Classical Classics is a compilation of CD reviews and fascinating facts relating to the composers and musicians on those CDs. This book does not spend any time on lesser recordings, but you really don't need that information anyway. What you want to know is, "What's the best music available and who made the best recording of that music?" Those are the questions Classical Classics answers, and it does so for over 120 albums.In simple, understandable language this book will tell you which recordings are the best and why they are. In addition, you'll get some captivating information about the composers and musicians on those recordings, as well as the stories behind the music itself. To top it off, Classical Classics includes several irreverent yet accurate biographies of some of history's great composers.If you're lucky enough to have your classical music collection completed, you'll still want this book for the intriguing details it provides involving each composer, musician, conductor, and orchestra. Let's face facts, these are some of the most brilliant and unconventional characters in history; some of their accomplishments and quirks are incredible. On that level, Classical Classics reads like a novel. As a reference for buying CDs, this book could become your Bible.Whether you're a longtime classical aficionado or a relative tyro, or whether you have a doctorate in music or don't know a quarter-note from a quarter-horse, Classical Classics will clear up all the fog when it comes to buying classical CDs.Along with reliable CD recommendations, Classical Classics provides you the stories behind the music, the composers, and the people who made the recordings. For example, you'll read about: -The legends behind the Moonlight Sonata.-The world-class conductor who hated to conduct.-The pianist who absentmindedly hummed along while playing...in the recording studio -The pianist who got up off his deathbed to perform a final recital.-The composer who would agonize for years before releasing a composition. -The composer who loved to compose but hated writing down the music.-The composer who could compose one movement in his head while writing down another.-The composer who wrote 80 years worth of music but only lived to age 65.-The composer who wrote over 2,000 major pieces.-The composer who wrote a set of pieces, one in every conceivable key, sharp/flat, and major/minor combination.-The orchestra who recorded an average of an album a week for 40 years.-The orchestra who recorded classical music as well as some written by Jimi Hendrix.Classical Classics is the book for starting or expanding your classical music library, or for expanding your knowledge of classical music in general
About the author: For many years, Ed Nielsen reviewed classical CDs for Prime Times, a regional publication in Western North Carolina. Classical Classics is a compilation of those reviews and many more. He has played the accordion, trombone, and piano at various points in his life, but nothing in recent years. An admitted classical music snob, insisting on only the very best in his personal CD collection, he owns a copy of every recording in this book. Nielsen is also the author of Warriors, nine personal accounts by Vietnam War veterans. He and his wife Connie are retired and live in Hendersonville, NC.