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 41 to 60 of 246

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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)
Beethoven: Fidelio (complete opera recorded in 1962) cover
add to cart $51.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
LUDWIG van BEETHOVEN
Beethoven: Fidelio (complete opera recorded in 1962)
Christa Ludwig, Jon Vickers, Gottlob Frick / Philharmonia Orchestra / Otto Klemperer
[ EMI The Opera Series / 2 CD Box Set - released 20/Nov/2009 ]
1001 Classical recordings to hear before you die (1801-1850) - "Superbly remastered. The sound has a depth, beauty and realism far beyond any previous incarnation of this splendid 1962 Kingsway Hall recording. It remains first choice." - Rosette...
Mozart: Requiem in D minor, K626 cover
add to cart $27.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
W. A. MOZART
Mozart: Requiem in D minor, K626
Christine Schafer (sop) Bernarda Fink (mezzo) Kurt Streit (tenor) Gerald Finley (baritone) / Vienna Concentus Musicus / Nikolaus Harnoncourt
[ Deutsche Harmonia Mundi / CD - released 2/Jul/2004 ]
"Subtle realism imbues Harnoncourt's deeply considered second recording" Editor's Choice Gramophone July 2004
Cinderella (Complete Ballet) / The Seasons cover
add to cart $25.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
PROKOFIEV / GLAZUNOV
Cinderella (Complete Ballet) / The Seasons
Cleveland Orchestra / Royal Philharmonic / Vladimir Ashkenazy
[ Double Decca / 2 CD - released 12/Jul/2000 ]
"Ashkenazy gets excellent results from the Cleveland orchestra. The recording's fine definition is enchanced, yet not at the expense of atmosphere, and the bright, vivid image is given striking projection." (Penguin Stereo Guide)
Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik / Serenata Notturna / etc cover
add to cart $32.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
W. A. MOZART
Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik / Serenata Notturna / etc
Concert des Nations, Jordi Savall
[ Alia Vox SACD / Hybrid SACD - released 30/May/2008 ]
"Savall sets some brisk tempos, particularly for the slow movement of Eine kleine Nachtmusik, but they're convincing. …it's vivid playing from everyone, well defined in outline and responding imaginatively to the varied character of Mozart's music."
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Shostakovich: Symphonies 5 & 9 cover
add to cart $20.00 Low Stock
DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Shostakovich: Symphonies 5 & 9
Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bernard Haitink
[ Decca Ovation / CD - released 1/Jan/1993 ]
"In No 5 Haitink is eminently straightforward, there are no disruptive changes in tempo, and the playing of the Concertgebouw Orchestra and the contribution of the Decca engineers are beyond praise...the coupled No 9 is superb." *** Three Stars...
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)
Gorecki: Symphony No. 3 'Symphony of Sorrowful Songs' cover
add to cart $25.00 Low Stock
HENRYK GORECKI
Gorecki: Symphony No. 3 'Symphony of Sorrowful Songs'
Dawn Upshaw (soprano) / London Symphony / David Zinman
[ Nonesuch Records / CD - released 26/Jun/1992 ]
This is an outstanding rendition of Gorecki's Third, capturing the feeling of growing hope and joy that can ultimately break from the shackles of sorrow. Zinman and the London Sinfonietta really understand the mood and philosophy of this piece, and...
Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (complete oratorio) cover
add to cart $31.00 Low Stock
HANDEL
Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (complete oratorio)
Deborah York / Gemma Bertagnolli / Sara Mingardo / Concerto Italiano / Rinaldo Alessandrini
[ Naive Baroque Voices / 2 CD - released 1/May/2007 ]
Stunning performances and recording of this early Italian oratorio by Handel. Newly re-issued at mid-price 2 CDs for less than the price of 1!
Bach: St Matthew Passion (Complete on 2 CDs) cover
add to cart $45.00 In Stock
J. S. BACH
Bach: St Matthew Passion (Complete on 2 CDs)
Deborah York, Julia Gooding, Magdalena Kozena, Susan Bickley, Mark Padmore, Gabrieli Players, Paul McCreesh
[ Archiv / 2 CD - released 15/Apr/2003 ]
"With his modest forces, McCreesh's performance of the St Matthew Passion has a transparency and grace that can be quite breathtaking." Recording of the Month - Gramophone Magazine (May 2003)
4 Horn Concertos / Piano and Wind Quintet (rec 1953, 1955) cover
add to cart $20.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
W. A. MOZART
4 Horn Concertos / Piano and Wind Quintet (rec 1953, 1955)
Dennis Brain (horn) / Walter Gieseking (piano) / Philharmonia Wind Ensemble / Philharmonia Orchestra / Herbert von Karajan
[ Naxos Historical / CD - released 6/Feb/2007 ]
"This disc is pure joy. At the price, it is almost a crime not to snap it up." Bargain of the Month MusicWeb May 2007
Dvorak: Piano Quartets 1 & 2 cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
ANTONIN DVORAK
Dvorak: Piano Quartets 1 & 2
Domus
[ Hyperion / CD - released 1/Feb/2000 ]
PENGUIN GUIDE ROSETTE - "The Dvorak Piano Quartets are glorious pieces, and the playing of Domus is little short of inspired. This is real chamber-music-playing: intimate, unforced and distinguished by both vitality and sensitivity."
Piano Quartets Nos 1 & 2 cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
FAURE
Piano Quartets Nos 1 & 2
Domus
[ Hyperion / CD - released 19/Sep/2003 ]
GRAMOPHONE AWARD WINNER "Domus have the requisite lightness of touch and subtlety, and just the right sense of scale and tempo." Rosette Penguin Stereo Guide
The Piano Quintets cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
FAURE
The Piano Quintets
Domus
[ Hyperion / CD - released 19/Sep/2003 ]
PENGUIN GUIDE ROSETTE GRAMOPHONE AWARD WINNER
Gilbert & Sullivan: H.M.S. Pinafore (Complete Opera) cover
add to cart $42.00 Low Stock
GILBERT and SULLIVAN
Gilbert & Sullivan: H.M.S. Pinafore (Complete Opera)
D'Oyly Carte Opera Company with Jean Hindmarsh / John Reed / Donald Adams / New Symphony Orchestra / Isadore Godfrey
[ Decca Records / 2 CD - released 1/Apr/2003 ]
"The 1960 Godfrey set of this opera is very special indeed, and HMS Pinafore is in our view the finest of all the D'Oyly Carte analogue stereo recordings" Rosette - Penguin Stereo Guiide
Bach: Christmas Oratorio cover
add to cart $42.00 Low Stock
J. S. BACH
Bach: Christmas Oratorio
Mary Bevan (sop) Joanne Lunn (sop) Clare Wilkinson (mezzo) Nicholas Mulro (ten), etc / Dunedin Consort and Players, John Butt
[ Linn / 2 CD - released 14/Oct/2016 ]
"Way-too-early seasonal content (sorry), but this latest release from the Dunedin Consort is too good to wait. It's surely one of the finest accounts now available of Bach's Christmas Oratorio." Guardian Five Stars
Prokofiev: Scythian Suite / Lieutenant Kije / Alexander Nevsky cover
add to cart $20.00 Low Stock
SERGEI PROKOFIEV
Prokofiev: Scythian Suite / Lieutenant Kije / Alexander Nevsky
Elena Obraztsova / London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado
[ Deutsche Grammophon The Originals / CD - released 5/May/2000 ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die - "Abbado's Alexander Nevsky culminates in a deeply moving account of the tragic lament after the battle, made more telling when the battle itself is so fine an example of orchestral virtuosity"
Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn' ihn BWV1127 cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
J.S. BACH
Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn' ihn BWV1127
Elin Manahan Thomas / English Baroque Soloists / John Eliot Gardiner
[ Soli Deo Gloria / CD - released 10/Oct/2005 ]
Premiere recording of a newly discovered aria by Bach, unearthed in a library in June 2005
Elina Garanca: Habanera cover
add to cart $33.00 Low Stock
BIZET / FALLA / BERNSTEIN / RAVEL / LEHAR / etc
Elina Garanca: Habanera
Elina Garanca (mezzo) with Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Coro Filarmonico del Regio di Torino, Karel Mark Chichon
[ Deutsche Grammophon / CD - released 30/Aug/2010 ]
"GaranĨa's voice has been described as "creamy", "silken" and "lustrous" but it also has a surprisingly rounded maturity. What sets her apart, however, is the unteachable ability to send shivers down the spine." Editor's Choice - Gramophone Magazine,...
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Operetta Arias cover
add to cart $25.00 Low Stock
HEUBERGER / LEHAR / MILLOCKER / SIECZYNSKI / SUPPE / etc
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Operetta Arias
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) / Philharmonia Orchestra / Otto Ackermann
[ EMI Great Recordings of the Century / CD - released 24/Jun/1999 ]
Rosette (Highest Rating) - Penguin Stereo Guide