Originally Posted by sochumpy
on a side note, what should someone start on if they would like to get an appreciation of classical music? I like what a i hear but i know nothing about it.
I started playing violin last year and am still somewhat new to classical music, but here are a few recommendations from one beginner to another.
I suggest starting with music from the Baroque period and moving towards the present from there - some fans of classical music consider the pieces from this era to be slightly repetitive, but I think they bridge the gap between today's music and more complex classical music (repetitive=catchy!). Vivaldi's four seasons is a very well known violin concerto (you'll know it when you hear it, even if you don't recognize the name), and (Johann Sebastian) Bach has a nearly endless catalog featuring a variety of instruments. If you like solo piano I recommend Bach's Goldberg Variations by Gould, or if you like violin then I would suggest his three concertos (the new album by Anne Akiko Meyers is excellent and contains all of them). The Brandenburg Concertos are also great, and if you really enjoy violin you could get a copy of his solo sonatas and partitas (the one I own is Arthur Grumiaux's version, it's a good price and pretty good quality). Handel is another Baroque composer who wrote some well-known compositions (Water Music, Messiah).
Once you find a few recordings you like from this period, you can move on to the Classical era...Beethoven and Mozart are the big ones, but there are many others of course (Haydn and Schubert come to mind). Following that came the Romantic period...I suggest Brahms as a first choice, his music is very cinematic and easy to enjoy, but there are so many other composers that it's hard to just pick a couple (Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Camille Saint-Saens, Dvorak, Mendelssohn). I feel I should give special mention to Gustav Mahler - his symphonies seem to be experiencing a surge in popularity right now, so if you want to be one of the cool kids be sure to pick up a collection of these.