Culture Magazine

Outside the Box: The 2011 Superconductor Gift Guide

By Superconductor @ppelkonen
A guide to shopping for the music nut in your life--even if it's you.

Outside the Box: The 2011 Superconductor Gift Guide

It ain't Johannes Brahms.
Image © 2011

Well, here it is folks, your guide to the very best of classical music and opera. The focus is on releases and reissues within the last year, with some stone classics thrown to make things a little more interesting.
But first, a few words from your editor. That's me.
The arts are struggling in this country. Corporate underwriting has faded with the fluctuations in the market and collapse of big financial institutions. Musicians need to be paid, trips have to be booked, and concert halls have to be heated. Many orchestras are facing program cuts, labor troubles and other signs that have cast a pallor over their seasons. 
If you're an American concert-goer who loves classical music and reads Superconductor, consider donating to your local orchestra or opera company. You get a neat membership card, and in some cases a magazine, newsletter or discounts at local restaurants.
So donate! And then get yourself something nice. After all, it's the holiday season. 
OK. That's the sermon. Now on with the music. The guide this year is in four parts. Well, five if you count this splash page. All products are sold through in my online store.
Part I: Gigantic Boxed Sets "Dad, I'll trade you this delicious doorstop for this crummy old Danish."  --Bart Simpson Everything on this page is 30 discs and up. Sounds like a lot of music? It is but these are for bargain-hunters, catalog completists, or the serious collector who just can't get enough. 
Part II: Slightly Smaller Boxed Sets A personal favorite: these are cool stocking stuffers. All the discs are in envelopes to minimize shelf space and clutter. Of course if you have a lot of them....
Part III: Beethoven for Christmas
All you want for Christmas is an irascible deaf guy who can't hear very well. That's either your Uncle Al or Beethoven. Beethoven wrote better music.

Part IV: Complete Opera Recordings The best full-length opera recordings to come out in the past year, on CD and DVD. The weird part is, most of them are from the Metropolitan Opera.
Part V: Piano Mania For the piano student or the aficionado, classic recordings and new releases. This is going to be a long Liszt, especially since this is the year that all the labels are celebrating the Hungarian pianist's 200th birthday.

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