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Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats." Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, occasional obituaries and classical news reporting, since 2007. All written content © 2016 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Outside the Box: The 2011 Superconductor Gift Guide

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

You could do worse.
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 Amazon.com in my online store.

Everything on this page is 30 discs and up. Sounds like a lot of music? It is but these are for bargain-hunters, catalogue completists, or the serious collector who just can't get enough. 

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: 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.
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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Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats

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Since 2007, Superconductor has grown from an occasional concert or CD review to a near-daily publication covering classical music, opera and the arts in and around NYC, with excursions to Boston, Philadelphia, and upstate NY. I am a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn NY. And no, I'm not a conductor.