The Bells of St. Genevieve and Other Baroque Delights is my classical music recording for the week. Downloading the MP3 version seems to be the only way to capture this music, but it is worth it. Below is a positive review from an Amazon reader. Based on the way I frequently listen to music (one cut at a time) I am a fan of compilations such as this one.
“The Bells of St. Genevieve” is a compilation of Baroque pieces that would serve as an excellent introduction for someone who would like to hear more of the Baroque style beyond “Spring” from “The Four Seasons” or “Canon” by Pachelbel. Granted, this CD does contain “Canon” (what Baroque compilation could resist including it), but it doesn’t stop there.
I’m not an expert when it comes to Baroque music, but I am something beyond a beginner; I guess I’d consider myself a moderately knowledgeable amateur. However, before purchasing this album, I had never heard the title piece, “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba,” or track # 10 “Guitar Concerto” by Vivaldi. Some of the other tracks were familiar but not well-known to me. I was also pleased to see the inclusion of the turbulent Presto from “Summer” instead of the ubiquitous “Spring.”
Compilations are often quite useful in helping neophytes get a better understanding and appreciation for classical music (I know they’ve helped me over the years). Not all compilations are a good mix or contain decent recordings; many seem like carbon copies of each other. This one, however, has good sound quality and great recordings from the likes of James Galway, Pinchas Zukerman, Canadian Brass, and James Levine.
I recommend this album to anyone wishing to branch out a bit in Baroque music, but who is not sure where to start. I’ve discovered new favorites from listening to this album.”