Five gift recommendations from Classical 101's music manager
If you're not ready to spring for five gold rings for your true love this season, one of these five recordings could be the perfect gift for the classical music lover in your life.
HAYDN: COMPLETE LONDON SYMPHONIES (5 discs). Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra, conductor Adam Fischer. Label: Brilliant Classics. Catalog Number: BRI96049. UPC: 5028421960494.
Adam Fischer’s performances with the Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra of all 104 Haydn Symphonies is considered a “gold standard.” This set is the last in the series, Haydn’s “London” Symphonies 93-104.
FARRENC: SYMPHONIES NOS. 2 & 3. Solistes Européens Luxembourg, conductor Christoph König. Label: Naxos. Catalog Number: 8573706. UPC: 747313370672.
Louise Farrenc’s beautiful nineteenth-century music is becoming better known as more recordings of her works are being released. Her Second Symphony owes a bit to Mozart, and her lyric Third Symphony will remind you of Mendelssohn and Schumann.
TIN: THE LOST BIRDS: AN EXTINCTION ELEGY. Voces8, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Christopher Tin. Label: Decca Classics. Catalog Number: B0036123-02. UPC: 2894858030.
Host Jennifer Hambrick reported on this 2022 release noting that American composer Christopher Tin “has memorialized the world’s extinct birds in The Lost Birds: An Extinction Elegy." This is wonderful and emotional music for orchestra and voices in a recording featuring the brilliant choral group Voces8.
VARIOUS: THE COVID-19 SESSIONS. Cantus Vocal Ensemble. Label: Signum Classics. Catalog Number: SIDCD819. UPC: 635212081921.
The COVID-19 Sessions were first released as videos on YouTube and Facebook in the spring of 2020 and racked up millions of views, prompting Signum Classics to digitally release the music in high-quality audio. The eight-member male a cappella vocal ensemble from Minneapolis delivers heart-felt performances of music by Jean Sibelius, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Hildegard von Bingen, Eric Whitacre, Billy Joel, and more.
TCHAIKOVSKY: THE NUTCRACKER. New York City Ballet. Lincoln Center at the Movies, wide-screen, DVD or Blu-ray. Label: C Major. Catalog Number: 738608. UPC: 814337013868.
Tchaikovsky’s beloved melodies and George Balanchine’s stunning choreography transport the young and young at heart to a magical world in this iconic holiday classic. A must-have for your video collection!