Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Essential Recordings: Something for Everyone on Your Christmas List

By far, one of the best gifts to give for Christmas is recorded music. It can be a tough thing to buy for someone else as music tastes are very subjective and you never know what the receiver already owns. For this reason I enjoy broadening the minds of the people on my Christmas list with new music I'm pretty darn sure they will enjoy.

The following list of music recommendations has been carefully compiled from my large and diverse personal collection. I know there is so much more fantastic music I left out, but this list is a darn good start.

For the hard rocker who thinks classical music is for wimps:

  • Dvorak ?Symphony #9?
  • Holst ?The Planets?
  • Beethoven Symphonies 3 ?Eroica,? 5, 7 and 9. Also the ?Moonlight? and ?Pathetique? Piano Sonatas
  • Rimsky-Korsakov ?Scheherazade?
  • Prokoviev ?Classical Symphony?
  • Schubert ?Unfinished Symphony, #8?

For the passionate listener who only has music by dead guys with wigs:

  • Queen ?A Night at the Opera?
  • Led Zeppelin ?Physical Grafitti?
  • Beatles ?Abby Road?
  • Yes ?Fragile?
  • Radiohead ?OK Computer?
  • Alanis Morissette ?Jagged Little Pill?

For the high-strung boss who can take a little mellowing:

  • Bach ?Brandenburg Concertos 1-6?
  • Simon & Garfunkle ?Greatest Hits?
  • Antonio Carlos Jobim ?The Man from Ipanema?
  • Portishead ?Portishead?
  • Debussy ?Le Mer?
  • Any piano works by Chopin

For the tough guy who needs to get in touch with his feminine side:

  • Heart ?Dreamboat Annie?
  • Madonna ?Immaculate Collection?
  • Sheryl Crow ?Sheryl Crow?
  • Sarah McLaughlin ?Surfacing?
  • Alanis Morissette ?Under Rug Swept?
  • Ani DiFranco ?Revelling/Reckoning?
  • kd lang Ingenue

For a lonely lady seeking male companionship:

  • Billy Joel ?The Stranger? and ?52nd Street?
  • Red Hot Chilli Peppers ?Blood Sugar Sex Magic?
  • The Beatles Revolver or Abby Road
  • Sting ?Ten Summoners Tales?
  • Leonard Cohen ?The Future?
  • Elvis ?Greatest Hits?
  • Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong Best of...

For the Baby Boomer who missed the bus to Woodstock, or can't even recollect if they were there??:

  • Jefferson Airplane ?Surrealistic Pillow?
  • Jimmie Hendryx ?The Ultimate Experience?
  • Janice Joplin ?Greatest Hits?
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival Greatet Hits
  • (Other Great 1960's albums include anything by the Beatles)

For the poor sod who works graveyard shift:

  • Propellerheads Decks and Drums and Rock-n-Roll
  • Soundtrack from ?The Matrix?
  • Rush ?Moving Pictures?
  • Bjork ?Post?
  • Led Zeppelin ?III? and ?Zoso?
  • Infected Mushroom Classical Mushroom

Safe bets for a ?Secret Santa Gift Exchange?:

  • Mozart Symphony 41 ?Jupiter?
  • Elton John ?Goodbye Yellow Brick Road?
  • Beatles ?Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band?
  • Supertramp ?Breakfast in America?
  • Vivaldi ?Four Seasons?
  • Michael Jackson ?Thriller?

For the violinist in the family (we all have one):

  • Mark O'Connor ?The New Nashville Cats?
  • Itzhak Perlman ?Sarsate: Carmen Fantasy?
  • Eileen Ivers ?Wild Blue?
  • Leahy ?Leahy? Ma, O'Connor & Meyer ?Appalacia Waltz?
  • Anything featuring Jascha Heifetz, Pinchas Zukerman, Itzhak Perlman and/or Stephan Grappelli

For the music buff who has everything:

  • Corky Siegel ?Chamber Blues?
  • John Scofield ?Uberjam? or ?Handjive?
  • The Baronics Get Bach
  • Soundtrack from the Motion Picture Amelie
  • Afro Celt Sound System ?Volume 1: Sound Magic?
  • Poe Haunted
  • Soundtrack from That 70's Show Jammin' Album
  • Horace X Strategy or Sackbutt

And when all else fails...

Gift Certificates!

**Rhiannon Schmitt (nee Nachbaur) is an award-winning classical violinist/fiddler and music teacher who operates Fiddleheads Violin School & Shop. Fiddleheads has won several distinguished business awards and offers beginner to professional level instruments, accessories and supplies with exceptional personal service:


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