Friday, March 25, 2011

Curriculum Resource: The Top Ten Records for Your Classical Music Collection

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post with some great resources for timelines, biographies, and other education to assist with teaching music appreciation to your middle schooler.  Today, I want to supplement it with recommendations for the top 10 CDs to play to showcase the best in classical music.

As I stated in my previous post, I'm not an expert in classical music.  So this list comes from the musical expert from the Harmony Fine Arts program, a homeschooling curriculum for the arts, as suggestions for  the top student-friendly introductions to the most important composers in classical music.  

I've arranged the CDs in order of the composers' lives so you can present the music chronologically, rather than attempt to rank them in order of importance or quality.  And while these are works that can be appreciated by students, they are all high-quality recordings by major artists, so they can be enjoyed by adults as well.

1.  Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
The Best of Vivaldi by Naxos  

2.  Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) 
Bach:  Greatest Hits by Sony Classical

3.  Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
The Best of Haydn by Naxos

4.  Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Essential Mozart:  32 Of His Greatest Masterpieces by Decca

5.  Ludwig von Beethoven (1770-1827)
Beethoven:  Greatest Hits by Sony Classical

6.  Frederic Chopin (1810-1849)
Essential Chopin by EMI Classical

7.  Robert Shumann (1810-1856)
Shumann:  Complete Piano Trios by Philips

8.  Peter Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Essential Tchaikovsky by Decca

9.  Anton Dvorak (1841-1904)
The Best of Dvorak by Naxos

10.  Sergie Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)
Rachmaninoff:  Greatest Hits by Sony Classical

These recordings will not only give your family hours of high-quality music, but they cover the length and breadth of traditional classical music.  It is a great way to start a "Do It Yourself" program of teaching music appreciation to your children--and maybe to yourself as well!

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