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 21 to 40 of 246

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Bach: Overtures (Four Orchestral Suites) cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
J. S. BACH
Bach: Overtures (Four Orchestral Suites)
Bach Collegium Japan / Masaaki Suzuki
[ BIS SACD / 2 Hybrid SACD - released 1/Aug/2005 ]
"These performances are magnificent, and offering two SACDs for the price of one makes them a good deal too. Suzuki does more than just play the music very well: he evokes its purpose, social milieu, and lavishness of content in such a way that...
Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, From the New World / Symphonic Variations Op. 78 cover
add to cart $20.00 In Stock
ANTONIN DVORAK
Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, From the New World / Symphonic Variations Op. 78
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra / Marin Alsop
[ Naxos / CD - released 1/Jul/2008 ]
"The Largo is given one of the most perfectly shaped and unaffectedly styraightforward performances I have heard, led by a magnificently vocal cor anglais solo." Disc of the Month (BBC Music Magazine July 2008)
Mozart: Requiem KV 626 cover
add to cart $38.00 Low Stock
W. A. MOZART
Mozart: Requiem KV 626
Barbara Bonney, Anne Sofie Von Otter, Willard White / Monteverdi Choir / English Baroque / Sir John Eliot Gardiner
[ Philips / CD - released 12/Dec/2005 ]
"John Elliot Gardiner with characteristic panache gives one of the most powerful performances on record" *** Three Stars. Penguin Stereo Guide.
Bach Transcriptions (arrangements by great composers) cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
J.S. BACH
Bach Transcriptions (arrangements by great composers)
BBC Philharmonic / Leonard Slatkin
[ Chandos Classics / CD - released 5/Jul/2000 ]
Editor's Choice - Gramophone Magazine (Oct 2000) - Five Stars (*****) Classic CD (Oct 2000)
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
Bach: Goldberg Variations cover
add to cart $30.00 In Stock
J. S. BACH
Bach: Goldberg Variations
Beatrice Rana (piano)
[ Warner Classics / CD - released 1/Mar/2017 ]
"Her detailing is one of the aspects that makes this performance so compelling, be it the bringing out of a new line in the repeat, subtle changes in phrasing, a touch of pedal - examples are to be found in every single variation." Gramophone
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos 1 - 9 cover
add to cart $60.00 Low Stock
LUDWIG van BEETHOVEN
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos 1 - 9
Anne Sofie von Otter, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Gilles Cachemaill / The Monteverdi Choir & Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner
[ Deutsche Grammophone Archiv Collectors Edition / 5 CD Box Set - released 1/Jul/2010 ]
1001 Classical recordings to hear before you die (1801-1850) - "John Elliot Gardiner's Beethoven symphony cycle creates perhaps the most satisfying Beethoven style for our time: sleek but powerful, played and recorded with great polish, performed on...
Grieg: Holberg Suite / Two Elegiac Melodies / Two Lyric Pieces / etc cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
EDWARD GRIEG
Grieg: Holberg Suite / Two Elegiac Melodies / Two Lyric Pieces / etc
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Ole Kristian Ruud (conductor)
[ BIS SACD / Hybrid SACD - released 1/Nov/2005 ]
"This is simply the most beautiful record of Grieg's string music in the catalogue, and one of the most beautiful and realistic recordings of strings we have ever heard. Try and hear the disc on SACD equipment with four speakers, and you will be...
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
Rota: The Fellini Album cover
add to cart $30.00 In Stock
NINO ROTA
Rota: The Fellini Album
Filarmonica della Scala, Riccardo Chailly
[ Decca Records / CD - released 2/Aug/2019 ]
Together with the Filarmonica della Scala, Riccardo Chailly explores the iconic film scores of Nino Rota in a new collection, The Fellini Album, on Decca. Released to mark 40 years since Rota's death in April 1979, the album contains music from...
Cosi fan tutte (Complete opera) cover
add to cart $62.99 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
W.A. MOZART
Cosi fan tutte (Complete opera)
Bernarda Fink (soprano) Veronique Gens (soprano) Werner Gura (tenor) Marcel Boone (baritone) / Concerto Koln / Rene Jacobs
[ Harmonia Mundi Mozart Edition / 3 CD - released 1/Oct/2005 ]
"The bite and clarity of the orchestral playing are revelatory...Once again, this greatest of operas amazes and beguiles. We scarcely need another recording...but this is one I would not willingly be without, especially because of the singers'...
Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen (complete operas) cover
add to cart $125.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
RICHARD WAGNER
Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen (complete operas)
Birgit Nilsson, Regine Crespin, Kirsten Flagstad, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, George London / Vienna Philharmonic, Sir Georg Solti
[ Decca Records / 17 CD Box Set - released 5/Aug/2015 ]
Decca's landmark recording of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen conducted by Sir Georg Solti is the most celebrated classical recording in history.
Bartok: Miraculous Mandarin (The) (Complete Ballet) / Hungarian Pictures / Dance Suite cover
add to cart $28.00 Low Stock
BELA BARTOK
Bartok: Miraculous Mandarin (The) (Complete Ballet) / Hungarian Pictures / Dance Suite
Bournemouth Symphony Chorus / Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / Marin Alsop, conductor
[ Naxos SACD / Hybrid SACD - released 17/Apr/2005 ]
"There's really no reason not to acquire this CD" International record review (June 2005)
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)
Bach: Missae Breves (Lutheran Masses) - BWV233, BWV234, BWV235 and BWV236 cover
add to cart $32.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
J. S. BACH
Bach: Missae Breves (Lutheran Masses) - BWV233, BWV234, BWV235 and BWV236
Cantus Colln / Konrad Junghanel
[ Harmonia Mundi Gold / 2 CD - released 1/Mar/2018 ]
"Konrad Junghänel brings finesse and clarity to the music, but there is also plenty of excitement… Cantus Cölln's unity of approach between voices and instruments is outstanding." BBC Music Magazine, October 2008
Cecilia & Bryn: Duets cover
add to cart $35.00 In Stock
MOZART / ROSSINI / DONIZETTI
Cecilia & Bryn: Duets
Cecilia Bartoli (soprano) Bryn Terfel (bass) / Orchestra dell'Accademia di Santa
[ Decca Records / CD - released 2/May/2001 ]
The world's leading mezzo-soprano and the world's greatest baritone combine!
Choir of King's College Cambridge - 5 Classic Albums cover
add to cart $40.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
HANDEL / ALLEGRI / RACHMANINOV / VIVALDI / BACH / etc
Choir of King's College Cambridge - 5 Classic Albums
Choir of King's College, Cambridge / Academy of Ancient Music, Stephen Cleobury, with Susan Gritton, Robin Blaze & Jonathan Lemalu
[ Warner Classics 5 Classic Albums / 5 CD Box Set - released 1/May/2014 ]
"King's College Choir sing with great style and virtuosity, and bridge the gap between authenticity and excitement in a way that makes this a fine recommendation for these imaginative works." Gramophone Magazine (Awards Issue 2001 Coronation Anthems
Choral Music (Incl Morning Service Three Latin Motets) cover
add to cart $20.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
STANFORD
Choral Music (Incl Morning Service Three Latin Motets)
Choir of St. John's College / Christopher Robinson (organist)
[ Naxos / CD - released 5/Aug/2003 ]
"Another triumphant recording from the tried-and-tested team of St John's College Choir, Cambridge, their music director Christopher Robinson and Naxos. A disc to stir up memories among those of us whose education took in this unique repertoire and,...
O magnum mysterium cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
VICTORIA
O magnum mysterium
Choir of Westminster Cathedral / David Hill (conductor)
[ Hyperion / CD - released 25/May/2005 ]
GRAMOPHONE CRITICS' CHOICE 'Superb music, and the listener is thrillingly involved when the sound so successfully combines immediacy and body, yet remains admirably coloured by the Westminster resonance' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)
Requiem / Quatre Motets / Messe cum Jubilo / etc cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
DURUFLE
Requiem / Quatre Motets / Messe cum Jubilo / etc
Choir of Westminster Cathedral / James O'Donnell (conductor) with Aaron Webber (treble) and Simon Keenlyside (baritone)
[ Hyperion / CD - released 25/May/2005 ]
'The Westminster Cathedral boys and men carry the lyricism and harmonic luxuriance to an ethereal plane. The choral singing is superb ... helping one to bathe in Duruflé's sumptuous ideas' (The Daily Telegraph)