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Chopin: Complete Edition

Chopin: Complete Edition Lowest used price: $159.99

On the 150th anniversary of his death, Deutsche Grammophon released this impressive box set featuring the complete works of Frédéric Chopin. Spread out over 17 CDs, it contains some truly big-name artists--Argerich, Pollini, Barenboim, and Ashkenazy--and a few you've probably never heard of. The majority of the set's nine volumes contain some music newly produced for this undertaking, and a few items (Chopin's songs, for instance) were recorded specifically for this collection. A well-illustrated book is included--it contains an essay, dateline, and illustrations--and each volume in the set gets its own liner notes. The music? It varies from great to less than great, but most of it is worth hearing. Those accustomed to Rubinstein's readings of the Mazurkas will find those played by Jean-Marc Luisada less fluid and lacking Rubinstein's power. Chopin's songs, seldom heard and filled with elements of Polish folk dances and the less-than-stellar lyrics of the composer's friend Stefan Witwicki, get a college try here by soprano Elzbieta Szmytka. They sound as good as you'll hear anywhere (if you can find them). It probably goes without saying that Martha Argerich's rousing 26 Préludes are some of the set's more exciting moments. But, really, the entire collection is solid. It should be noted that budget label Naxos has released its own Chopin edition at less than half the price of this set. With Idil Biret as the only performer on that set, you miss out on some of the diverse performances and personalities found here. Also, to please those of us who already own favorite performances of these works, each two-CD volume in the Complete Chopin Edition can be purchased individually. Bravo. --Jason Verlinde


Rough Guide to the Music of France

Rough Guide to the Music of France Lowest new price: $2.99
Lowest used price: $1.79
Model: 09264786

The Rough Guide To The Music Of France embraces a bewildering array of styles. This excellent introduction typically fulfils the stereotypes of spidering accordions and husky, ear-licking vocals, but there are also representatives from every corner of the country, sometimes sung in languages or dialects that you've never heard before. These diverse folk forms from within France are mingled with relatively recent cultural imports from North Africa and beyond. The selection's authoritatively compiled by radio producer and journalist Guillaume Veillet, from Grenoble. Les Ogres De Barback manage to take traditional elements and upset them with a dynamic punk spirit, while Lo'Jo do the same by creating a catchy-chorus pop sensibility. The Massilia Sound System fuses hip-hop scratching with Occitan (southern) folk traditions and La Talvera retain a determinedly grainy, authentic feel. Meanwhile, Les Primitifs Du Futur feature a fruitful meeting between cartoonist R. Crumb and two North African guests, and Bagad Men Ha Tan and Doudou N'Diaye Rose combine Breton small piping with Senegalese drumming. If that's not enough already, there's also Corsican choral polyphony, some hurdy gurdy introspection, gypsy jazz guitars and vintage material from the more obvious Edith Piaf and Ferre. --Martin Longley

The Rough Guide To The Music Of France embraces a bewildering array of styles. This excellent introduction typically fulfils the stereotypes of spidering accordions and husky, ear-licking vocals, but there are also representatives from every corner of the country, sometimes sung in languages or dialects that you've never heard before. These diverse folk forms from within France are mingled with relatively recent cultural imports from North Africa and beyond. The selection's authoritatively compiled by radio producer and journalist Guillaume Veillet, from Grenoble. Les Ogres De Barback manage to take traditional elements and upset them with a dynamic punk spirit, while Lo'Jo do the same by creating a catchy-chorus pop sensibility. The Massilia Sound System fuses hip-hop scratching with Occitan (southern) folk traditions and La Talvera retain a determinedly grainy, authentic feel. Meanwhile, Les Primitifs Du Futur feature a fruitful meeting between cartoonist R. Crumb and two North African guests, and Bagad Men Ha Tan and Doudou N'Diaye Rose combine Breton small piping with Senegalese drumming. If that's not enough already, there's also Corsican choral polyphony, some hurdy gurdy introspection, gypsy jazz guitars and vintage material from the more obvious Edith Piaf and Ferre. --Martin Longley


Polonaises [2 CD]

Polonaises [2 CD] Lowest new price: $10.14
Lowest used price: $1.41

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Chopin: The Piano Works

Chopin: The Piano Works Lowest new price: $59.98
Lowest used price: $39.47

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Andres Segovia: The Intimate Guitar [Audio Cassette]

Andres Segovia: The Intimate Guitar [Audio Cassette] Lowest used price: $5.95

Cassette issue of these hard-to-find classic Segovia recordings. Not reissued on CD! Tracks: BENDA: Sonatina in D; Sonatina in D Minor; SCARLATTI: Two-Sonatas: Larghetto; Minuet; SOR: Andante in C Minor & Minuet in C; Minuet in A; Minuet in C; WEISS: Bourree; BACH: Cello Suite No. 1: Prelude; Sarabande; Minuet I, Minuet II: ASENCIO: Dipso; PONCE: Preiude in E.


Poulenc: Complete Works for Piano

Poulenc: Complete Works for Piano Lowest new price: $17.52
Lowest used price: $11.22

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John Williams: The Baroque Album

John Williams: The Baroque Album Lowest new price: $24.94
Lowest used price: $1.46

John Williams: The Baroque Album (View amazon detail page) ASIN: B0000026NO Binding: Audio CD UPC: 074644451825

The great guitarist John Williams has been around the block several times with much of this music, and some of his performances sound as though he's getting a little tired of it. He plays the guitar extremely well, as always; you will never hear a better-executed performance of the Bach Chaconne, and the difficulties of the Scarlatti Sonatas hardly seem to exist for him. Some of the pieces new to his recorded repertory--Telemann, Roncalli, Couperin--are played with all the expression I want to hear. While this is a good disc, though, it's not the best of John Williams. --Leslie Gerber

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John Williams & Friends

John Williams & Friends Lowest used price: $2.97


Walter Carlos and the Well-Tempered Synthesizer: More Virtuoso Electronic Performances of Bach, Monteverdi, Scarlatti, Handel

Walter Carlos and the Well-Tempered Synthesizer: More Virtuoso Electronic Performances of Bach, Monteverdi, Scarlatti, Handel Lowest used price: $4.00
Brand: CBS

STEREO VINYL LP! The Well-Tempered Synthesizer: More Virtuoso Electronic Performances of Bach, Monteverdi, Scarlatti, Handel! Performed by Wendy (Walter) Carlos! 1969 Columbia Release! TRACKS: A1. Stereo Test Tone (0:10); A2. Monteverdi: Orfeo Suite (3:15); A3. Scarlatti: Sonata in G Major - L. 209 (1:38); A4. Scarlatti: Sonata in D Major - L. 164 (3:50); A5. Händel: Water Music: Bouree (0:43); A6. Händel: Water Music: Air (2:42); A7. Händel: Water Music: Allegro Deciso (2:57); A8. Scarlatti: Sonata in E Major - L. 430 (1:52); A9. Scarlatti: Sonata in D Major - L. 465 (2:25); B1. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto - N° in G-Major: I. Allegro (8:03); B2. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto - N° in G-Major: II. Andante (3:30); B3. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto - N° in G-Major: III. Presto (4:40); B4. Monteverdi: Domine ad Adjuvandum (From 1610 Vespers) (2:13).

Features:

  • STEREO VINYL LP
  • The Well-Tempered Synthesizer: More Virtuoso Electronic Performances of Bach, Monteverdi, Scarlatti, Handel
  • Performed by Wendy (Walter) Carlos
  • 1969 Columbia Masterworks Release

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Poulenc: Piano Music Vol. 1 - Eight Nocturnes; Promenades; Three Intermezzi

Poulenc: Piano Music Vol. 1 - Eight Nocturnes; Promenades; Three Intermezzi Lowest new price: $6.96
Lowest used price: $1.20
Brand: CD

Nocturnes - Suite - Promenades - Pastourelle - Villageoises - Feuillets d'Album - 2 Intermezzi, FP 71... / Olivier Cazal, piano


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