Classical Music is Addictive :)!I had never heard the name Shostakovich before a few weeks ago when I had the pleasure of seeing/hearing (whatever) his 13th symphony performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra (it's nice being a college student, I get free tickets, now I only wish I could take advantage of it more often). It was impressive. I agree with everyone here that the Russian music is awesome. It's just so emotional and powerful, and can get very very loud which I love. The largo and adagio movements almost put me to sleep, they were a little toooo slow, but other movements were just as exciting to see as to hear. I am in awe of the skill of concert musicians.
I have been borrowing a LOT of CDs from my schools music library (and keeping them a little longer than I should with the help of my trusty CD burner...shhhh, you didn't hear that from me). It's great. Recently I got Telarc's complete Brandenburg Concertos, The New York Philharmonics 12 disc set of all of Mahler's Symphonies from radio broadcasts they've done, and a bunch of other random stuff here and there.
Has anyone ever heard Sony Classical's "The Royal Edition" boxed sets? It's a set of 100 CDs in 4 volumes released in 1993 I think (although it's almost all previously released material) of Leonard Bernstein with the New York Philharmonic. I have Beethoven's 9 Symphonies and a few others like Puccini's Overtures. I'd highly recommend them. You can actually buy them online at a few places for like $8 which makes them WELL worth it.
I'm thinking of getting a job at the music library some time soon, so my CD collection will grow more. Music is great, there's just soo much good stuff to experience.