Classical Music: Your "Must Have" List

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  • John K.John K. Posts: 825
    edited February 2011
    The most beautiful vocal recording that I have, or have ever heard, is the disc Anna Moffo recorded with Stokowski conducting(and writing the liner notes). This included selections from the Canteloube Songs of the Auvergne, the Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 and the Rachmaninoff Vocalise. Moffo had one of the most gorgeous voices ever put on record and this selection showcases it to perfection. The closing Vocalise in particular makes an unforgettable impression that you...well, won't easily forget.

    Available on Amazon here , but now on sale for $13.99 directly from Arkiv here .
  • John K.John K. Posts: 825
    edited March 2011
    I certainly have to add to the list of "Must Haves" my favorite of the six versions of Smetana's Ma Vlast(My Country)that I have and maybe a dozen others that I've listened to. This is emotional patriotic music that is played at the Prague Spring Festival every year and can affect all listeners, regardless of their ancestral background. Berglund conducts the superb Dresden State Orchestra, one of the 3-4 finest in Europe in excellent remastered sound. Available here from Amazon sellers at typical bargain prices for music of this quality.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,791
    edited March 2011
    Why John, I never took you as a big classical guy. Your choices are primo, though I admit to only getting an ear on about half of those suggestions, and some of those were awhile back. I'm going to have to dig them up now that you brought it back to the surface of the ole memory bank.
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  • John K.John K. Posts: 825
    edited March 2011
    Tony, I guess that you somehow have missed my fairly numerous posts on this topic. Yes, my listening is almost entirely classical. The music, not the equipment, is the bottom line. There's a whole world of great music out there waiting for us to give a listen. I have about a thousand classical CDs and have borrowed and listened to quite a few more, and I'm glad to share some of the things that I've learned.
  • dorokusaidorokusai Posts: 25,488
    edited March 2011
    Any Stravinski favorites John?
    CTC BBQ Amplifier, Sonic Frontiers Line3 Pre-Amplifier and Wadia 581 SACD player. Speakers? Always changing but for now, Mission Argonauts I picked up for $50 bucks, mint.
  • John K.John K. Posts: 825
    edited March 2011
    Sure, Mark; a Stravinsky "Must Have" is the RCA remaster for its "High performance" series of the energetic performances of Rite of Spring and Petrouchka(plus Fireworks)that Ozawa turned out when he was still a young and exciting conductor. Available here from several sellers for cheap.
  • dorokusaidorokusai Posts: 25,488
    edited March 2011
    Thanks John, appreciated.
    CTC BBQ Amplifier, Sonic Frontiers Line3 Pre-Amplifier and Wadia 581 SACD player. Speakers? Always changing but for now, Mission Argonauts I picked up for $50 bucks, mint.
  • susiehaynessusiehaynes Posts: 1
    edited March 2011
    thanks guys for sharing the best classical musics.il surely buy or download for it and listen so that i could also appreciate.hehe!:tongue:
  • coolsaxcoolsax Posts: 1,781
    edited May 2011
    Has anyone listened the the Hybrid CD/SACDs from Pentatone? They seem to get pretty good reviews on Amazon, but i'd never heard of them before. I can find them locally for about 7 bucks each so was curious if anyone had any experience with these before purchasing a few.
    2ch -
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  • HHStuartHHStuart Posts: 263
    edited May 2011
    coolsax wrote: »
    Has anyone listened the the Hybrid CD/SACDs from Pentatone? They seem to get pretty good reviews on Amazon, but i'd never heard of them before. I can find them locally for about 7 bucks each so was curious if anyone had any experience with these before purchasing a few.
    I've got eleven of them (all classical) and they are among my favorites.
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  • peschollpescholl Posts: 8
    edited May 2011
    One of my all time favorite classical albums is Respighi's Ancient Airs and Dances with Dorati on Mercury Living Presence.

    http://tinyurl.com/3ocl3yq

    It was one of the few classical recordings my dad owned so I grew up with it.
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  • peschollpescholl Posts: 8
    edited May 2011
    Another 'must have' classical recording is Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade by Mackerras and the London Symphony Orchestra on Telarc

    http://tinyurl.com/3ojl995

    Listening to the 3rd movement, "The Young Prince and Young Princess", still sends shivers down my back.
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  • John K.John K. Posts: 825
    edited May 2011
    Aram Khachaturian composed the music for two Soviet-era ballets, Gayaneh and Spartacus. While the story lines of the ballets themselves are typically dreary socialist drivel(e.g., in Gayaneh a collective farm struggling to meet its quota, spiced up with a little romance: girl loves boy, boy loves his tractor), Khachaturian can largely ignore this nonsense in his music and sets the workers to dancing a wonderfully colorful and exciting series of dances based on folk material from his native Armenia. A generous selection of the best music from each is performed vigorously by Temirkanov with the Royal Philharmonic in excellent sound and is available from various Amazon sellers here for about $12 shipped.
  • playbackplayback Posts: 101
    edited May 2011
    Ern Dog wrote: »
    Another Big Rachmaninoff fan here. I found that "The Symphonies" box set by Ashkenazy didn't do it for me. The recordings sounded too thin for me and the pacing was too fast. My favorite Rachmaninoff recording is "Symphonic Dances" on the Reference Recording label. This recording won awards for it's to notch engineering.

    I'll whole heartly second the RR's Rachmanioff Symphonic dances as truly a must have for any classical collection worth it's salt! sheer beauty and power! Let me also add Ivan Fishers Mahlers 2nd on Channel Classics sacd , Ravel's Bolero/La Valse on Mobile Fidelity sacd. All beyond what one would call reference:biggrin:
  • playbackplayback Posts: 101
    edited May 2011
    coolsax wrote: »
    Has anyone listened the the Hybrid CD/SACDs from Pentatone? They seem to get pretty good reviews on Amazon, but i'd never heard of them before. I can find them locally for about 7 bucks each so was curious if anyone had any experience with these before purchasing a few.

    I have four or five on the Pentatone label and consider them in the top 3 labels I look for when buying Hybrid sacd's , in short I'd grab as many as I could at that price:smile:
  • playbackplayback Posts: 101
    edited May 2011
    pescholl wrote: »
    Another 'must have' classical recording is Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade by Mackerras and the London Symphony Orchestra on Telarc

    http://tinyurl.com/3ojl995

    Listening to the 3rd movement, "The Young Prince and Young Princess", still sends shivers down my back.

    Intresting, I absolutley love my recent purchase of Schehrazade by Reiner and the CSO Living Stereo sacd, Its considered by many to be one of the best. I just may pick up Mackerras, as I like to have at least two takes of each for performance comparisons.
  • peschollpescholl Posts: 8
    edited June 2011
    playback wrote: »
    Intresting, I absolutley love my recent purchase of Schehrazade by Reiner and the CSO Living Stereo sacd, Its considered by many to be one of the best. I just may pick up Mackerras, as I like to have at least two takes of each for performance comparisons.

    I have the Reiner on LS SACD and the XRCD version but the Mackerras is still my favorite.

    Pentatone is releasing a new, pure DSD Scheherazade later this summer. I know the sound quality will be super, but I wonder how good the performance will be.

    http://tinyurl.com/3gbpjco
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  • peschollpescholl Posts: 8
    edited June 2011
    coolsax wrote: »
    Has anyone listened the the Hybrid CD/SACDs from Pentatone? They seem to get pretty good reviews on Amazon, but i'd never heard of them before. I can find them locally for about 7 bucks each so was curious if anyone had any experience with these before purchasing a few.

    Pentatone was formed by former employees of Philips Classical after Philips dropped out of the recorded music business in the late 1990s. They are strictly classical music.

    The recordings that they make are pure high-resolution DSD recordings recorded in surround sound. They also license old Philips quadraphonic recording and reissue them in their original quad format as well as in stereo. Their quad reissues are called RQR for Remastered Quadro Recordings.

    All Pentatone releases are surround sound hybrid SACDs. These discs have two layers, a stereo CD layer playable on any CD player and a high-resolution DSD layer playable on an SACD player. The DSD layer contains both a stereo and a surround sound version of the music. So you are getting three different versions of the same recording, CD stereo, high-resolution DSD stereo, and high-resolution DSD surround sound.

    Their recordings are all top-notch. You just can't go wrong with Pentatone. And no, I don't work for them, I'm just a fan!
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  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 12,612
    edited June 2011
    If you like 'spacey' music then Gloria Coates or Morton Feldman fits the bill. Morton requires a bottle of wine, or 6 beers, to really appreciate, or tolerate. :eek:

    Medicine that is smokable also helps. Great classical music.
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  • pstrevpstrev Posts: 60
    edited June 2011
    I've always been fond of Hooked On Classics! lol. Actually I'm looking to buy my first classical cd- but I have no idea what I want. I like upbeat and the french horns...

    I liked this: Rachmaninov Symphony No. 1 - IV Allegro con fuoco
    I listened to it on youtube. Strong!

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks

    Pat
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  • John K.John K. Posts: 825
    edited June 2011
    Pat, welcome to Club Polk and the great world of classical music. Yes, the final movement of the Rachmaninoff Symphony No.1 can certainly be thrilling in a top performance. The other movements, some parts beautiful, others energetic, are also great listening. Rachmaninoff is a favorite composer of mine and I have five complete sets of his three symphonies plus other discs of the individual symphonies. For you I'd specifically suggest that you get the great performances by Ormandy with the Philadelphia Orchestra, available from several sellers here for only about $10 shipped for the 2-disc set.

    Another classical composition that you should get immediately is Holst's The Planets. Again this is music which varies between energy and beauty and which can appeal to new listeners. Of the seven versions that I have I'll suggest for you the thrilling performance by Mehta with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in excellent remastered sound which is available from sellers here at a bargain price of about $6 shipped.

    I have about a thousand classical CDs in my collection, so hurry up! Just kidding, of course, but there's a whole world of great music(including my previous suggestions in this thread)out there waiting for you to give a listen.
  • John K.John K. Posts: 825
    edited July 2011
    The symphonies of Borodin aren't known nearly as well as their attractions call for. Strongly Russian in character with oriental overtones that add to their very melodious nature. The two movements of the unfinished 3rd Symphony in particular are rarely played, but the first movement has a beautiful, haunting theme that's hard to get out of your mind.

    All three symphonies in the excellent performances led by Loris Tjeknavorian have been remastered for this disc available for about $5 up.
  • saemark30saemark30 Posts: 146
    edited July 2011
    SIX BRANDENBURG CONCERTOS played by Trevor Pinnock
    great performance but early digital recording sounds harsh.
  • PycroftPycroft Posts: 1,957
    edited August 2011
    I never buy Naxos, but I'm a snob. I find every recording to be with unknown orchestras, choirs, and often performed badly. I can't comment on the actual quality of the recording because I've never listened to them outside of a boombox.

    James
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  • John K.John K. Posts: 825
    edited August 2011
    As a follow-up to my previous suggestion for a disc with Borodin's three symphonies, his two string quartets are lush with gorgeous melody and should also be included in any collection. Quartet number 2 in particular has several memorable themes which were adapted for use in the Broadway musical Kismet(one of my top three Broadway shows, along with Brigadoon and Show Boat), and led to Borodin being awarded a Tony for his music nearly 70 years after his death. A theme in the second movement became "Baubles, Bangles and Beads" and one in the third movement "And This is My Beloved".

    A great performance of this glorious music by the eponymous(finally got a chance to use that word!)Borodin String Quartet is available now on a Musical Heritage Society disc from several sellers here at Amazon at quite low prices. Although it's not apparent on the Amazon page, this is the same recording that was previously on EMI and is described more fully and reviewed here .
  • TECHNOKIDTECHNOKID Posts: 4,323
    edited September 2011
    Reported, plse flush the ****!
    DARE TO SOAR:
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  • John K.John K. Posts: 825
    edited October 2011
    The disc aptly named "Exotic Dances from the Opera" contains a colorful selection of orchestral music with Slavic and oriental themes. Excitingly performed and recorded in particularly high sound quality(mastered at a lower than average level which calls for a higher volume control setting), it's available from several Amazon sellers here very reasonably priced.
  • schwarcwschwarcw Posts: 7,212
    edited October 2011
    Greetings John!

    Thank for your continued recommendations of fine classical music to this thread. I have bought many based on your recommendations and love them!!

    Regards,
    Carl

  • John K.John K. Posts: 825
    edited October 2011
    Glad to be of help, Carl. As I've said before, there's a whole world of great music out there just waiting for us to give a listen.
  • rlmacklinrlmacklin Posts: 46
    edited November 2011
    For Beethoven 7th Symphony, the Kleiber with VPO combination is good,

    but for the very best performance you want to get SACD of Kleiber with Bavarian State Orchestra.


    Beethoven: Symphonie 7 [Hybrid SACD] [Hybrid SACD - DSD, Import]
    Ludwig van Beethoven (Composer), Carlos Kleiber (Conductor), Bavarian State Orchestra (Orchestra) |

    http://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Symphonie-7-Hybrid-SACD/dp/B000EDWLY6/ref=sr_1_7?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1320433003&sr=1-7
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