Sorry I have not responded sooner, I have been busy.
First off, it seems to be all music CDs that cause the problem, although I have not made a list. The specific CD that prompted this post was Madonna's Erotica (commercial CD from 1992). The CD works fine in my stand alone Blue Ray player and my son's PC running Windows 8 Pro, which would seem to rule out the CD or DRM being the cause of the problem.
@caperjack I have set AUTO PLAY to play music CDs using WMP. This had no effect, the PC still freezes. I am unable to play the CD at all even if I open WMP and try to play the CD directly.
If I open Windows Explorer to "This PC" ("My PC" seems to have been dropped from Win8.1) The address bar becomes a progress bar that goes green. After about 5 minutes the end of the green bar reaches the cancel 'X' at the right end of the address bar at which point the PC simply stops responding and I reach for the reset button.