Those of you who want a truly wonderful soundtrack of excellent music performed by talented artists at the top of their game to accompany your reading of titillating two-bit erotica, you've got it. As the album notes proudly proclaim, Fifty Shades of Grey: The Classical Album "aims to provide the perfect accompaniment to the Fifty Shades reading experience, setting a mysterious and alluring atmosphere with just the slightest hint of danger." What more can one ask? Get out your stereo if you're old enough, your iPod if not, and grab one of your well-thumbed "Shadey" tomes, and have at it. You might well enjoy the music so much you would be tempted to listen to it on its own. You might enjoy it so much that you might want to hear some more, and if that happens, well it would be hard to complain about how that kind of result was achieved. I guess sometimes the ends justify the means.
Of course, this is not really about erotic trilogy, a series that has caused much critical hand-wringing and popular success. It is about an attempt to piggyback on that success. In some sense, it is unnecessary to review the music. It is a selection of some of the greatest pieces of classical music from the 16th century down through the modern period. It is music that had stood and is standing the test of time.
If it has anything, it has variety.
It includes beloved old chestnuts like Pachelbel's "Canon in D" and Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring." There are lesser known gems like Tallis' "Spem in Alium" and the "Bailero" from Cantaloube's Chants d'auvergne. It features vocal music and instrumentals. Choral works and pieces for the vocal soloist turn up as well. It has orchestral works and compositions for the individual instrument. It offers music from countries around the globe. This is a veritable cornucopia of ripe musical fruit.