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Western Classical Newbie Corner

Newcomers to the field of Western Classical Music often have been told that classical music is for snobs and highbrows. This is nonsense. No matter what style of music you are accustomed to, you will find a great reward in listening to some of the finest music produced on our planet. If the music sounds different to you because of unfamiliarity, bear with it and give it a chance. Notice how it makes you feel.

Importantly, it is necessary to give any great music your full attention. When it was first performed, Western classical music was not played in the background as it is today. Before the days of recorded and broadcast sound, performances of great classical compositions were few and far between. When a great symphony was played, many musicians had to dedicate themselves to the task, and the audience sat with rapt attention, hungry for each note. You should seat yourself comfortably, lay back, close your eyes, empty your mind of mundane thoughts, and listen carefully. Give the music the same attention you would a great book.

Starter CD Kit

We have chosen a number of compositions to recommend for entry-level into Western classical music. These selections are mostly drawn from the romantic era, but all of them are written in the romantic style. They are all great compositions and ones that you will probably enjoy listening to for the remainder of your life.

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The Planets by Gustav Holst

Adagio from the Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo

Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber

The Nutcracker Suite by Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky

Romanian Rhapsody No. 2 by Georges Enesco

Masquerade Suite by Aran Khachaturian

Firebird Suite, 1919 Version by Igor Stravinsky

Piano Concerto No. 2 by Serguei Rachmaninov

Piano Concerto by Edvard Grieg

New World Symphony by Anton Dvorak

Symphonies No. 5, 6, and 9 by Ludwig von Beethoven


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