In the first part of this series, we scrutinized Philip Koro’s classical music on DVD picks. Now for my picks–this time, in the CD collection. Here they are, in no particular order:
Flute Sonatas- Joachim Quantz is not the first name that comes to mind when you think of Baroque composers (more likely it is J.S. Bach), but he deserves his recognition, too. This recording not only gives you a feel for his style, but the sound quality is amazing. Go for baroque.
The Complete Works for Piano- Today, the Debussy piece “Clair de Lune” is so commonplace that even someone without a background in classical music would immediately know the tune. It’s hard to believe, but in the rough-and-tumble world of nineteenth century Paris, Claude was a rebel–complete with disheveled beard. Expand your appreciation of this genius with Geiseking’s interpretation! Although an older recording of Debussy’s complete catalog of solo piano compositions, it still will provide hours of listening pleasure.
The Planets- Gustav Holst’s perennial favorite is one of the classical pieces that first got me hooked. Chances are, you’ve probably heard some of the compositions from this suite. The popularity of this work, while definitely deserved, obscures his other works, which are just as noteworthy. Try out his First and Second Suites for Band after you return from outer space.
Le Sacre Du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) – This is the other work that made me an aficionado. Stravinsky’s ballet score is still as sublimely atavistic as it was back in 1913, where the opening night led to a riot by offended Parisians. Have your own riot at home or in the car (or even at work!). Not to be missed.
Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis- A long time ago, my grandmother told me that one of my distant relatives roomed with Ralph Vaughan Williams at university. Whether or not this is true, his compositions are lovely– the aural equivalent of dental floss. This compilation CD has one of his most well-known works, including The Lark Ascending.
Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio- I admit, this isn’t exactly “classical music” to the genre purist. But bear with me. Claude Bolling’s piece is a rich blend of jazz and classical sensibilities, complete with some fancy work on the flute by Jean-Pierre Rampal, a noted classical flautist. It makes for a refreshing listen, one that yields more nuance with each new hearing.