Classical Music Classics

This is a brief collection or list of classical music that can be enjoyed by all. Novice listeners might find that they recognize and enjoy much more classical music than they ever thought. Give some of these a listen.

The Mozart Effect: Music for Children

By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Go to catalog

Mozart, amongst all of his many compositions, includes music set to children's poetry. In this CD, Vol.1, you will hear the famous "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." After the simple playing of "Twinkle, Twinkle" you will hear five variations of the melody. The completed music has twelve variations. If you like Mozart,this collection of his music will surely be delightful.

Reserve this title

Messiah

By George Handel

Go to catalog

With out a doubt, the "Messiah" is the most frequently performed choral composition throughout the world. The first part, "Christmas," concludes with the "Hallelujah Chorus" and is heard around the world at Christmas time. The lesser -known part two is performed during the Easter season. If you have never heard the "Hallelujah Chorus," then you must be from another planet!

Reserve this title

Lorin Maazel Conducts Wagner

By Richard Wagner

Go to catalog

Many people are frighted to death of Wagner's music because of its extreme length. BUT have no fear, this is a recording of his operas' Overtures and Preludes. These preludes and overtures have been used in many movies like Excalibur, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Shadow of the Vampire, Apocalypse Now and more. Wagner's music can be powerful, big muscled, or so sad to make one weep.

Reserve this title

Le Sacre du Printemps (Rite of Spring)

By Igor Stravinsky

Go to catalog

This is music originally written for ballet. The overall subject is Pagan Ritual. The music is recognizable, but many people find it just too dissonant for comfort. It premiered in Paris in 1913, resulting in a riot. It remains a controversial piece. His ballet titled "The Firebird" is far more acceptable to the ear, and has a magnificent climactic ending. Both are landmarks in their fields. Multiple copies are available in the library's collection. OnE of the copies contains Stravinsky's Firebird Suite - it's spectacular.

Reserve this title

La Mer; Jeux; Le Martyre de Saint Sebastien; Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un Faune

By Claude Debussy

Go to catalog

There are two masterpieces on this recording, "La Mer" (The Sea) and "Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune" (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun). In "La Mer," Debussy's use of instrumental colors brilliantly produce the many sounds and moods of the sea. The "Prelude" as described by Debussy were "successive scenes which the desires and dreams of the faun pass through in the heat of the afternoon."

Reserve this title

Four Seasons

By Antonio Vivaldi

Go to catalog

Vivaldi wrote well over 700 compositions (four hundred concertos, forty some operas, and many compositions for the voice). In the "Four Seasons," it is the first movement, "Spring," that is the most recognizable of the four seasons. It was used for months by the Weather Channel. "Spring" also found its way into movies, i.e. Elvira Madigan and The Banger Sisters to mention a couple. In "Spring", Vivaldi gives us a sense of brightness and lightness, just perfect for the feel of Spring.

Reserve this title

El Salon Mexico; Appalachian Spring; Rodeo; Dance Symphony; Fanfare for the Common Man

By Aaron Copland

Go to catalog

This music is typical of all of Copland. You will hear his use of jazz and folk music. Beginning with Copland's homage to the land below the Rio Grande, "El Salon Mexico," and continuing on with his lesser-known "Dance Symphony" (a ghoulish work taken from his never-staged 1920's ballet "Grohg"), Dorati and his orchestra move to the stirring "Fanfare For The Common Man," and then traverse the suites Copland extracted from his two ultra-popular ballets--"Rodeo" and "Appalachian Spring."

Reserve this title

Pachelbel's Greatest Hit: Canon in D

By Johann Pachelbel

Go to catalog

The Canon also appears on the CD titled Dinner Specials which also features nice representative compositions by Vivaldi, Mozart and J.S. Bach.

Reserve this title

Carmina Burana

By Carl Orff

Go to catalog

It is believed the text for this secular cantata was written by monks/young clergy students from the 12th or 13th centuries. Some texts are about love, eroticism, and humor. The music is like Audio Fireworks. The "O Fortuna" has been utilized in oh so many movies.

Reserve this title

Bolero; Alborada del Gracioso; Rapsodie Espanole; La Valse

By Maurice Ravel

Go to catalog

Many folks will immediately recognize "Bolero." It begins with a lonely snare drum and one woodwind instrument. The drum keeps repeating itself over and over throughout, and getting louder and louder as more instruments are added over and over with the full orchestra finally coming in, leading to a stunning climatic ending. "Bolero" has been featured in several films. Remember the movie 10? The library has other recordings of Ravel's orchestral works, all quite stunning in their orchestration.

Reserve this title