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.
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
You may browse amazon.com for these titles using the search window.
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 Ilyich 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