My husband bought this album in 2001 which was only the second year for the Classical Brits which tries to tread the fine line between the pop-crossover world of artists like Bond and Vanessa-Mae and what is seen as the more purist world of the classical mainstream such as Sir Simon Rattle. Tenor Russell Watson won two awards, the Album Of The Year and the Best Selling Debut Album awards. Conductor Simon Rattle won three awards - one for Outstanding Contribution, and two for an album of Mahler's 10th Symphony which he recorded with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Other winners included Nigel Kennedy who was named Male Artist of the Year, Female Artist of the Year was Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu. As well as masterful contributions by well known Operastars such as Placido Domingo, Bryn Terfel and Renee Fleming, the album includes samplers from Albums by classical-light artists previously unknown to me such as Filipa Giordano, who sings a gorgeous Popstar 'Ave Maria' by Charles Gounoud, and William Orbit with an electronic version of Xerxes by Handel. Listening to 'Wachet Auf'-Sleepers Awake - whilst driving at dawn on a sunny winters day was the most amazing experience. I have always loved 'Bachianas Brasilieras' and the version by Lesley Garrett is very beautiful. There are film soundtrack hits such as YoYo Ma's 'Eternal Vow' from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Hans Zimmer's 'The Might of Rome' from Gladiator. This was my first hearing of Andre Rieu with the 'Carmen Overture' from his 'Celebration' Album. Altogether a wonderful compilation double CD of music by some of the world's greatest classical artists and excellent value.
If you like this compilation you might also like the CD 'Baroque Adagios' from the DECCA 'Adagio' series. It has over 2 and a half hours of 'sublime' music including such favourites as Pachabel's Canon, Vivaldi's Concerto No 4 and Albinoni's Adagio all played by distinguished musicians. The series includes 'Movie' Adagio's, 'Romantic Adagios' and the marvelous 'Christmas Adagios'.