The Story of Classical Music

The lives and music of the great composers of classical music unfold in this entertaining chronological account read by conductor and musical personality Marin Alsop. The recording is based on the text of The Story of Classical Music by Henley which blends a historic time line, replete with facts about the Magna Charta, the bubonic plague and the industrial revolution, together with a colorful who’s who of composers, spotlighting more than 90 artists.

All the usual suspects are here – Beethoven, Bach, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, etc. – as are more contemporary composers like John Cage and Philip Glass. As the CD’s sweep over 1200 years of classical music, students will see music grow from the chanting of medieval monks through the symphonies of Beethoven and the grand operas of Wagner, to the huge orchestral sound-world of the 21st century, with its electronics and its film music.

Marin Alsop paints vivid portraits of over 90 composers, each one illustrated with some of his, or her most famous music. Alsop’s easygoing approach works well as she serves as a welcoming tour guide offering fun facts and interesting biographical sketches for listeners. Each era of history and composer’s bio is paired with famous, representative snippets of music-150 in all-performed by world-class musicians.

A fourth enhanced CD in the package contains such extras as quizzes, sheet music, photos and ancillary articles. These CD’s are scheduled in the Revival to Revolution Guide to coordinate with the Hands on Composers Activity Pak twice weekly, providing a wonderful overview of the history of classical music for both parent and student to enjoy together.