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Essential 20th Century Classics - Over 2 hours of captivating modern classics

Audio Samples

>Prokofiev, Sergei : Romeo and Juliet
>     Dance of the Knights
>Rodrigo, Joaquín : Concierto de Aranjuez
>     2. Adagio (Excerpt)
>Khachaturian, Aram : Spartacus
>     Adagio of and Phrygia (Excerpt)
>Elgar, Edward : Concerto for Cello
>     1. Adagio - Moderato
>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
>     Variation 18
>Debussy, Claude : Images
>     2. Iberia. 3. Le matin d'un jour de fête
>Holst, Gustav : The Planets
>     Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity (Excerpt)
>Janácek, Leos : Sinfonietta
>     4. Allegretto
>Webern, Anton : 6 Orchestral Pieces, Op. 6 (Revised version)
>     6. Langsam
>Schoenberg, Arnold : 5 Orchestral Pieces, Op. 16 (Original version)
>     4. Peripetie (Sehr rasch)
>Berg, Alban : Lulu-Suite
>     4. Variationen
>Stravinsky, Igor : Petrushka
>     1st Tableau. Russian Dance
>Poulenc, Francis : Les Biches
>     Rondeau
>Bartók, Béla : Concerto for Orchestra, Sz 116
>     4. Intermezzo interotto (Allegretto)
>Takemitsu, Toru : Cassiopeia
>     Scene
>Penderecki, Krzysztof : Anaklasis, for string orchestra & percussion
>Nyman, Michael [Piano] : The Heart Asks Pleasure First, song (for the film "The Piano")
>Tavener, John : The Protecting Veil
>     The Incarnation
>Ravel, Maurice : Boléro
>Bernstein, Leonard : Candide
>     Overture
>Gershwin, George : Rhapsody in Blue
>Adès, Thomas : Asyla
>     4.
>Pärt, Arvo : Beatus Petronius, for double chorus & 2 organs (or orchestra)
>Ives, Charles : A Night Song, song for voice & piano, S. 310 (K. 6B21)
>Copland, Aaron : Fanfare for the common man
>Barber, Samuel : Adagio for Strings
>Reich, Steve : Nagoya Marimbas, for 2 marimbas
>Jenkins, Karl : A Mass for Peace "The Armed Man"
>     A Mass for Peace
>Newman, Thomas : American Beauty
>     Any Other Name
>Adams, John : Short Ride in a Fast Machine, fanfare for orchestra
>Shostakovich, Dmitri : The Gadfly Suite
>     Romance
>Webber, Andrew L : Requiem
>     Pie Jesu
>Maza, Regino Sainz de la : Zapateado, for guitar
>Ligeti, György : Quartet for Strings no 1 "Metamorphoses Nocturnes"
>     1. Allegro grazioso
>Villa-Lobos, Heitor : Bachianas brasileiras no 5
>     Aria
>MessiaenOlivier : Quatuor pour la fin du temps
>     1. Liturgie de cristal
>Rutter, John : Requiem
>     Pie Jesu
>Boulez, Pierre : Le Soleil des eaux
>     Le Sorgue
>Orff, Carl : Carmina Burana
>     O Fortuna

Album Summary

>Prokofiev, Sergei : Romeo and Juliet
>Rodrigo, Joaquín : Concierto de Aranjuez
>Khachaturian, Aram : Spartacus
>Elgar, Edward : Concerto for Cello
>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
>Debussy, Claude : Images
>Holst, Gustav : The Planets
>Janácek, Leos : Sinfonietta
>Webern, Anton : 6 Orchestral Pieces, Op. 6 (Revised version)
>Schoenberg, Arnold : 5 Orchestral Pieces, Op. 16 (Original version)
>Berg, Alban : Lulu-Suite
>Stravinsky, Igor : Petrushka
>Poulenc, Francis : Les Biches
>Bartók, Béla : Concerto for Orchestra, Sz 116
>Takemitsu, Toru : Cassiopeia
>Penderecki, Krzysztof : Anaklasis, for string orchestra & percussion
>Nyman, Michael [Piano] : The Heart Asks Pleasure First, song (for the film "The Piano")
>Tavener, John : The Protecting Veil
>Ravel, Maurice : Boléro
>Bernstein, Leonard : Candide
>Gershwin, George : Rhapsody in Blue
>Adès, Thomas : Asyla
>Pärt, Arvo : Beatus Petronius, for double chorus & 2 organs (or orchestra)
>Ives, Charles : A Night Song, song for voice & piano, S. 310 (K. 6B21)
>Copland, Aaron : Fanfare for the common man
>Barber, Samuel : Adagio for Strings
>Reich, Steve : Nagoya Marimbas, for 2 marimbas
>Jenkins, Karl : A Mass for Peace "The Armed Man"
>Newman, Thomas : American Beauty
>Adams, John : Short Ride in a Fast Machine, fanfare for orchestra
>Shostakovich, Dmitri : The Gadfly Suite
>Webber, Andrew L : Requiem
>Maza, Regino Sainz de la : Zapateado, for guitar
>Ligeti, György : Quartet for Strings no 1 "Metamorphoses Nocturnes"
>Villa-Lobos, Heitor : Bachianas brasileiras no 5
>MessiaenOlivier : Quatuor pour la fin du temps
>Rutter, John : Requiem
>Boulez, Pierre : Le Soleil des eaux
>Orff, Carl : Carmina Burana
Performers Conductors Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Essential 20th Century Classics is a 2-CD set featuring a collection of important works written between 1901 and 2000. This period is sometimes thought of as the era of 'modern' music, when composers sought to break free from Romantic styles of the 19th century by experimenting with daring new harmonies and forms, but much of the music written after 1900 still harked back to the familiar style of the past.

The first CD opens with several Romantic style composers including Rachmaninov, Prokoiev, Khachaturian, Holst and Elgar. We also hear parts of Concierto de Aranjuez by Rodrigo, the slow movement of the most successful concerto written during the 20th century. Next are the early innovators whose broke new ground like the Second Viennese School of Webern, Berg and Schoenberg, as well as others who continued to use the more traditional methods of composition but who wrote in a more advanced style such as Stravinsky and Bartok. These are followed by later composers who wrote in a wide rage of so-called 'modern' styles including Takemitsu, Tanever and Ades. The large and prolific school of American composer active during the 20th century is represented by some extremely popular pieces like Barber's Adagio for Strings, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man, as well as more adventurous works by Ives, Reich and Adams. The set also includes extracts from choral pieces by Boulez, Part, Tavener, Rutter, and Jenkins, and end with one of the 20th century's most successful choral works, Orf's Carmina Burana.

Essential Classics is a series of 2-CD sets drawn from the catalogs of EMI Classics presenting the best-loved and most popular works by the great composers, performed by the world's leading artist. The series provides a good introduction to classical music and will appeal to those who are seeking the most familiar classical pieces that have been heard in the popular media such as major films and TV commercials.



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Works Details

>Prokofiev, Sergei : Romeo and Juliet :: Dance of the Knights
  • Conductor: Andre Previn
  • Notes: Composition written: 1935-36.
  • Running Time: 5 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1935-1936

>Joaquín Rodrigo (1901 - 1999) : Concierto de Aranjuez :: 2. Adagio (Excerpt)
  • Conductor: Simon Rattle
  • Running Time: 4 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1939

>Khachaturian, Aram : Spartacus :: Adagio of and Phrygia (Excerpt)
  • Conductor: Yuri Temirkanov
  • Notes: Composition written: 1950-54.
  • Running Time: 4 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1950-1954

>Elgar, Edward : Concerto for Cello :: 1. Adagio - Moderato
  • Performer: Jacqueline du Pré (Cello)
  • Conductor: John Barbirolli
  • Running Time: 7 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1919

>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini :: Variation 18
  • Performer: Cécile Ousset (Piano)
  • Conductor: Simon Rattle
  • Running Time: 3 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1934

>Debussy, Claude : Images :: 2. Iberia. 3. Le matin d'un jour de fête
  • Conductor: Andre Previn
  • Running Time: 4 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1905-1912

>Holst, Gustav : The Planets :: Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity (Excerpt)
  • Conductor: Simon Rattle
  • Running Time: 4 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1914-1916

>Leos Janácek (Composer) (1854 - 1928) : Sinfonietta :: 4. Allegretto
  • Conductor: Seiji Ozawa
  • Running Time: 2 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1926

>Webern, Anton : 6 Orchestral Pieces, Op. 6 (Revised version) :: 6. Langsam
  • Conductor: Simon Rattle
  • Running Time: 1 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1909

>Schoenberg, Arnold : 5 Orchestral Pieces, Op. 16 (Original version) :: 4. Peripetie (Sehr rasch)
  • Conductor: Simon Rattle
  • Running Time: 2 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1909

>Berg, Alban : Lulu-Suite :: 4. Variationen
  • Conductor: Simon Rattle
  • Running Time: 3 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1934

>Stravinsky, Igor : Petrushka :: 1st Tableau. Russian Dance
  • Performer: Peter Donohoe (Piano)
  • Conductor: Simon Rattle
  • Running Time: 2 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1912

>Poulenc, Francis : Les Biches :: Rondeau
  • Conductor: Georges Prêtre
  • Running Time: 3 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1939-1940

>Béla Bartók (Composer) (1881 - 1945) : Concerto for Orchestra, Sz 116 :: 4. Intermezzo interotto (Allegretto)
  • Conductor: Seiji Ozawa
  • Running Time: 4 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1943-1945

>Takemitsu, Toru : Cassiopeia :: Scene
  • Performer: Stomu Yamashta (Percussion)
  • Conductor: Seiji Ozawa
  • Running Time: 3 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1971

>Penderecki, Krzysztof : Anaklasis, for string orchestra & percussion
  • Conductor: Krzysztof Penderecki
  • Running Time: 6 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1960

>Nyman, Michael [Piano] : The Heart Asks Pleasure First, song (for the film "The Piano")
  • Running Time: 3 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Tavener, John : The Protecting Veil :: The Incarnation
  • Performer: Steven Isserlis (Cello)
  • Conductor: Gennady Rozhdestvensky
  • Running Time: 3 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1987

>Ravel, Maurice : Boléro
  • Conductor: Andre Previn
  • Running Time: 5 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1928

>Bernstein, Leonard : Candide :: Overture
  • Conductor: Andre Previn
  • Running Time: 4 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Gershwin, George : Rhapsody in Blue
  • Performer: Wayne Marshall [Piano/Organ] (Piano)
  • Conductor: Simon Rattle
  • Running Time: 4 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1924

>Thomas Adès (Conductor/Composer) (1971 - ) : Asyla :: 4.
  • Conductor: Simon Rattle
  • Running Time: 4 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1997

>Arvo Pärt (1935 - ) : Beatus Petronius, for double chorus & 2 organs (or orchestra)
  • Performers: Ene Salumae (Organ); Christopher Bowers-Broadbent (Organ)
  • Conductor: Tönu Kaljuste
  • Running Time: 5 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1990-1996

>Ives, Charles : A Night Song, song for voice & piano, S. 310 (K. 6B21)
  • Conductor: Ingo Metzmacher
  • Ensemble: Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1895

>Copland, Aaron : Fanfare for the common man
  • Conductor: Enrique Bátiz
  • Running Time: 3 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1942

>Barber, Samuel : Adagio for Strings
  • Conductor: Eugene Ormandy
  • Running Time: 6 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1936

>Reich, Steve : Nagoya Marimbas, for 2 marimbas
  • Performers: Colin Currie (Marimba); Sam Walton (Marimba)
  • Notes: Composition written: 1994.
  • Running Time: 4 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1994

>Jenkins, Karl : A Mass for Peace "The Armed Man" :: A Mass for Peace
  • Performer: Paul Beniston (Trumpet)
  • Conductor: Karl Jenkins
  • Running Time: 3 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1999

>Newman, Thomas : American Beauty :: Any Other Name
  • Performers: Nikolaj Bloch; Sally Herbert (Keyboards)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1999

>Adams, John : Short Ride in a Fast Machine, fanfare for orchestra
  • Conductor: Simon Rattle
  • Running Time: 4 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1986

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : The Gadfly Suite :: Romance
  • Performers: Piers Lane (Piano); Tasmin Little (Violin)
  • Notes: Composition written: Soviet Union.
  • Running Time: 3 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Webber, Andrew L : Requiem :: Pie Jesu
  • Performers: Simon Gibson (Organ); Jane Gilchrist (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Kirk Trevor
  • Running Time: 2 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1984

>Maza, Regino Sainz de la : Zapateado, for guitar
  • Performer: Sharon Isbin (Guitar)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>György Ligeti (Composer) (1923 - 2006) : Quartet for Strings no 1 "Métamorphoses Nocturnes" :: 1. Allegro grazioso
  • Running Time: 1 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1953-1954

>Villa-Lobos, Heitor : Bachianas brasileiras no 5 :: Aria
  • Performer: Barbara Hendricks
  • Conductor: Enrique Bátiz
  • Running Time: 6 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1938

>MessiaenOlivier : Quatuor pour la fin du temps :: 1. Liturgie de cristal
  • Performers: Manuel Fischer-Dieskau (Cello); Yvonne Loriod (Piano); Wolfgang Meyer (Clarinet); Christoph Poppen (Violin)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1940-1941

>Rutter, John : Requiem :: Pie Jesu
  • Conductor: Stephen Cleobury
  • Running Time: 3 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1985

>Boulez, Pierre : Le Soleil des eaux :: Le Sorgue
  • Performers: Barry McDaniel (Baritone); Louis Devos (Tenor); Josephine Nendick
  • Conductor: Pierre Boulez
  • Running Time: 4 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1950-1965

>Orff, Carl : Carmina Burana :: O Fortuna
  • Conductor: Riccardo Muti
  • Running Time: 2 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1935-1936