I recently found a Reader’s Digest collection at my parent’s home. It was too good not to share. So Wednesday, December 8, 2021, be sure to tune in for “A Festival of Light Classical Music.” From 7 am to 9 am I’ll be playing sections from these LPs and having some fun.
You might not know the names of all these pieces, but I guarantee they’ll sound familiar!
What we can’t share on-air (but I can here) is the packaging. Everything about this set makes the buyer feel cultured and sophisticated. — even if they knew nothing about classical music.
There’s an introduction by Arthur Fiedler (the one conductor non-classical listeners might recognize). No Fiedler recordings appear in this set, BTW.
Fiedler’s message is both invited to the novice, and loaded with cultural baggage.
“Every piece here selected is music of quality, music composed with passion and enthusiasm, music written by great composers. It is therefore light music which one can take seriously.”
He does end with some practical advice.
“How can you best listen to this Festival? Any way that you enjoy it is the best way for you… No special knowledge, no magic formula, no ‘open sesame’ are required; all one needs in an open heart.”
The set includes an impressive booklet that informative and accessible liner notes.
It also included a guarantee of quality and satisfaction. it assures the purchaser that, among other things, “each set of records is completely new.” Well, that’s a relief. I wouldn’t want to pay good money for some second-hand vinyl!
There’s a handy guide for those new to long-playing albums. It recommends using a diamond needle, as opposed to a sapphire needle or (heavens!) a metal needle. “Most lovers of good music consider [the diamond needle] well worth the extra cost.”
The set also has a promo sheet with detachable postcard order forms to share with friends. It features some celebrity endorsements from notables like Bennet Cerf and Arlene Francis. Although I do wonder why they put the word listeners in quotes.
“A Festival of Light Classical Music” was more than a set of records. It was an easy way to add sophistication to your life, and impress your friends!