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Mark Swed's classical CD and DVD gift guide

November 27, 2010 | 11:22 am

JordiSomeday the naysayers will be right, of course. Nothing lasts forever. But classical CDs and DVDs remain plentiful, and it was a great year. Buy, wrap and give the real thing while you still can. Downloads make lousy gifts.

“Dinastia Borja” (Alia Vox), a sumptuously illustrated book with three sumptuously recorded CDs of some of the most enthralling Renaissance music you’ve ever heard, may be the one you want for yourself. The latest lavish set from the Catalan viol player and conductor Jordi Savall — and my choice for recording of the year — provides a revelatory survey of the Borgia Dynasty in music from its multicultural origins in medieval Muslim Valencia through 16th century Italy. No, we didn’t invent world music a few years ago.

Click here for a look at more memorable recordings.

-- Mark Swed

Photo of Jordi Savall: AFP/Getty Images