December 14, 1981 12:00 PM

R. Peter Munves, who produced this novel double disc, calls it “a Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations of all the classical themes you’ve always loved—or at least recognized—but never knew the names of.” Each of the 222 themes on the record plays for some 20 to 30 seconds, preceded by an announcement about its source. No. 1, for instance, is Aida, the Grand March, by Verdi, played by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic. Was all this tedious to put together? “No,” marketing executive Munves claims. “It was fun. I did it by examining our sales figures, which tell us what classical music’s greatest hits are. These are they.” Tchaikovsky is the most popular composer. He has 19 themes. Bach is next, with 17. Baroque is heavily represented, says Munves, “partly because Hollywood has gotten onto the classics in a very big way. There’s Pachelbel’s Canon in Ordinary People, Ravel’s Bolero in “10,” some Mendelssohn in Breaking Away, Handel in First Monday in October, Vivaldi in Kramer vs. Kramer and The Four Seasons. One thing leads to another.” 7776 Theme Finder makes a nice party game or a diversion for the solitary listener. It’s like potato chips: not as nutritious or satisfying as a full meal, but in some ways more fun.

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