The Ultimate Greatest Hits List for Classical Music
All of you classical music fans out there listen up. The 30 Greatest Orchestral Works by The Greatest Courses educational provider (The Teaching Company, 2011) has eight DVDs packed full of great music and compositional music. It’s one of those courses you’ll go back to time and again.
The presenter is Professor Robert Greenberg, music historian-in-residence with San Francisco Performances and a composer of more than 45 works of his own. Greenberg does a number of courses for The Teaching Company including video and audio courses. His voice is great for both the video lectures and the audio series. Greenberg is just animated and humorous enough to keep viewers’ interest and not get on your nerves with pointless humor.
Listening audiences for this 32 lecture series includes music majors, enthusiasts and hobbyists of all ages and genders. It’s really an exciting series even for the most casual of classical music listeners.
Quality and structure of the course is exceptional. Greenberg is in a room with a grand piano that he uses from time to time. He’s dressed in all black and at times paces about the room. Greenberg is one of those professors that talks a lot with his hands which adds a touch of action to the lectures.
Structurally, Greenberg starts each lecture with a historical perspective of the era and the composer of each of the 30 symphonies he has selected. Within minutes of starting each lecture, he interlaces sections of the symphony he is discussing. There is also a course guidebook included that gives tidbits such as a list of definitions for each of the musical forms, a musical timeline and photos of the composers.
Criteria for his selections for the top 30 list “denotes compositions of enduring expressive content and compositional quality-works that evince ongoing popularity by their centrality in the standard repertoire.”Continued on the next page