis is indeed haunting and beautiful, and Lenny's performance is highly stimulating, with the string ever so brilliantly played, undoubtly making one of the most acclaimed performaces. The 'Fantasia on Greensleeves' is beatifully played too.

Tchaikovsky's andante cantabile from his first string quartet is innocently emotive and wonderful piece. Leo Tolsoy was so moved by the music, he was in tears. The same may happen to you with Bernstein and the ever melancholy strings.

Mahler's adagietto from his fifth symphony is, like Tchaikovsky's andante cantabile, is another moving experience. Bernstein does it emphasize the composer's passion with his orchestra, even though its a tiny bit leaner that the DG performance with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra decades later.

Overall, I love this CD, with the ever emotion spilling Bernstein with the New York Phil strings. You should own it too if you love adagios. Lined with Karajan's collection of adagios, this CD won't disappoint you. Guaranteed!"

The bonus three tracks, especially Tchaikovsky's Elegie are all gorgeous on one way or another. Although not from the Romantic Period (one's Classical and the another is Baroque), the second movements of Mozart's famous Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, and Vivaldi's "Winter" Concerto do evoke some mood. Lenny doesn't take the tempi too quickly nor slowly in any of these pieces.

Once again, thank you CBS for this special upgrade. At a moderate price, this is an ultimate bargain and a must-buy for all adagio lovers. I could have given 6 stars for such deal!