The ‘Fifty Shades’ disc

With this disc’s release, Arleen Augér and Samson François are amongst the great interpreters who will receive wider recognition for their art (albeit posthumously and under circumstances of which they would perhaps never have approved).

Looking down the list of the fifteen chosen tracks, which are included because their music was mentioned in the titillating trilogy of bestselling books, what one encounters is not a bad mash-up at all : mostly it’s a very nice spread of pretty gems which yet have substance, that are not in any sense tawdry for such a mixed bag of music. Still though, it does seems foolish to have only the opening Aria melody bit just snipped off from Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” and stuck into this new compilation. As bitter experience shows, that’s the sort of musical incoherence that can happen with crossover tie-ins.

The fifteen tracks –

1. Delibes: Lakmé (Act I), Flower Duet (Mady Mesplé, Danielle Millet)
2. Bach: Adagio from Concerto No. 3 BWV 974 (Alexandre Tharaud)
3. Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasilerias No. 5 – Cantilena (Barbara Hendricks)
4. Verdi: La Traviata Prelude (Riccardo Muti / Philharmonia Orchestra)
5. Pachelbel: Canon in D (Sir Neville Marriner/ Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields)
6. Tallis: Spem in Alium (The Tallis Scholars)
7. Chopin: Prelude No. 4 in E minor, Largo (Samson François)
8. Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 – Adagio Sostenuto (Cécile Ousset, Sir Simon Rattle / CBSO)
9. Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (Sir Adrian Boult / LPO)
10. Canteloube: Chants d’Auvergne, Bailero (Arleen Augér)
11. Chopin: Nocturne No. 1 in B-flat minor (Samson François)
12. Fauré: Requiem – In Paradisum (Choir of King’s College, Cambridge / Stephen Cleobury)
13. Bach: Goldberg Variations – Aria (Maria Tipo)
14. Debussy: La Fille Aux Cheveux de Lin (Moura Lympany)
15. Bach: Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring (Alexis Weissenberg)

Wendy Ong, Vice President of EMI Classics said in a statement that The Fifty Shades books are a bona fide cultural phenomenon, and they offer an exciting new way to present this timeless music to audiences who might not otherwise be exposed to it.”








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