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Various works and artists, details below
[Blu-Ray: 108.28 + SACD: 78.14]

This is a rather odd release, clearly intended for the audiophile market. It consists of an SACD with extracts from various works in the MDG catalogue. There is a second Blu-Ray disc with the same items and an additional thirty minutes of tracks intended to test the audio set-up of a Blu-Ray system. The musical extracts are given with extensive quotations from reviews in various publications, including a considerable number from this site; but the musical content is more reminiscent of the cover-mounted CDs that used to be supplied with various publications such as Classic CD and Gramophone, with many of the items truncated in one way or another. Of the 28 tracks only one exceeds six minutes in duration.
There are some very good individual items included in these tracks, beginning with an extract from the scherzo of Bruckner’s Symphony No 0 played by the Beethoven Orchester Bonn under Stefan Blunier; but the problem lies with the term ‘extract’ - we are not even given the complete movement, just the scherzo section shorn of its trio and repeat. The Schumann scherzo from the Symphony No 4 is even more of a bleeding chunk, as is the extract from Liszt’s Totentanz cruelly cut off in mid-flow. There are some interesting rarities, such as the excerpts from Ponchielli’s Euphonium Concerto and Dorati’s Divertimento, as well as the expected choral and baroque items, although here again we are often given individual movements rather than complete works.
The main raison d’être of this disc is clearly therefore intended not primarily for musical consumption, but for its ‘hi-fi’ elements. The producers are frank about this: “Simply listen to this disc from start to finish, and enjoy the variety of its sounds and acoustics…[The] extensive test section…will help you to calibrate your system - be it stereo or multi-channel state-of-the-art - in a much more balanced way, so you will never have to be annoyed at sound reproduction again.” A laudable aim, but one suspects that in practice the listener will nevertheless always wish to make adjustments to balance and tone to suit his or her own preferences in different styles of music.
To discuss the individual tracks in detail - they are listed at the end of this review - would not therefore address the main purpose of this disc, although one might note that cover-mounted CDs advertising the output of a particular catalogue were generally made available free of charge while this set appears to retail for over $30. The performances, or the bits of them we get to hear, are fine and the recordings are as excellent as one would expect. We are not given details of the recording venues, but the notes in the booklet come in a wide variety of languages. The tracks succeed one each other with no more than the usual disjunction one might expect from such a varied programme, although the eruption of the Shostakovich Jazz Suite immediately after the Beethoven sonata gives the listener a real jolt.
Paul Corfield Godfrey

Track listing (in alphabetical order)
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Ich ruf’ zu dir, BWV 639 [2.30]
Hariolf Schlichtig (viola), Yumi Sekiya (piano)
Mein Seele erhebt den Herren [orch RESPIGHI]
Beethoven Orchester Bonn/Stefan Blunier
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Piano Sonata in F minor, Op.57: Allegro ma non troppo [5.08]
Jin Ju (piano)
Oskar BOHME (1870-1938)
Brass Sextet, Op.30: Scherzo [2.25]
Ensemble Wolfgang Bauer
Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
Symphony No 0, WAB 100: Scherzo [excerpt] [2.38]
Beethoven Orchester Bonn/Stefan Blunier
Frederick CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Étude, Op.10/4 [1.34]
Hardy Rittner (piano)
Nocturne in F sharp, Op.15/2 [3.41]
Elisabeth Leonskaja (piano)
Antal DORATI (1906-1988)
Divertimento: Bergamasca [2.11]
Yeon-Hee Kwak (oboe), Munich Radio Orchestra/Johannes Goritski
Johannes ECCARD (1555-1613)
Missa ‘Mon coeur se recommende’: Sanctus and Hosanna [2.06]
Norddeutscher Kammerchor/Maria Jürgensen
Mario GIULIANI (1781-1829)
Serenata: Rondo [3.47]
Andrea Lieberknecht (flute), Frank Bungarten (guitar)
Norbert GLANZBERG (1910-2001)
Suite Yiddish [arr Frederic CHASLIN]: Jossele un Jankele af der Britshke [2.08]
Mulhouse Symphony Orchestra/Daniel Klajner
George Frederick HANDEL (1685-1759)
Sonata, Op.1/2: Allegro [1.54]
Heiko ter Scheggert (recorder), Zvi Meniker (harpsichord)
Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Totentanz (1849): excerpt [4.06]
Claudius Tanski (piano), Beethoven Orchester Bonn/Stefan Blunier
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Piano Concerto No 16, K451: Rondo [6.49]
Christian Zacharias (piano/cond), Lausanne Chamber Orchestra
Amilcare PONCHIELLI (1834-1886)
Euphonium Concerto, Op.144 [excerpt] [2.24]
Roland Fröscher (euphonium), Mecklenbergische Staatskapelle Schwerin/Matthias Foremny
Francis POULENC (1899-1963)
Sept Chansons (1936): Marie [2.01]
Norddeutscher Figuralchor/Jörg Straube
Max REGER (1873-1916)
O Jesulein suss [2.47]
Norddeutscher Figuralchor/Jörg Straube
Heinrich SCHEIDEMANN (1596-1663)
Jesu, du wollst uns weisen, WV 78 [1.37]
Leo van Doeselaar (organ)
Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951)
Notturno (1896) [3.2o]
Beethoven Orchester Bonn/Stefan Blunier
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Rosamunde: Huntsmens’ chorus [1.59]
Schweizer Kammerchor.Musikkollegium Winterthur/Douglas Boyd
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Piano Quartet, Op.47: Scherzo [2.24]
Mozart Piano Quartet
Piano Sonata No 1, Op.11: Aria [3.28]
Jim Ju (piano)
Symphony No 4, Op.120: Scherzo [3.15]
Lausanne Chamber Orchestra/Christian Zacharias
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Jazz Suite No 2: Marcia [2.53]
Selmer Saxharmonic/Milan Turkovic
Antonio SOLER (1729-1783)
Sonata No 104: Allegro [1.04]
Godelieve Schrama (harp)
Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959)
Distribution des fleurs [3.35]
Andrea Lieberknecht (bass flute), Frank Bungarten (guitar)
Etude No 1 (1928) [1.23]
Frank Bungarten (guitar)
‘Classica Venezolana’
Heraclio Fernández (arr Omar Acosta): El Diablo suelto [2.14]
Anette Mailburg (flute), Nirse González (guitar), Jesús González Brito (cuatro)