This Naxos double CD is effectively a reworking of the original single CD release `The Best of Rachmaninov, expanded to include more of the composer's music then attractively packaged with new artwork and a card slip case cover showing an amusing caricature of the composer.
As with any `Best Of' compilation much of the composers work will inevitably be omitted (Rachmaninov incidentally wrote around 96 works, 22 of those are represented here) but there are 2 hours and 15 minutes of music here to be enjoyed and it's a good cross-section of Rachmaninov's style.
The sleeve notes are helpful for those wanting a little more than these highlights, for they provide recommended further listening (all Naxos label CD's of course!). For those who do not wish to delve any deeper and are content with these types of collections there are a number of other Naxos `Very Best Of' releases featuring other composers, which can form the basis of a very respectable and comprehensive classical music CD library.
In summary, an informative and attractively presented mid-priced CD.
(The complete Naxos `Very best Of' series features Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Dvorak, Elgar, Grieg, Handel, Mozart, Puccini, Rachmaninov, Ravel, Satie, Shostakovich, Sibelius, Strauss (Johann) II, Tchaikovsky, Verdi, Vivaldi).
on 3 July 2012
These CD's are great value for those who like some classical music in the background or who want to try out a composer to see how they like the style of music. For an introduction to the classics these CD's are excellent, teenagers can relate to the stylish covers and it's possible to be selective so they can be persuaded to listen to a few minutes at a time!
There is a decent selection of Rachmaninov's work here and it's a good quality recording. Other composers are included in this series so you have a varied and qualitative choice of music and style.
The price is a bargain so take a risk and explore the world of the classics, you may find you're very pleasantly surprised at how lovely this kind of music can be.