Van Gogh, Picasso, Da Vinci - the list could go on forever. Classical education advocates, Charlotte Mason enthusiasts, and music lovers in general will LOVE this fantastic contribution to the world of art and music.
Naxos has taken all the work out of correlating art, music, and history. They have produced a series of eight CDs, with more possibly to come, each featuring an artist of historical significance and the music of his time. All the selections on each CD have been chosen to specifically match the featured artist's lifetime. Each CD also includes a small booklet containing the biography of the featured artist and beautifully reproduced plates of some of his most famous paintings. The biography highlights the major influences to each one's art and lists the composers of the time. The musical selections are varied and beautiful. I have been exposed to composers and music I would never have known about or encountered otherwise. This set has been a huge bonus to our family's education and enriched our home in many ways. One really neat thing about each of these CDs is the included timeline. It is so interesting to learn how events in history correlate. For example, when Da Vinci was completing the second version of his famous "Virgin on The Rocks," Michelangelo was painting the Sistine Chapel, and Jacob Obrecht (composer) had just died of the Plague. You can plot all these events on a timeline, but when you see the art and listen to the music while you work on your timeline - well, it really cements it all together. All of a sudden, the realization of the flow of life makes itself evident. These were men who lived through riches, losses, births, and deaths, and the ability to see the work produced and hearing the music of the time makes it all seem much more real.
Classical history studies will be made much more interesting with the addition of this set. The CDs correlate perfectly to the historical time divisions generally accepted. The study of the Middle Ages is enhanced with music that was composed at that time and art that was being produced as well. I loved to watch my kids as they listened to music while we were reading about the Renaissance - they really loved the fact that they were listening to the same music and seeing the same to which the folks living in that time would have been exposed. The included biographies also provide a peek into what the world thought of the featured artist's works. I did a quick Google search when I wanted to bring a larger copy of any of the featured paintings. We have so enjoyed this addition to our studies and I know you will too.
Naxos in Canada is available through www.mymusic.ca and the prices are VERY reasonable. The producers and distributors are very excited to be a part of the homeschool community and I for one am glad to have their contributions. They have many, many more CDs available and their customer service is exceptional.
I also received a handy little book from Naxos entitled The ABC's of Music. It is a fascinating thick book full of composers and their statistics. Names, pieces written, mini biographies of each one, and all sorts of interesting information is what is included in this little "textbook." It is well worth having a copy to complement your studies.
This is highly recommended. I LOVE this company and their products. I look forward to seeing new additions in the future.
-- Product Review by: Heidi Shaw, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
Here's a Homeschooler's perspective on Discover the Classics!
The Naxos Discover the Classics set is incredible! Each volume is packaged in a two CD boxed set filled with over two and a half hours of music that is exciting, playful, and sometimes even a bit scary. Also, each volume includes a small 40-60 page booklet that tells about the composers of the different songs and a little bit of the history of that time - something that's always fun!
There is music from all different countries and times. There is music from famous plays and ballets too, like Romeo and Juliet, Midsummer Night's Dream, and Coppelia. All of the songs are wonderfully put together and sound so extraordinary! They are fun CDs to have playing around the house throughout the day - and it is funny watching who comes running out into the living room dressed up and trying to dance in time with the music - like my little sisters and brothers.
Naxos also offers CDs that give information on famous composers' lives and works that are interesting as well. They offer a lot more too, and the best way to find out more about them is to visit their website at www.Naxos.com. I hope you enjoy this wonderful product as much as my family and I have!