Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bach to basics

That was not a typo! I've made that joke countless times, as has everyone who's ever played the organ in the last 300 years.

Anyway, when my husband's grandmother died several years ago, we were given the record collection from her house (along with a few other things). Grandmother and Grandfather amassed a very nice collection over the years, primarily of classical and baroque music. We have a number of other records mixed in among them- things that were my mother-in-law's as a teenager or college student, my uncle's Beatles albums, a set of Time-Life American History records which I highly recommend, and some miscellaneous Christmas albums from various sources.

The rub, of course, was finding a record player.

Happily, they are available. Whether that's "they're still available" or "they're available again" is a matter for question. A not-very-surprising Christmas gift that year from my parents was one of these models that includes a cd player, tape deck, and am/fm radio as well as the turntable. The whole thing looks sort of retro.

All our records and cds are in one place, by the player, and pretty much the player is going from before breakfast until Bluebonnet goes to bed every day. If we're at home, there's usually music playing. I alternate between records and cds, and with the assortment we have to listen to, we have a lot of fun listening.

There is no particular order to the way the records are arranged, but it's happened that we've had a number of JS Bach recordings lately. We have two copies of the Brandenburg concertos. This is not overkill; they're such fun that it's worth hearing them twice as often. They are cheerful without being so overtly peppy as marches or Water Music. They're very pleasant and recognizable, but not trite.

I think there's a certain group of recordings that are essentials. I'd welcome any opinions of additions to such a list. My first thoughts are:

JS Bach- Brandenburg Concertos
Handel- Messiah
Beethoven- Complete 9 Symphonies
Bing Crosby's Merry Christmas
Vivaldi's Four Seasons

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Some of the ones that I would add are:

1. Canon in D - Pachebel (popular at weddings)
2. Strauss - Radetzsky March