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This 6 CD set contains 100 tracks of romantic piano music from the catalogues of EMI Classics and Virgin Classics performed by some of the world’s finest pianists. The works range from well-loved gems of the classical repertoire by Beethoven, Brahms and Chopin to compositions by more modern composers like Lennon and McCartney and Michael Nyman

Further details of the programmes are as follows:

Each of the six CDs is devised as a concert programme to make an enjoyable listening experience individually, or together as an attractive collection of well-known romantic piano works.

The first CD begins with one of the most recognisable openings in the romantic classical repertoire: the pulsating chords and sweeping melody of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto. This is followed by two further popular favourites: the 18th Variation from Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and the slow movement from Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor. Other famous melodies are heard in solo pieces like Liszt’s Liebestraum No.3 and Chopin’s Étude in E known as ‘Tristesse’ and the slow movement from Mozart’s beautiful Piano Concerto No.21 in C used so effectively in the soundtrack of the film Elvira Madigan.

The rest of the CDs follow a similar pattern and present a large number of works that will be familiar to most listeners, even if they don’t know their names, because they have been heard in the soundtracks of major films or on the radio or TV. They include with classical masterpieces by Beethoven. Schumann and Chopin and range through the cool elegance of Satie’s Gnossienne No.1 and Gymnopédie No.1, via other French classics like Debussy’s ‘Clair de lune’ and Fauré’s ‘Pavane’ and colourful Latin music by Falla, Albéniz and Villa-Lobos to the full-blooded piano concertos of Liszt and Rachmaninov as well as Gershwin’s famous American classic Rhapsody in Blue, heard in Woody Allen’s film Manhattan.

Included on CD 6 are a number of works for piano and orchestra specially written for film soundtracks in the form of full-scale concertos, which have attained great popularity in their own right. These include Richard Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto heard in the film Dangerous Moonlight, The Dream of Olwen by Charles Williams from the film While I live, Cornish Rhapsody by Hubert Bath from Love Story and Miklós Rózsa’s Spellbound Concerto from the Alfred Hitchcock psychological mystery thriller Spellbound.

Also on CD 6 is some of the hypnotic music by Michael Nyman from the film The Piano (‘The Heart Asks Pleasure First’) and Richard Rodney Bennett is heard playing some of his own music from the score of the film Murder on the Orient Express. A particular highlight of this final CD are some iconic songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney in highly romantic arrangements for piano and full orchestra – ‘Michelle’, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ and, the final track in the programme, ‘The Fool on the Hill’.

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