At the School of Performing Arts, I am always encouraging our students to listen to LOTS of (good) music. Nothing helps budding musicians to grow more quickly than exposure to excellent performances of musical masterpieces. Live performances are preferable, of course, but for day-to-day listening, nothing beats a good collection of recorded classics.
Which is why the collections being offered by Amazon right now for just $5 each are such a great deal! They have a series of collections highlighting composers, instruments, or “moods”. Each collection contains 99 tracks… which means they are about a nickel each!
Each of these collections is worth having, but I’ll give you a few recommendations:
- The 99 Most Essential Bach Masterpieces (the most brilliant Baroque master)
- The 99 Most Essential Handel Masterpieces (includes much of the Messiah)
- The 99 Most Essential Mozart Masterpieces (from the Classical period)
- The 99 Most Essential Dvorák Masterpieces (a taste of the great Romantic-era symphonies here)
Right there is over 40 hours of great music for just twenty bucks! If it were me, I’d stick with the albums arranged by composer, since you’ll start getting some overlap among the other assorted collections. However, if you just get one, go with The 99 Most Essential Pieces of Classical Music. I’d hate to be the one to have to narrow down that list, but it is a GREAT collection!
Click here to browse the rest of the collections. There are nearly 30 to choose from! Note that these are not CD’s, but mp3 downloads. This gives you the freedom to play them on your computer, your iPod (or digital player of your choice), or to make your own CDs.
If you’d like any specific recommendations, I’d be happy to assist you. Happy listening!