An informed and accessible introduction to over 800 years of classical music through the lives and masterworks of the great composers -- includes 2 CDs
More people than ever are buying and listening to classical music, but to many more who would like to enjoy it, "classical" suggests an elite, inaccessible world. "Classical Music" -- the book and the CDs -- have been prepared expressly to welcome and guide those who would like to become better acquainted with the enduring musical works and composers of the Western world, from Gregorian chants to Beethoven to the contemporary explorations of Philip Glass.
The book consists of studies of the lives and works of some 150 composers selected by Gramophone magazine, the internationally renowned classical music authority. These composers appear in approximate chronological order, from the year 1100 to the present. For each composer, John Stanley and the editors of Gramophone have selected representative works to illustrate the main characteristics of the composer's style. Stanley gives careful attention to the historical times that inspired the music in an effort to relate the composers' lives and their works to the broader culture of the period.
A two-disc CD set brings together a stirring and majestic collection of 34 compositions -- over two hours of classical favorites as performed by top international orchestras -- featuring such maestros as Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Handel, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and Verdi. You'll be enchanted by the beauty and range of the compositions, from the lush, opulent "Canon in D" by Johann Pachelbel to the simple rustic beauty of Ralph Vaughn Williams's "Fantasia on 'Greensleeves'". [via]