Friday, January 3, 2014

DG: The History Of Classical Music On 100 CDs (or 1 Playlist) - From Gregorian Chant To Górecki

Introduction from Presto Classical:


• It starts with Gregorian Chant and Machaut chansons and ends with Gorecki and the Minimalists.

• The greatest composers have as many as five CDs devoted to them (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven).

20th-century music is well represented with no fewer than 20 CDs.

Operas and major choral works are represented by highlights, but otherwise the edition presents, as far as possible, only complete works throughout.

• Altogether, there are more than 80 composers in the set, with over 400 works for a total of around 120 hours of music.


As the box is intended for the non-expert, the repertoire is centrally based around the Classical and Romantic composers.

Here's the rundown:

CD 1 – 20 take us from Gregorian Chant to the sons of Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel and Johann Christian, with the great names of the Baroque – Monteverdi, Purcell, Charpentier, Rameau, JS Bach, Handel and Vivaldi all featured.

CD 21 – 33 are devoted to the Viennese Classics: Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.

CD 34 – 49 cover the early Romantic composers, from Schubert, Paganini, Berlioz, Chopin to Liszt and Schumann.

CD 50 – 69 comprise the later Romantics – Brahms, Bruckner, Dvořák, Grieg and Tchaikovsky, plus Verdi and Wagner highlights.

CD 70 – 78 bring together turn-of-the-century composers, including Mahler, Debussy, Richard Strauss and Puccini.

CD 79 – 100 includes 20th-century masterworks from Stravinsky to Messiaen, Boulez and Gorecki, taking in Holst, Rachmaninov, Sibelius, Ives, Janacek, Ravel and many others on the way.


It reads like a cornucopia of the great, good and glorious. Look out for:

• the Orlando Consort’s forays into Gregorian Chant and Machaut;
John Eliot Gardiner’s Bach;
• Minkowski’s Charpentier and Rameau;
• Trevor Pinnock’s Handel and Vivaldi;
Karajan’s Creation;
• Anda’s Mozart Piano Concertos;
• Beethoven at the hands of Bernstein and Karajan;
Rossini with Abbado;
• Chopin and Liszt Concertos with Argerich;
• Fischer-Dieskau’s Schubert and Schumann;
• Barenboim’s Chopin Nocturnes;
• Gilels’ Brahms Second Piano Concerto;
• Kubelik’s Dvořák;
• Mravinsky’s Tchaikovsky “Pathétique”;
• Karajan’s Mahler Five;
• Kleiber’s La Traviata highlights;
• Abbado’s Ravel, Prokofiev and Stravinsky;
• Boulez’s Schoenberg and Webern
• the Messiaen Turangalila Symphony and Gorecki’s Symphony no. 3!


Get this collection in one Spotify playlist here: DG - The History Of Classical Music - From Gregorian Chant To Górecki (1388 tracks, 115 hours). More info on the official site. A few tracks are missing due to transcoding issues; they should be fixed soon.

My previous playlist 1200 Years of Women Composers: From Hildegard To Higdon is a good companion since no female composer was included in this DG set.

To navigate huge playlists more easily: 1. select the playlist, 2. press Ctrl (CMD) + F, or scroll up in iOS, to bring out the filter bar, 3. type in composer/performer/composition, e.g. Bizet or Abbado or Carmen.


  1. Damn. Want to hear this but the whole thing is unavailable in the US. :(

  2. Only 6 tracks showing so far. Looking forward to the rest!

  3. hello! where are the 100 outstanding song of 100 albums you maight have missed 2013 and 2014?? I love 2012 playlist, thank you; congratulations for this memorable work!

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