Just when you thought you owned every possible calming/relaxing/smooth/chillout classical track, up pops Smooth Classics for Rough Days, a three-CD set from Classic FM. The format is familiar: slow movements (such as the gripping Adagietto from Mahler's Symphony No. 5) mixed with slushy pieces from the 19th century (such as Bruch's Romance for viola and orchestra), peppered with a few contemporary treats (witness one of Ludovico Einaudi's piano pieces).
The collection is, however, far from predictable. Music by Pachelbel, Albinoni, Handel, Mozart and Rachmaninov, typically the staples of this sort of collection, are interspersed with pieces from John Tavener (a slightly stodgy performance of "The Lamb"), Vitezslav Novak (a pupil of Dvorák) and Peter Maxwell Davies (the nostalgic Farewell to Stromness).
As always, this is a smartly presented box set from Classic FM which includes introductory notes to each of the 33 pieces.