This CD is an interesting compilation of classical music selected for the Ken Burns PBS documentary "The War." It was all previously composed for different purposes and (presumably) recorded, so this is a little different from a traditional soundtrack.

As one might expect, the bulk of the music is somber. But it's very, very beautiful. And rather than depicting soul-wrenching horror, most of it seems more peaceful, thoughtful, some of it yearning, some of it offering solace.

Burns has selected a real mix of ensemble sizes, ranging from just one instrument to whole orchestras, and everything in between. The selections are from a mix of composers, ranging from Mendelssohn to Ligeti.

There are no baroque or classical selections, and they tend to weigh a little toward 20th-century tonal expression, but none have in-your-face dissonance.

The performers range from such big names as Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, Benny Goodman and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, to lesser-known performers and ensembles.

While this might be a tasteful expression of some of the more tender, personal feelings that accompany the aftermath of war, it's certainly not limited to just to that subject. The music is lovely and timeless and should be appreciated for what it is, independent of the subject of the title.

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