• The Story of Classical Music

  • By: Darren Henley
  • Narrated by: Marin Alsop
  • Length: 4 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Release date: 04-11-05
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks
  • 3.9 (141 ratings)

Regular price: $15.95

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Publisher's Summary

The lives and music of the great composers of classical music unfold in this entertaining account, introduced by the conductor and musical personality Marin Alsop. In 1200 years, classical music grew from the chanting of medieval monks through the symphonies of Beethoven and the grand operas of Wagner to the huge orchestral sound-world of the 21st century, with its electronics and its film music. In her easy-going style, Marin Alsop paints vivid portraits of over 90 composers, each one illustrated with some of his, or her, most famous music.
©2004 Darren Henley; (P)2004 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.
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Critic Reviews



Audie Award Winner, Original Work and Achievement in Production, 2005
"Alsop's easygoing approach works well as she serves as a welcoming tour guide offering fun facts and interesting biographical sketches for listeners." (Publishers Weekly)
"This charming compilation is cheerfully hosted by the clear and friendly voice of Marin Alsop, who walks young (and curious adult) listeners through an engaging history of classical music." (AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Boulderite on 12-31-05

Interesting, informative, easy

This is a perfect application for audiobooks -- a history of classical music along with samples from the works of the composers discussed. I was afraid I would be bored, but was informed and entertained start to finish. This is a very basic overview -- appropriate for children or adults with minimal background in classical music. It gave me a very good context for the music, both in time, geographically, and stylistically. One criticism: the sound quality of the music was not great.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful


By Cathy Dopp on 01-21-06

A Good Basic Introduction

I did enjoy this book. I've listended to classical music and wished I knew more about the history - and I've read about classical music and wished I could hear the music they were talking about. This program gives you a quick tour with the brief highlights of both.

This program concentrates more on the historical settings of the composers, not the musical composition or theory. It is also easy to tell that this program was designed as an introduction for students (probably middle to high school age). I didn't mind that, some people may. Listen to the audio sample and you'll quickly see if this is the type of book you're looking for.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Pen Name on 04-06-13

How an audiobook about music should be

I have nothing to say about the content, perhaps any printed book could do as much. But the presentation filled with a lively narration, recordings of the music she's talking about, sound effects, re-enactments and subtle humor overall makes a better learning experience. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't learn as much by reading a music history book.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Alexandra on 11-01-07

What better way to relax and learn?

If you, like me, like to relax (read) before going to sleep, but like classical music too, then this is for you. Although not particularly aimed at an adult audience (i.e. good for 12 year-olds who are interested in classical music), I still found this audiobook a good buy. Finally I can put a name to all those famous pieces of music I heard in my childhood home, and know to which genre they belong. Why four stars? I have nothing else to compare it to, this being the first 'history of classical music' audiobook I've ever listened to. A definite yes.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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