The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Another weekend means more holiday shopping is in store. So to help you, here is the list of gifts by critics for The New York Times.

December 6, 2013
1 Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

Here’s comes another weekend, and you know what that means at this time of the year.


Last week, on Black Friday, the classical music critics for The New York Times offered their gift suggestions for this holiday season.

They added a nice twist.

Instead of keeping up with brand new recordings, the critics went to “the vault” and focused on the things historical – recordings and videos.

Some newer things did sneak in – like John Eliot Gardiner’s new book about Johann Sebastian Bach (below) called “Music in the Castle of Heaven” — it would go well with a set of the cantatas recorded by Gardiner — which also received a separate rave review from Times critic and editor James Oestreich:


Bach Music in the Castle of Heaven

Anthony Tommasini chose lots of opera – especially Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner at the Metropolitan Opera as well as Richard Tucker — was covered, but so was a lot of other music, including the complete music by Benjamin Britten (below), whose birthday centennial was Nov. 22.

Benjamin Britten

Benjamin Britten Complete CD set

Leonard Bernstein (below), as musician and educator, was also well represented.

Leonard Bernstein conducting

And to be fair, the prices of the suggested gifts ranged from under $20 to several hundred dollars of massive boxed sets.

Here is a link to the story

Happy hunting and happy listening.

And rest assured: I will be posting more gift guides as they appear.

But don’t forget to leave your own gift suggestions in the COMMENTS section of this blog.

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