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Some Recommendations For Christmas Gifts In The Form Of Classical CDs And DVDs

 It's almost Christmas ,and as usual ,everyone is looking for ideas for gifts . Why not surprise some one you love who isn't into Classical Music with Cds or DVDs of the music of the classical masters ?  You never know what might come of this. Possibly it could kindle a life long love of classical music !

  Even if your loved ones don't know Beethoven from a baseball ,it's never too late to start enjoying classical music . Or for your children,grandchildren ,neivces and nephews this could be a great way to foster love of the classics .

  Any of these works would be a great place to start :

  Johann Sebastian Bach :  Brandeburg Concertos .  Goldberg Variations . The Four Suites for orchestra . Mass in B Minor . Suites for cello . Sonatas and Partitas for violin . Assorted suites for piano or harpsichord . Magnificat . The Well Tempered Clavier .

Ludwig Van Beethoven : The 9 symphonies .(available singly or in sets of all nine) . The Five piano concertos (also singly or in complete sets). Violin Concerto . Assorted overtures (Egmont,Coriolan, Leonore etc. 32 piano sonatas (also single or complete sets.). Fidelio (his only opera,also available in DVD). Missa Solemnis.

Johannes Brahms: The four symphonies . Piano concertos 1 or 2. Violin concerto . Variations on a theme by Haydn. A German Requiem . Assorted songs . Assorted piano pieces .Georges Bizet : Carmen (CD or DVD)

Max Bruch: Violin Concerto no 1. Hector Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique .Harold in Italy . Requiem. The Childhood of Christ. The Damnation of Faust . Roman Carneval overture. Romeo &Juliette. (suite or complete work).

Alexander Borodin: Polovetzian Dances from Prince Igor. Symphony no 2. In the Steppes of Central Asia.  Frederic Chopin: Assorted piano works :  Preludes, Etudes , Mazurkas,Nocturnes, etc. Piano concertos 1 and 2.

Claude Debussy: La Mer (The sea). Prelude to the afternoon of a faune. Iberia . Nocturnes for orchestra.  Antonin Dvorak: Symphonies 7,8,9. Cello concerto . Carneval overture . Slavonic Dances .  Sir Edward Elgar: Enigma Variations. Cello Concerto . Symphonies 1,2.  Cockgaine overture .Pomp and Circumstance marches.

Cesar Franck : Symphony in D minor . Violin sonata . The Accursed Huntsamn.  George Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue. An American in Paris . Porgy and Bess (CD or DVD) . Piano concerto. Edvard Grieg : Piano concerto . Peer Gynt suite . Assorted piano pieces . George Frideric Handel : Water music .Music for the Royal Fireworks. Messiah.  Gustav Holst : The Planets . Joseph Haydn : Symphonies 88,92, 94, 100,101,102,103,104) . Trumpet concerto . Oratorio; The Creation ,(based on Genesis).

Franz Liszt : Les Preludes ,symphonic poem . Piano concertos 1,2. Mephisto Waltz (available in piano or orchestral form ). Hungarian Rhapsodies for piano (or orchestra).  Edouard Lalo :Symphonie Espagnole,for violin and orchestra . Gustav Mahler : Symphonies  1,2,4,5,9.  Das Lied von der Erde (The song of the earth ) .Songs of a Wayfarer .

Felix Mendelssohn : Symphonies 3 (Sottish), 4,(Italian . Overture to a Midsummer Night's Dream . Violin Concerto . Overture-The Hebrides (Fingal's Cave).  Modest Mussorgsky : Pictures at an Exhibition (avaialble on piano or for orchestra) . Boris Godunov ,opera, available on CD or DVD. Night on Bald Mountain .

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart : Symphonies  28,29, 35,36,38,39,40,41. Piano concertos no 9, 20,21, 22,23,24,25. Violin concertos (5) . Operas: Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro(The marriage of Figaro), The Magic Flute (CD or DVD).

Sergei Prokofiev : Symphonies 1, 5. Piano concerto no 3.  Liautenant Kizhe suite . Scythian suite . Violin concertos no 1,2.  Suite form ballet Romeo and Juliet .  Maurice Ravel :  Bolero .La Valse . Suite no 2 from Daphnis and Chloe (or complete ballet score ). Pavane for a dead Princess . Giacomo Puccini :Operas; La Boheme, Tosca, Madama Bitterfly, Turandot,(CD or DVD).

Sergei Rachmaninov :  Piano concertos 1,2,3,4. Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini . Symphony no 2.  Assorted piano pieces .  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov : Scheherezade(suite for orchestra) . Capriccio Espagnol . Russian Easter overture . Ottorino Respighi: Symphonic poems  The Pines of Rome, The Fountains of Rome,Roamn Festivals . Gioacchino Rossini : Opera; The Barber of Seville,CD or DVD ,plus overtures to the various operas. 

Richard Strauss : Symphonic poems : Don Juan ,Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, Death and Transfiguration , Also Sprach Zarathustra (Thus spake Zarathustra This spake Zarathustra , made famopus by the Kubrick film 2001). Ein Heldenleben )A Hero's life).  Johann Strauss (The waltz king,no relation to Richard),  assorted waltes and polkas,including Blue Danube, Emperor waltz etc.

Igor Stravinsky :  The Firebird Ballet (or suite from it) Ballet, Petrushka . The Rite of Spring . Franz Schubert : symphonies 5,8, 9.  Trout Quintet.  Quintet in C for strings . Assorted songs . Robert Schumann: symphonies 1,2,3,4.  Piano concerto . Quintet for piano and strings . Assorted songs ,including Dichterliebe (poet's love) .

Jean Sibellius : symphonies 1,2, 5. The Swan of Tuonela . Finlandia . Violin concerto . Tapiola . 

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky :  Symphonies 4,5,6. 1812 Overture .Romeo and Juliet . Suies from the ballets Nutcracker , Sleeping Beauty and Swan lake,opr complete ballet scores .Violin concerto.Piano concerto no 1.  Francesca Da Rimini .Opera, Eugene Onegin )CD or DVD).  

Giuseppe Verdi : Requiem .  Operas; Rigoletto ,La Traviata , Il Trovatore (The troubador) ,Aida, Otello ) (CD or DVD).

Richard Wagner : Preludes and overtures to operas Rienzi, The Flying Dutchman , Lohengrin, The Ride of the Valkyries , Tristan and Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg(The mastersingers of Nuremberg),Parsifal. Siegfried Idyll.

  These are just some of the most famous classical works and perfect for classical newbies . For operas, make sure you get CD sets with booklet containing original libretto and  Englsih translation;Not all opera sets have this.  For the symphonies , recordings by such great cnductors as Leonard Bernstein,Herbert von Karajan, Sir Georg Solti, George Szell, Eugene Ormandy, Andre Previn, James Levine, Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim , Neeme Jarvi, etc are recommended. For the concertos, such great musicians as violinists Jascha Heifetz,Itzhak Perlman and Anne-Sophie Mutter ,pianists  Vladimir Ashkenazy,Artur Rubinstein,Claudio Arrau,  Alfred Brendel, etc, and cellists Mstislav Rostropovich , Lynn Harrel and Yo Yo Ma are recommended .

 For the operas, great singers such as Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo. Renee Fleming,Leontyne Price, Maria Callas, Sherrill Milnes, Bryn Terfel, Thomas Hampson, Joan Sutherland and Marilyn Horne etc are recommended. For the bidget concious, Naxos records offers performers who are not quite as famous,but still excellent at bargain prices .  Check classicstoday.com for recommendations, and you can easily get CDs and DVDs from amazon.com or arkivmusic.com etc.  Good hunting !

Posted: Dec 09 2010, 06:34 PM by the horn | with no comments
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