questionswhich is the best "99 most essential" album to…

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Just purchase ANYTHING conducted by Karajan (they'll all be remastered, but they are very GOOD remasterings). I am personally very fond of Bach, and Beethoven, and loathe Brahms from the very depths of my soul. There is also Handel, and Mozart, and the exquisite Puccini...

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"The 99 Most Essential Classical Pieces in Movies" might be a good choice as it has a broad range, most are quite approachable, and you may recognize many without have realizing their origin. When you find a favorite or two seek out other pieces by the same composer.

"The 99 Most Essential Tchaikovsky Masterpieces" would be nice as well, but by this time of year I am tired of anything from the Nutcracker.

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@eremita went with your suggestion. Fingers' crossed now :)