A comprehensive survey of classical music - for the casual listener, this might be all the classical music you need in your collection; for others this provides a starting point for further exploration. Unlike many collections of this sort, most of these 30 discs contain performances by some of biggest names in classical music. Included are: Bach's Complete Brandenburg Concertos; Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons"; Beethoven's Symphonies 5 and 9, plus the Piano Concertos #4 and 5; Symphonies by Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Mahler and Brahms; concertos by Tchaikovsky, Brahms, and Mendelssohn; music by Ravel, Handel, Gershwin, Debussy, Moussorgsky.
Though Duke Ellington called his first concert of sacred music "the most important thing I've ever done," it might have been more accurately called the most controversial thing he had ever done – even more so than the so-called "Controversial Suite." The year was 1965; institutions of all kinds, including organized religion, were under fire; even Time magazine dared to run a cover with the legend "Is God Dead?" In response to progressive members of the clergy, jazz musicians like Ellington, Lalo Schifrin, Vince Guaraldi, and a bit later, Dave Brubeck took up the challenge of fusing Christian texts with jazz – and no project had a higher profile, nor drew more fire, than Ellington's.