"After blogging about La Traviata, a friend writes to ask me to make a list of my favorite "classical" composers and their pieces and possibly performances. Of course every music fan plans such an article as this, "someday," and Iíve often thought about what I would pick. Well, the time for thinking is over, and the time for writing is now. Rather than just answer him back in an email, Iíll make the email public.

The format will be in the usual top-ten-style list, by composer. There are some obvious omissions, such as Beethoven: exclusion means nothing in this case. His music is amazing and spectacular. The same goes for Schubert, Machaut, and Handel. But limited to ten, one has to make choices. "