Search - Ernest Blanc, John Shirley-Quirk, George Frederick Handel :: Best Classics 100 Volume 1

Best Classics 100 Volume 1
Ernest Blanc, John Shirley-Quirk, George Frederick Handel
Best Classics 100 Volume 1
Genres: Soundtracks, Classical
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #3
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #4
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #5
  •  Track Listings (1) - Disc #6


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CD Reviews

Good compilation- of bits and pieces
F. Murray | long beach, ca United States | 07/02/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)

"I was excited to see such a great collection of classics, but I was really disappointed to listen and discover that many tracks are shortened dramatically. A fraction of Rhapsody in Blue- a ridiculously short fragment of Bethoveen Ninth Symphony- "Ode to Joy" a tiny part of the first movement of Rachmoninov's Piano Concerto no.3.

I'd rather have fewer tracks and the complete movements."
My vote for single best introduction to classical music
Media Mike | Georgia, U.S. | 09/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There is no shortage of CDs offering an introduction to classical music, but this would be my pick for the best. As this is a six CD-set, I'll provide six reasons for this opinion.

(1) Selections. Any product claiming to be the 100 best classics has its work cut out for it when distilling the huge range of material making up "classical music" (as it is conventionally described) into six CDs. EMI has succeeded here, in my opinion. There are tastes ranging from Baroque to 20th Century, and selections including symphonic, concerto and opera. The big name composers are here, with the 3 "titans" of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart receiving a little extra presence. There are a few surprises (James Horner's "Titanic"), but for the most part, the selections probably reflect conventional perceptions of "classical music".

(2) Performance Quality. I have heard some clasical music overviews with a noticeable dropoff in quality from track to track. That's not the case here. EMI's recordings are extensive, and it shows in these selections. Included here are some familiar conductors (Karajan, Marriner, Davis, Previn) and ensembles (Academy of St. Martin, London Philharmonic, Berliner Philharmoniker). The performances and recording quality are consistently high.

(3) Quantity. There are six CDs here, each with over 70 minutes of music. As some reviewers have pointed out, these are not full performances, but rather selections from famous pieces, which I would estimate typically run about three to five minutes in length. As the title idicates, it is a collection of 100 "Greatest Hits". This approach is a detriment for some, but my take is that a focus on hi-lites is appropriate for a classical music overview. Even though I own complete recordings for many of these selections, I often listen to these CDs when I am in the mood for variety. The selections usually run long enough to give a satisfying taste of the full work.

(4) Accesibility. One of the reasons I think that this is a good introduction to classical music is that a good number of the tracks here are probably recognizable to those who do not consider themselves classical music listeners. The selections here are often the stuff of movie, TV and commercial soundtracks, and its hard to believe that anyone with an interest in music will not hear something familiar here. The "Greatest Hits" approach means that for a lot of people, a selection will probably stick to what they recognize and move on to the next one.

(5) Bang for the Buck. Classical music in general tends to be a bargain when compared to pop music, but this set has a fantastic price. Currently Amazon is selling this for $20 or less. It's an amazing price for 6 CDs of this quality, and a good example of the physical CD being less expensive than downloading each track individually. (Actually, just about all the other entries in EMI's 100 Best series are great bargains).

(6) Packaging. EMI packages this (and the other 100 Best volumes) in a nifty little compact case. The case holds 6 CDs in approximately the space needed for two single CD jewel cases. That said, be careful with the folding trays, as they are probably too thin to withstand a lot of abuse...

In short, I am a big fan of EMI's 100 Best series, and I think this set is probably the best for providing an introduction or overview of the classical genre. Those who like this set should also consider its companion (Volume 2)."
Good and inexpensive collection
Dr. Kenneth T. Bastin MD | brookfield, wi United States | 03/17/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"EMI's Best Classics 100 provides six CDs with seven hours of selected classical music. The cover does a poor job of portraying who does the selecting and who performs the piece -- information inside however does detail the symphonies being recorded. Recordings from the Polish Chamber, Berlin Symphonies, Royal Philharmonic etc are mentioned. The recording quality is good and the price is low, representing a good purchase for a general collection."