Sunday, August 05, 2012

the classics

one night while wandering through the music aisles at media play during high school, i picked up a cd called classical jukebox. i wanted to be cultured and knew that i should probably know more about classical music, and this seemed like a good place to start, a sort of "stuff you likely will recognize from somewhere" collection. to this day, it still has my favorite recording of strauss's "blue danube waltz."

sometime during college, we were shooting at someone's house and i remember seeing a shelf full of what looked to be all classical music cds (rca victor spines all have a distinctively boring look to them.) that was pretty cool, i thought, and hoped that someday i would have enough money to afford that much culture in my life.

thankfully, modern technology and new media formats made that much more practical and sooner than i expected.

with rare exception, i have bought a compact disc in a while. instead of browsing the used cd store with my roommates on a saturday morning, i now browse amazon's mp3 store, refusing to pay more than $5 for an album, and often finding treasures for $3 or less.

but classical music has really flourished in this environment. it began when amazon started selling collections of 99 tracks by a particular composer. the cover art featured a white bust of the artist and they were $5. that's five cents a track, a long cry from the $12 i was paying for the 16 songs on classical jukebox. with these, i saturated my itunes with the staples of mozart, beethoven, and bach, and could afford to expand into liszt, dvorak, and schumann as well.
plus, there were compilations: the 99 most essential pieces of classical musicthe 99 most essential pieces of classical music for you mindthe 99 most relaxing pieces of classical musicthe 99 most essential pieces of classical music for spring, and more that i didn't buy. but there was enough that didn't overlap between the collections that, again, at $5, it was a crime against culture to not buy them.

after a few months, it got even better. amazon started selling a series called "rise of the masters", where the cover art replaced a marble bust with an actual dude dressed up like the composer. and instead of 99 tracks for $5, it became 100 tracks.
for $3.

my library is flooded with more of my favorites like mozart and bach, as well as discovering that brahams write so much more that just that lullaby. i even added chopin and grieg, although i haven't really caught on to them yet.

so for the price of a couple of compact discs, i have 6.8 days' worth of classical music.

in no particular order, some of my favorites are:

No comments: