Disc 1: The Last Of the Romantics The first disc opens with an extract from Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto, written in 1901. This is followed by favourite works by Prokofiev, Khachaturian, Falla, Holst, Elgar and Vaughan Williams, all of which look back to the romantic style of the 19th century. The disc also includes part of the slow movement of the most successful concerto written during the 20th century, the Concierto de Aranjuez by Rodrigo. Disc 2: Innovators The composers on this disc include some who broke new ground in tonality and form at the beginning of the century, such as Stravinsky and the Second Viennese school of Webern, Berg and Schoenberg, and others who continued to use the more traditional methods of composition but who wrote in a more advanced style such as Bartók, Britten, Hindemith and Walton. Disc 3: Brave New World The works heard here range across the incredible proliferation of musical language during the last 50 years, from hard-edged modernism to chilled-out minimalism, religiously inspired and otherwise, and include pieces by the older generation of composers like Messiaen, Henze, Lutoslawski and Takemitsu, as well as more recent compositions by Turnage, Tavener, Gubaidulina, Adès and Knussen. Disc 4: America The large and prolific school of American composers active during the 20th century is represented by some extremely popular pieces like Barber's Adagio for Strings, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man, as well as more adventurous works by Ives, Cage, Reich, Carter and Adams. Disc 5: Instrumental And Chamber This CD presents a number of popular pieces for piano, violin and guitar by Falla, Scriabin, Kreisler, Pärt and Villa-Lobos, followed by chamber works such as Schoenbeg's Verklärte Nacht, Schnittke's Menuet and Ravel's String Quartet. Disc 6: Choral And Vocal The final disc begins with one of the 20th century's most successful choral works, Orff's Carmina Burana. This is followed by extracts from other choral pieces by Boulez, Pärt, Tavener, Rutter and McCartney as well as vocal compositions by Rachmaninov, Berio and Lloyd Webber. The set concludes with three romantic operatic arias by Korngold and Puccini, ending with a spectacular performance of 'Nessun Dorma' from Puccini's final opera, Turandot.
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