AudioFile - Find your next great audiobook
Get our Newsletter


by | Read by Robert Powell

Classics • 5.2 hrs. • Audio Program • ©

Written directly for recording, this is a splendid overview of several centuries of Western classical music. The text is neatly divided into four parts. Early and twentieth-century music get equal time with the Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods. No previous musical knowledge is assumed. The cultured tones of British actor Powell lead the listener from plain chant to atonality with added snippets of social history and composers’ biographies along the way. We learn, for instance, that concerts by castrati were “big box office,” that Beethoven was “a man with a mission” and that the architecture of St. Mark’s cathedral in Venice led to the development of antiphonal singing. Examples from Naxos’s extensive archives of recorded performances complement the text far more effectively than would print equivalents. The enduring spirituality of music is stressed; and, indeed, as the notes of Arvo Pärt’s beautiful, contemporary Cantus fade at the end, one feels uplifted--and educated. J.G. ©AudioFile, Portland, Maine [Published: MAY 98]

Trade Ed. • Naxos AudioBooks • 1997

CD ISBN $26.98 • Four CDs

Advertisement Advertisement


Trade Ed. • Naxos AudioBooks • 1997

CD ISBN $26.98 • Four CDs

The latest audiobook reviews, right in your inbox.

Get our FREE Newsletter and discover a world of audiobooks.


AudioFile Newsletter

Let us recommend your next great audiobook!

No algorithms here!
We pick great audiobooks for you.
Sign up for our free newsletter with audiobook love from AudioFile editors.

If you are already with us, thank you! Just click X above.


Thank you for signing up.



Thank you for contacting us!

Our group will review and follow up within 72 hours.
Thanks for your interest!

Back Home ×