The 30 Greatest Orchestral Works

The 30 Greatest Orchestral Works, by Robert Greenberg (The Teaching Company Audio) ★★★★
Greenberg reviews thirty of the greatest pieces in the orchestral repertoire from Bach to Shostakovich. Each piece includes a biographical review of the composer, the nature of the composition, the compositional style, and then what makes it great. It is a whirlwind tour that covers the most relevant pieces. The last lecture on the ones that got away leaves one feeling that probably far more than thirty pieces still could have been included. Greenberg ends with a statement about how we need to support modern composers by listening to their music, noting that the very odd compositional years of the ’80s are long gone and that composers are again writing quite sensible pieces. Perhaps the best thing Greenberg could do is to do a series on contemporary classical music, giving us an argument as to why we should listen to modern pieces,  showing us what’s out there, and showing us why those pieces make them worthy of our attention.