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hey all total newbie to classical music and am looking for a compilation of some of the best classical music by like beethoven, mozart, bach, etc. i know people are most likely going to say to buy several different cds by each individual but if I could only get one cd which showed off a bit of everything what would it be? (if it even exists)
 

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Hi bobcat - cute name! Welcome to TC! If you're searching for various composers in 1 CD then I recommend Naxos label's "101 Great Orchestral Classics." This is in 10 Volumes so you can just imagine how wide the collection is! Here are the catalogue numbers: 8.551141, 8.551142, 8.551143, 8.551144, 8.551145, 8.551146, 8.551147, 8.551148, 8.551149, 8.551150. Happy listening! :)
 

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A complete Symphony / Quartet / Sonata etc. is worth a hundred isolated movements. For this reason people will tell you to avoid compilation CDs.

There are plenty of single CDs that have for example both a Symphony by Mozart and a Concerto by Beethoven. Something like this would be the perfect introduction to classical music.
 

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A complete Symphony / Quartet / Sonata etc. is worth a hundred isolated movements. For this reason people will tell you to avoid compilation CDs.
Well said, Evan. Although you may get to hear parts of compositions that are frequently used in TV commercials, you probably won't be able to listen to the "meat" of those works which make them great.

There are plenty of single CDs that have for example both a Symphony by Mozart and a Concerto by Beethoven. Something like this would be the perfect introduction to classical music.
I was thinking along the same lines, too. There are numerous CDs that combine composers from particular periods, with a symphony or a concerto from them. Also, you might want to have a look at the EMIs 2CD collections 'The Great Conductors of the Century'.

http://emiclassics.com/greatconductors/

Top performers and conductors playing famous compositions in their entirety.
 

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Ok, this is gonna hurt some people's consciences, but here I go :

Download. I know you'll mostly find horrible mistitled excerpts of anything on these p2p softwares, but just try stuff and see what you like and what you don't like. That's how I started. Now I'm really into it and I buy new CDs every week, even if it's only to get new performances by different orchestras. I buy a lot of opera DVDs too.
 
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