""The Bells of St. Genevieve" is a compilation of Baroque pieces that would serve as an excellent introduction for someone who would like to hear more of the Baroque style beyond "Spring" from "The Four Seasons" or "Canon" by Pachelbel. Granted, this cd does contain "Canon" (what Baroque compilation could resist including it), but it doesn't stop there.I'm not an expert when it comes to Baroque music, but I am something beyond a beginner; I guess I'd consider myself a moderately knowledgable amateur. However, before purchasing this album, I had never heard the title piece, "The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba," or track # 10 "Guitar Concerto" by Vivaldi. Some of the other tracks were familiar but not well-known to me. I was also pleased to see the inclusion of the turbulent Presto from "Summer" instead of the ubiquitous "Spring."Compilations are often quite useful in helping neophytes get a better understanding and appreciation for classical music (I know they've helped me over the years). Not all compilations are a good mix or contain decent recordings; many seem like carbon copies of each other. This one, however, has good sound quality and great recordings from the likes of James Galway, Pinchas Zukerman, Canadian Brass, and James Levine.I recommend this album to anyone wishing to branch out a bit in Baroque music but who is not sure where to start. I've discovered new favorites from listening to this album."
Rock fan falls in love with Baroque's "greatest hits" album!
Groovy Vegan | USA | 03/16/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Bells of St. Genevieve" (BSG) is the cd that got me, a rock fan, into classical music (technically Baroque and Classical are 2 different periods/styles, but we rock fans call it all "classical":-). This is a "best of" album of some of the greatest, and most famous Baroque music. BSG focuses on the last 50 years of Baroque period, which lasted roughly from 1600 to 1750. Most of the pieces come from the "big 3" of the late Baroque period: Vivaldi (3 of the 16 cuts), Bach (7), Handel (2). The tempo is mostly "allegro" (fast and cheerful), although Bach's Concerto for Violin is "largo" or very slow (the only slow piece on the cd). Still, this album has a very uplifting, energetic feel to it. I doubt it will put anyone to sleep, even if they grew up listening to Zeppelin & the Stones! Even the most classical-clueless rock fan will recognize many of these pieces: "Roundeau" by Mouret is the theme from BBC's "Masterpiece Theatre." Clarke's "Trumpet Voluntary" a.k.a. "The Prince of Denmark's March" is another "deja vous" song, often played in wedding processionals and I think was also BBC theme music. Likewise, Pachelbel's "Cannon" is a popular wedding march. In fact, this album contains many songs commonly played in wedding processionals, recessionals, and during dinner, so is good for anyone who needs quality classical recorded music for a wedding. Much of the music is played by chamber orchestras (small ensembles of up to about 9 instruments), so has more of an intimate feel than music played by large symphonies. I highly recommend this cd as an introduction to great Baroque music. However, once initated, I encourage folks to listen to these pieces in their entirety, such as Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" and Bach's "Brandenburg Concertos" to get the full picture of how these great composers intended their music to sound, complete with key and tempo changes."
Outstanding Collection of Baroque Music
Penumbra | Atlanta, GA USA | 11/04/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, it could be considered a collection of Baroque's Greatest Hits but, as such, it serves as a glorious introduction to some of the most dramatic and beautiful music the world has known. The description "Baroque Delights" in the subtitle is completely on target. Look at the composers represented here...Bach (quite a lot of Bach, in fact), Vivaldi, Handel, Pachelbel, Marais, Clarke, Mouret. The artists performing on this CD are James Galway, Pinchas Zuckerman, The Canadian Brass, and the list goes on. The recording quality is rich and dynamic enough for any audiophileYou cannnot go wrong with this magnificent disk."
A Diamond Among the Pebbles
April L. Vawter | Denver, CO United States | 02/13/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Cd itself is barely more than "Baroque 100." However, the fact that it contains Marin Marais' almost never recorded masterpiece, The Bells of St Genvieve makes it a must for any classical enthusiast.This piece alone is worth any price. It can be recorded to your own "favorites" tape or CD if the pablum which makes up the rest of the album is too standard for your taste. You could "loop record" it to induce a meditational state - it's that powerful! Whether you are a novice or a jaded expert, you should experience this piece for itself."
An outstanding compilation of Baroque music!
Newfield | Scarsdale, New York | 09/12/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not only a superb selection of great music, but equally important, performed by the finest musical artists of our time. For classical music collectors, this is one CD not to be missed!"