Naxos, the dream label of the classical-music-lover-on-a-budget, put together 24 Hours of Classical Music exclusively for download customers looking for a bargain and a way into the world of classical music. In 316 tracks, anyone who wants a more thorough introduction to classical music than is found on the typical greatest-hits or essentials compilations need look no further. (It would also suit as background music for that one day when you need to impress someone with your sophistication.) Many of the works here are complete, meaning you get the full composition, not just one movement of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 or just the "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. It's also not just the most familiar pieces from the Baroque and Romantic eras. The selections range from the lute music of Renaissance composer John Dowland and the mystical chants of Hildegard von Bingen to the operas of Richard Wagner and ballets of Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky. The artists here are very highly respected, as are many of their recordings for Naxos, so the buyer needn't worry that these are less than professional performances. There's Jenö Jandó performing Beethoven piano sonatas, Marin Alsop conducting Brahms' Symphony No. 2, the Oxford Schola Cantorum singing Fauré's Requiem, and the Kodály Quartet playing Haydn's string quartets, just to name a few. This is truly an exceptional bargain for the casual classical music listener in the digital age.
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