Classical Best Versions

What Is The Very Best Version?

In a catalogue that lists over 200 recordings of Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons", and even 60 versions of Orff's "Carmina Burana", which is the very best?

With the help of Gramophone, Penguin Stereo Guide, BBC Music, and our own ears, we have put together the definitive guide to the popular classics.

Here are a selection of recommended recordings that should find a place in everyone's collection.

Displaying items 1 to 20 of 246

Per Page: 10 20 40
Sort
Per Page
Bach: Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 1, 2, 3 / Suite No.3 in D, BWV 1068 cover
add to cart $12.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
J. S. BACH
Bach: Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 1, 2, 3 / Suite No.3 in D, BWV 1068
The English Concert, Trevor Pinnock
[ Archiv Deutsche Grammophon Virtuoso / CD - released 27/Oct/2011 ]
"Undoubtedly Pinnock's Brandenburgs, played on original instruments, represent the peak of his achievement as an advocate of authentic performance" (Penguin Guide)
Magnificat / Cantata Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen cover
add to cart $14.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
J.S. BACH
Magnificat / Cantata Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen
Nancy Argenta, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Emma Kirkby / John Eliot Gardiner
[ Philips 50 / CD - released 10/May/2012 ]
This bold Gardiner interpretation of Bach's Magnificat is one of the few recordings on period instruments that's available in the Philips catalogue.
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 4 (with Ravel - Piano Concerto in G) cover
add to cart $15.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
SERGEI RACHMANINOV
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 4 (with Ravel - Piano Concerto in G)
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (Piano) / Philharmonia Orchestra, Ettore Gracis
[ Warner Classics Original Jacket Reissues / CD - released 20/Apr/2015 ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die (1901-1950) 50 GREATEST RECORDINGS OF ALL TIME (No 18) - BBC MUSIC
Holst: The Planets / Egdon Heath cover
add to cart $15.00 Low Stock
GUSTAV HOLST
Holst: The Planets / Egdon Heath
BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Andrew Davis
[ Warner Classics Apex / CD - released 1/Apr/2016 ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die (1901-1950) "An unmissable opportunity to test fresh musical waters....price, presentation and repertory selections, all are bang on target." Gramophone Magazine
Mozart: Horn Concertos Nos. 1 - 4 / Quintet for piano & winds cover
add to cart $15.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
W. A. MOZART
Mozart: Horn Concertos Nos. 1 - 4 / Quintet for piano & winds
Dennis Brain (horn) / Dennis Brain Wind Ensemble / Philharmonia Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan
[ Warner Classics Masters / CD - released 13/Feb/2012 ]
'Truly an all-time classic. Timelessly neat and elegant orchestral playing under Karajan accompanies Dennis Brain's flawless and characterful horn playing.' ('The Gramophone' Good CD Guide, 2005)
Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde cover
add to cart $15.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
GUSTAV MAHLER
Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde
Christa Ludwig, Fritz Wunderlich / Philharmonia & New Philharmonia, Otto Klemperer
[ Warner Classics Original Jacket Reissues / CD - released 22/Aug/2015 ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die (1901-1950) - "....not likely to be outshone for a long time" (Gramophone)
Cantatas Nos BWV179, BWV199 & BWV113 cover
add to cart $15.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
J.S. BACH
Cantatas Nos BWV179, BWV199 & BWV113
Kozena, Towers, Padmore, Loges / English Baroque Soloists / John Eliot Gardiner
[ DG Archiv / CD - released 21/Oct/2000 ]
A live performance of Bach's Cantatas for the 11th Sunday after Trinity. Features Magdalena Kozena's stunning performance of BWV199 "Mein Herze schwimmt in Blut"
Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonatas cover
add to cart $15.00 Low Stock
DOMENICO SCARLATTI
Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonatas
Mikhail Pletnev (piano)
[ Erato Classics Red Line / CD - released 15/Oct/2018 ]
"Pletnev establishes a firm pianistic approach...The performances throughout are in the very front rank." Penguin Guide, 2011 edition
Grieg: Peer Gynt / Symphonic Dance No.2 / In Autumn / etc. cover
add to cart $15.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
EDVARD GREIG
Grieg: Peer Gynt / Symphonic Dance No.2 / In Autumn / etc.
Ilse Hollweg (soprano) / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Thomas Beecham
[ Warner Classics / CD - released 13/Feb/2012 ]
"Beecham showed a very special feeling for this score and to hear (these excerpts) under his baton is a uniquely rewarding experience. Ilse Hollweg makes an excellent soloist." Rosette - Penguin Stereo Guide
Symphony No 6 Pathetique / Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture cover
add to cart $15.29 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
TCHAIKOVSKY
Symphony No 6 Pathetique / Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture
Russian National Orchestra / Mikhail Pletnev
[ Deutsche Grammophon Entree / CD - released 11/Oct/2002 ]
"for Pletnev, the Pathetique, I suspect, stands apart from the other symphonies, as this new DG account remains an interpretation that throws moderation to the winds." (Gramophone)
Mahler: Symphony No 9 (Recorded 1964) cover
add to cart $16.00 Low Stock
GUSTAV MAHLER
Mahler: Symphony No 9 (Recorded 1964)
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli
[ Warner Classics Masters / CD - released 25/Jul/2017 ]
"This new issue simply restores the recording to the catalogue where it belongs and at medium price on a single disc it represents excellent value. If you don't already own this great recording, one of the five or six best of this work ever taped" MW
Elgar: Cello Concerto / Sea Pictures / Overture: Cockaigne cover
add to cart $16.00 Low Stock
EDWARD ELGAR
Elgar: Cello Concerto / Sea Pictures / Overture: Cockaigne
Jacqueline Du Pre (cello) Dame Janet Baker (mezzo) / London Symphony orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli
[ Warner Classics Original Jacket Reissues / CD - released 22/Aug/2015 ]
GRAMOPHONE MAGAZINE 100 GREATEST RECORDINGS OF ALL TIME
Barber / Walton: Violin Concertos (with Bloch's Baal Shem) cover
add to cart $17.00 Low Stock
SAMUEL BARBER / WILLIAM WALTON
Barber / Walton: Violin Concertos (with Bloch's Baal Shem)
Joshua Bell (violin) / Baltimore Symphony / David Zinman
[ Decca Originals / CD - released 20/Aug/2006 ]
1998 Gramophone Concerto Winner - "Bell's passionate playing in the Barber, full of tender poetry, is well matched by the excellent orchestra, ripely and brilliantly recorded."
Bruch: Violin Concerto / Scottish Fantasy cover
add to cart $17.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
MAX BRUCH
Bruch: Violin Concerto / Scottish Fantasy
Kyung-Wha Chung (violin) / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Rudolf Kempe
[ Decca Virtuoso / CD - released 27/Oct/2011 ]
"Kyung-Wha Chung is a formidable player. She has a bold attack which springs from absolute security of intonation...the sound of the lyrical passages especially is consistently bright and rich, tonally integrated from top to bottom and of a really...
Ikon of Light / Funeral Ikos / The Lamb / etc cover
add to cart $17.00 Low Stock
JOHN TAVENER
Ikon of Light / Funeral Ikos / The Lamb / etc
Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips, director
[ Gimell / CD - released 10/May/2014 ]
"Enjoying a close working relationship with Tavener at the time, The Tallis Scholars imbued these performances with a real sense of ownership and an innate feel for the graceful shaping of his chant-inspired lines" Gramophone Magazine Re-issue of the
Symphony No. 1 / Academic Festival Overture cover
add to cart $17.99 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
BRAHMS
Symphony No. 1 / Academic Festival Overture
Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Sir Charles Mackerras
[ Telarc Classics / CD - released 20/Sep/2005 ]
"An example of what's best in a new school of thought on the subject, the discs are indispensable." - Los Angeles Times
Janet Baker sings Lieder cover
add to cart $18.00 In Stock
SCHUMANN / SCHUBERT / BRAHMS
Janet Baker sings Lieder
Janet Baker (mezzo-soprano) / Martin Isepp (piano)
[ Regis Records / CD - released 18/Oct/2005 ]
"Janet Baker's range of expression.. runs the whole gamut from joyful golden tone colour of courtship to the agony of bereavement ..Martin Isepp a highly sensitive and and supportive partner.." - Penguin Guide Rosette
Falla: El sombrero de tres picos (The Three Cornered Hat) / La Vida Breve: Interlude & Dance [with Debussy - Images] (recorded 1961 & 1962) cover
add to cart $18.00 In Stock
MANUEL de FALLA
Falla: El sombrero de tres picos (The Three Cornered Hat) / La Vida Breve: Interlude & Dance [with Debussy - Images] (recorded 1961 & 1962)
Teresa Berganza (soprano) / L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Ernest Ansermet
[ Decca Australian Eloquence / CD - released 10/Apr/2016 ]
",,not only one of the great recordings of all time, but one of the greatest orchestral pieces written in the early part of the 20th Century...do not miss it!" Mel@Marbecks
String Quartets Nos 1 & 2 cover
add to cart $20.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
ENESCU
String Quartets Nos 1 & 2
Ad Libitum Quartet
[ Naxos / CD - released 1/May/2001 ]
2001 GRAMOPHONE AWARD FINALIST - Chamber
Satie: Gymnopedies and other piano works cover
add to cart $20.00 In Stock
ERIK SATIE
Satie: Gymnopedies and other piano works
Aldo Ciccolini (piano)
[ Warner Classics Original Jacket Reissues / CD - released 20/Apr/2015 ]
"No more committed or convincing champion of this music could be found than Ciccolini, who equally well conveys, for example, the tenderness of the fifth Gnossienne, the pre-Poulenc pert humour and charm of the Morceaux en forme de poire and the...