Classical Music: Your "Must Have" List



  • John K.John K. Posts: 825
    edited January 2013
    Shostakovich composed his great 10th Symphony in 1953 following the death of the leading classical music critic in the U.S.S.R., one J.Stalin, whose scathing "reviews" of some of his work had made life dangerous for him. It's been said that the symphony is a commemoration of that event and that in particular the violent second movement paints a musical picture of Stalin's murderous activities.

    This is generally viewed as his greatest symphony and belongs in every collection. A very exciting performance, especially of the second movement, and in notably fine sound quality is available here from various Amazon sellers for about $5 up.
  • John K.John K. Posts: 825
    edited March 2013
    The music Berlioz composed marked a decided change in the sound of classical music compared to his predecessors. His Symphonie Fantastique is the most often recorded, and should be included in every collection, but his exciting and beautiful Harold in Italy, featuring the viola prominently, has similar attractions. Of the dozen or so of its recordings which I've heard, I suggest the thrilling reading Charles Munch gave with the Boston Symphony. This is one of the "Living Stereo" series which was selected for remastering for SACD and the hybrid disc also includes an excellent CD layer. High-powered readings of four Berlioz overtures are also included, making for a great overall Berlioz collection. Available here from several Amazon sellers at bargain prices for music of this quality.
  • zingozingo Audiophile Posts: 11,837
    edited March 2013
    Holst "The Planets"
  • Mikey081057Mikey081057 Posts: 7,430
    edited March 2013
    zingo wrote: »
    Holst "The Planets"

    +1 on SACD
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  • racingkahervaracingkaherva Posts: 29
    edited April 2013
    I'll go with more recent stuff, just for the sake of it:

    Arvo part: Table Rasa (ECM)
    Stravinksy: Rite of Spring (I'm a fan of the Gergiev recording.)
    Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra (Reiner conducting Chicago)
    Gorecki: Symphony 3 (with Dawn Upshaw)
    Webern: Passacaglia / Schoenberg: Variations op. 31 / Berg: 3 Pieces from the "Lyric Suite"; 3 Pieces for Orchestra op. 6 (with Karajan conducting)
  • John K.John K. Posts: 825
    edited May 2013
    Every collection should have recordings of the beautiful and exciting music Tchaikovsky composed for the great ballets The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. The outstanding performance of the complete music for Swan Lake conducted by Mark Ermler in excellent sound is available at bargain prices from about $5 up from various Amazon sellers . Note that this is actually the 2-disc set of the complete music, not the single-disc highlights, and is what the first Amazon reviewer(a symphony orchestra oboist)was willing to pay $105 for six years ago when it was out of print.
  • pipkinrapipkinra Posts: 7
    edited June 2013
    Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #3 - Byron Janis
    Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue - Benjamin Grosvenor
    Haydn Piano Concertos - Marc-Andre Hamelin
    Beethoven Symphony #9 Klemperer
    Parry: Jerusalem, The Glories of Our Blood and State et al - Neeme Jarvi

    Sacd: Berlioz Symphony Fantastique - Charles Munch RCA Living Stereo
    Beethoven Symphony #7 - Carlos Kleiber

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  • timk65timk65 Posts: 40
    edited June 2013
    It would take me years to compile a list of my favorites, but someone asked about Stravinsky ... here's a few I love.

    This is a great recording of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and will really show off your pricey rig, especially the bass drums. Superb playing, wonderful recorded sound - it's become my favorite of the dozen or so recordings that I have.

    Another great version of the Firebird suite from Simon Rattle. Great sonics on this one.

    A great recording of the later "Pulcinella" - a great piece, one of the best from the later years and one of his most accessible works. It doesn't sound anything like his early ballets.
  • John K.John K. Posts: 825
    edited August 2013
    An outstanding pair of Tchaikovsky performances by Vladimir Ashkenazy, in excellent re-mastered sound, in which he performs the Piano Concerto No.1 and then takes the baton to conduct an exciting performance of the Symphony no. 4, is available at absurdly low prices and should certainly be a must buy. Priced from about $3 from various Amazon sellers
  • schwarcwschwarcw Posts: 7,266
    edited August 2013
    Thanks for the recommendation John! I've bought many of your album suggestions and I have never been disappointed.

  • gumbay13gumbay13 Posts: 364
    edited August 2013
    Just found this thread.

    For someone who has just gotten into classical music and trying to build a collection, this feels like a kid in a candy store.

    Thanks to one and all for sharing.
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  • headrottheadrott Posts: 5,490
    edited October 2013
    I bought this one (Johaan Heinrich Schmeltzer - Solo Violin Sonatas) from Amazon recently. This is an absolute must have! If you like classical that is on the mellow side, yet still emotional, this CD is absolutely for you. I love this CD and very highly recommend it.
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  • timk65timk65 Posts: 40
    edited November 2013
    I'll just limit it to a few "best" recordings I have. I have over 1500 Classical CD's, but these are the ones I listen when making purchasing decisions ...

    Beethoven - Symphony 3, Hogwood AAM (L'Oiseau-Lyre - Walthamstow Assembly Hall, London) - clarity in orchestral parts is quite amazing
    Monteverdi - 6th Book of Madrigals, Concerto Italiano/Alessandrini (Naive - Farnese Palace, Rome) vocal music with continuo, very clean dry sound
    Mahler - Symphony 2, Solti/Chicago (Decca - Orchestra Hall, Chicago) - esp. scherzo, awesome stereo imaging
    Mozart - Serenade No 10 for Winds in B♭, Hogwood/AAM (L'Oiseau-Lyre - Methus Memorial Music Hall, Massacheusetts) (pure winds, awesome sound, miked close - can hear the keys on the instruments clicking at times)
    Schubert - Quintet in C, Berg Quartet (EMI- Protestant Church, Seon, Switzerland) (esp. the scherzo - how does the very soft trio section sound?)
    Brahms - Serenade No 1, Mackerras, Scottish Chamber Orchestra (Telarc - City Hall, Glasgow, Scotland) - great Telarc sound. One of their best
    Bach - Matthew Passion, Harnoncourt (Teldec - Jesuitenkirche-Universit
  • timk65timk65 Posts: 40
    edited November 2013
    pglbook wrote: »
    I just started getting into classical music and lately have been listening a lot to Mozart's symphonies. Karl Bohm conducting the Berlin Philarmoniker. Fantastic.

    Seriously? Bohm is the most plodding Mozart conductor ever. He directs everything as if it were written in the 1860's. The orchestra here is about ten times the size it should be. I love his Brahms and some Beethoven, but not Mozart! MacKerras or Hogwood!
  • timk65timk65 Posts: 40
    edited November 2013
    saemark30 wrote: »
    Bach Cello Suite 1-6.
    Which one is the best?

    I like all of Starker, Ma and Bylsma. Bylsma is interesting since it's performed with proper Baroque technique. Starker plays gorgeously, but almost a Romantic interpretation. Ma is somewhere in between.
  • zrubenzruben Posts: 20
    edited December 2013
    Spaseniye Sodelal- Pavel Chesnokov
    Almost any recording of Musica Antiqua Köln
    Great Bach Choruses by the Monteverdi Choir
  • John K.John K. Posts: 825
    edited December 2013
    Sir Edward Elgar's majestic and beautiful 2nd Symphony has continued to grow on me to the point where it's now a top favorite of mine. An excellent disc couples the symphony with another Elgar favorite, the overture In The South, which he drew the inspiration for while on a family vacation in the south of Italy.

    Available from several Amazon sellers here from about $5.
  • voltzvoltz Posts: 5,423
    edited January 2014
    Pickup Mozart's Violin Concertos by Marianne Thorsen/Trondheimsolistene it come with both a CD & SACD and though I've not been the biggest fan of classical music I'm really loving this :)
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  • HofyHofy Posts: 176
    edited February 2014
    Beethoven Symphony 5,7 & 9
    Chopin Piono Concerto #1
    Holst - The Planets
    Rachmaninov piano Concerto #3
    Andres Segovia - Any of his recordings
    Tchaikovsky - 1812
    Vivaldi - The Four Seasons
    Glenn Danzig - Black Aria
  • jaygaxjaygax Posts: 153
    edited March 2014
  • John K.John K. Posts: 825
    edited March 2014
    Holst's massive composition The Planets is well-known for its exciting and beautiful musical moments and its purely sonic virtues have made it popular content for a demonstration disc. Everyone should have at least one recorded performance(I have seven)and should also be aware that the composer definitely wasn't an example of a "one-hit wonder".

    An excellent 2-disc set which of course features a performance of The Planets, conducted by Sir Adrian Boult(who led the first performance and Holst commented that he "First made The Planets shine")and also a nice overview of other Holst compositions. I especially enjoy, besides The Planets, The Perfect Fool and The Song of the Blacksmith from the Suite for Military Band. The set is available here from about $7 up from several Amazon sellers.
  • ROHfanROHfan Posts: 1,005
    edited May 2014
    File this under "modern classical," I guess, but does anybody have Danny Elfman's "Serenada Schizophrana" on SACD? It's quite thrilling and the clarity and resolution is off the charts!
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  • Bach
    Joaquin Rodrigo
    Franz Schubert

    Ill be looking for Holst the planet thanks to everyone's comments!
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  • LeftCoast wrote: »
    Joaquin Rodrigo - Concierto de Aranjuez performed by Academy of St. Martin in the Fields featuring Pepe Romero on guitar.

    Don't bother with the version with Paco de Lucia on guitar. The experiment with having this great flamenco guitarist play classical doesn't work as intended.

    Ravel - Bolero Best version is with Zubin Mehta conducting.
    Absolutely this is the one.
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  • WardswebWardsweb Posts: 876
    Zuill Baily - Bach: Cello Suites (replaces Janos Starker as my favorite recording of the Cello Suites)

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  • afterburntafterburnt Posts: 7,616
    Can't go through the whole thread so forgive me if it was already said. Classical is relatively new territory for me (cept listening, only recenty bought any)

    I recently acquired "Mozart, the symphonies" 10 CD's for like 25 bucks. Great deal in my book, I am luvin it...ewwwweee got me speaking McDonalds...
    rpf65 wrote: »
    I’m thinking you’ve reached the point where people are afraid to open your posts.

    I disabled, I am the South Carolina woman who gouged her eyes out on meth.
  • TroyDTroyD Posts: 12,323
    El Bumpo.....

    Christmas is coming. Expand your musical horizons.....this is a good thread for that.

    I plan for the future. - F1Nut
  • jdjohnjdjohn Posts: 1,682
    I have to add Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt to the list. The version I have (on vinyl) is the RCA Victor "Living Stereo" recording by the Boston Pops. There are several familiar melodies in the suite which people will recognize from movies, commercials, TV, etc.
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  • K_MK_M Posts: 1,617
    edited December 2019

    From Saint Saens carnival of the animals

    One of many I love.
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  • WillowWillow Posts: 10,301
    Franz litz
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