In the vast and wide-ranging world of 'classical' music there is truly something there for everyone - pieces which once discovered represent the start of an exciting and irresistible journey which will provide a lifetime's listening pleasure.
For example, those who are particularly excited by hearing instrumentalists working at full stretch will thrill to the likes of Liszt and Paganini, or if something a little more reserved and self-contained is required, the chamber music of Haydn or Mozart would be a good starting point.
If a full symphony orchestra in overdrive is more to your taste then Tchaikovsky or Richard Strauss could well fit the bill, whereas those who have already warmed to Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons' might well try the music of some of the great Italian's contemporaries such as Handel, Johann Sebastian Bach or Domenico Scarlatti. Whatever your tastes may be, there has never been a better time to start building a 'classical' music collection on CD.
Any attempt to define what is meant literally by the term 'classical' music is fraught with difficulty. How does one encapsulate in just a few words a musical tradition which encompasses such infinite varieties of style and expression, from the monastic intonings of Gregorian chant to the laid-back jazz inflections of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, from the elegant poise of Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik to the despairing, heightened emotionalism of Tchaikovsky's "Pathetique" Symphony?
One is treading on very dangerous ground indeed if one pre-supposes that it is simply 'superior' to other musical types such as popular, jazz, rock and the like, let alone the music of other cultures.
With such a breathtaking variety of material available, it is an awesome task to know just where to begin your disc collection, and as a result expensive mistakes are often made as tempting looking purchases turn out to be something of a disappointment. This is where the Naxos catalogue really comes into its own, and where it is hoped this guide will help prospective purchasers to make an informed choice about the kind of music they are likely to enjoy.
The Naxos label provides a library of high quality performances of music by the great masters in modern digital sound; accompanied by authoritative and user-friendly booklet notes and at the lowest possible price.
There are already nearly 600 titles from which to choose, and with new releases emerging at the rate of about eight every month, even the enthusiastic collector is well and truly catered for. With every historical period and genre covered, there is something in the Naxos catalogue for everyone, especially those who wish to build a truly representative collection of the central masterworks in the 'classical' tradition.