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Technically, the insides of this package from Naxos deliver what the outside promises: an "A to Z" compilation of classical composers, a 562-page book, and over 150 minutes of music. The implication would be, however, that the book is coordinated with the music, which is only loosely true. The book is a little biographical dictionary covering quite an assortment of classical composers. It is not comprehensive (Aubert is included, but not Chaminade, although many would suggest a reversal in status these days), but it's impressive enough for a volume that will fit in a coat pocket. Each composer's entry is rounded out with recommended recordings -- which are, of course, drawn exclusively from the Naxos catalog. (This may explain why some composers are included and others omitted.) The selections on the two CDs are included in these recommended-recordings listings but not otherwise elaborated in any special way -- there is no attempt to tell listeners what they're hearing in any specific case, or to put... Hide synopsis

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