This 4-LP set was part of a Time-Life series called The Story Of Great Music.  My friend Hugh McCarten brought it to prep school in our junior year, when we were roommates, and we played it to death.

The longer pieces are abridged, and the performances are not always superlative, but it’s a fine selection of music and served for me as an excellent introduction to the Baroque era.

A highlight is one of the only performances of Couperin’s Les Barricades Mystérieuses on harpsichord (by Ingrid Heiler) which doesn’t sound showy or rushed.  I’ve had a special feeling for the piece ever since I heard it on this collection.

I was recently gripped by a longing to hear the collection again, after 44 years.  It’s not available on CD but I found an excellent vinyl set online, cheap.  It’s a source of joy to me once again.

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