Various - Classical Chillout
It is very easy to be cynical when faced with a double cd of ‘classical’ music which has no appreciably coherent strand running through it, and I certainly feel an eyebrow arching as I note that the content has primarily been curated on the basis of whether it has featured on ITV3 in-between episodes of Inspector Wexford. Du Pain, Du Vin, Du Classical Chillout.
There are, of course, two sides to every story and, much as it pains me to admit it, this hotch-potch of classical pieces, culled from random composers and disparate periods in Western musical history, actually sits together very well indeed. Allow yourself to be immersed in the sublime, calming strings and it is hard to decry the resultant feelings of intense calm. It succeeds, therefore, in its objective as a classical chillout album and, for those of us who can remember the ghastly, criminality of Hooked on Classics or the soulless, ghoulish persona of Richard Clayderman, this is a remarkable step forward in the marketing of classics to the proles.
There’s nothing to be ashamed of in picking up this album, we are all busy people and, hell, maybe some of us are too daunted to think of picking up a book and a few coherent works by individual composers and deciding for ourselves what to listen to. This is the Cilit Bang of classical music – Adagio and the stress is gone; but after two discs of classical porn, money shot following money shot, I’m left feeling a little weary and in need of some context. If you have any priot knowledge of the genre then steer clear, but otherwise this is an excellent introduction for the layperson, albeit by no means comprehensive.