Released last month, This is Classical Music is the Hong Kong Sinfonietta's latest double-CD. Although the title may seem to state the obvious, it was chosen after many people said they heard pieces in an everyday context without realising they were from the classical stable. 'We thought of this title,' said Yip Wing-sie, the Sinfonietta's conductor and music director, 'because many people these days can't tell classical music from other types. For example, they will go to a wedding and hear the Wedding March from A Midsummer Night's Dream, but few will recognise it as classical music by Mendelssohn.' The CD's 14 tracks whisk the listener through a collection of all-time favourites - from Beethoven's energetic symphonic writing to ballet music by Tchaikovsky, Johann Strauss Jnr's lilting waltz tunes and Rimsky-Korsakov's colourful scoring for his orchestral picture-painting. The pieces were recorded live at last year's concert, Know Your Favourite Orchestral Tunes. The curtain-raiser was a breezy medley of 14 extracts assembled by composer Ng Cheuk-yin, a sort of Hooked on Classics without the disco beat. It was such a hit the orchestra decided to include it on the album. Audiences often asked Yip when the Sinfonietta was going to release a disc like this. When she recommended they go to a record store and look for a compilation CD, their reply was: 'No. I want exactly what I heard tonight.' Margaret Yang, the Sinfonietta's chief executive, asked record company Universal if the project was viable, given all the existing compilations with great artists. 'They were very positive about it for two reasons. The first was that, although there are many compilations available, this CD is recorded as a whole by one orchestra. The company thought this was special. The second reason was based on the belief that, with [conductor] Wing-sie saying this is what you should listen to, many Hong Kong people would buy it,' she said.