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Music for a Goddess1 Jules Massenet (1842-1912)Thaïs - Meditation Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Frank Shipway2 Cristoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787)Orfeo ed Euridice - Dance of the Blessed Spirits London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Don Jackson3 Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)Pavane pour une Infante Défunte Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jansug Kakhidze, Alexander Tachmanov, horn4 Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)Madame Butterfly - One Fine Day (Un bel di ved'remo) Camerata Academica Salzburg conducted by Bernhard Paumgartner5 Claude Debussy (1862-1918)The Girl with the Flaxen Hair Martin Souter 6 Franz Schubert (1797-1828)Symphony No 4 in B flat - Andante London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Don Jackson7 Max Bruch (1838-1920)Concerto for Violin No 1 in G minor Op 26 - Adagio Ruggiero Ricci, Bochum Symphony Orchestra conducted by Matthias Kuntzsch8 Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)Bagatelle in A minor 'Für Elise' Martin Souter9 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)The Magic Flute - Aria 'The Queen of the Night' Elena Morozova St. Petersburg Musical Theatre 'Zazerkalye' Chamber Orchestra Conducted by Pavel Bubelnikov10 Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)The Sleeping Beauty - Pas d'action Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Don Jackson11 Alexander Borodin (1833-1887)String Quartet in D - Nocturne 'And This is My Beloved' Gedianov QuartetCCL CDG1058All recordings courtesy of Madacy Entertainment (GB) LtdExcept tracks 5 & 8 - p 1998 Classical Communications LtdThis compilation p & c 2003 Classical Communications LtdExecutive producer Martin SouterImage: Aphrodite, known as the 'Tauride Venus', Roman copy of a Greek original, 3rd century BC, Hermitage, St Petersburg/Bridgeman Art LibraryMade in Great BritainInside book:Music for a GoddessQueen and huntress, chaste and fair,Now the sun is laid to sleep,Seated in thy silver chair,State in wonted manner keep:Hesperus entreats thy light,Goddess, excellently bright.Ben Jonson Cynthia's Revels (1600)Aphrodite or Venus is pictured on the album cover - a goddess from classical history, with her own stories attached. But this album is for goddesses nearer to home - domestic, or worshipped from afar, it is of no matter. Here is music for the goddess in you, or in your partner, wife or colleague! Music composed with the ultimate female in mind, whether flaxen haired or dark, whether old or young, in love or out. Or it is music for a goddess to enjoy in repose, by candlelight, surrounded by perfumes and warmth.Debussy's 'Girl with the flaxen hair' (track 5) may have been real or imaginary. We do not know Beethoven's precise relationship with Elise, for whom he wrote his exquisite piano piece (track 8). Gluck and Tchaikovsky had mythical women in mind (tracks 2 and 10), but all these pieces were written to express the beauty and seductive power of these women in music. Mozart's 'Queen of the Night' is a powerful and dramatic figure in his opera 'The Magic Flute', while the music of Puccini's 'Madame Butterfly' expresses love and adoration in the most monumental terms. The remaining works on this album provide time for repose: some of the most relaxing and finely written melodies of the entire musical repertoire, from the serene joy of Massenet's 'Meditation' to the quiet calm and tranquillity of Max Bruch's most famous violin concerto. Borodin's 'Nocturne' completes the programme with music of long, languorous melodic charm, and a superbly crafted instrumental texture, the four instruments of the string quartet interacting in perfect harmony to create a restful, blissful moment of peace.
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