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 61 to 80 of 245

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Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos 1-15 (Complete) (special price) cover
add to cart $63.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH
Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos 1-15 (Complete) (special price)
Elisabeth Soderstrom / Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau / Concertgebouw Orchestra / London Philharmonic / Bernard Haitink
[ Decca Bargain Boxes / 11 CD - released 20/May/2006 ]
"All in all, a considerable achievement." *** Three Stars. Penguin Stereo Guide.
Classical Kirkby - Orpheus and Corinna cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
LAWES / BLOW / WILSON / CAMPION / ECCLES / etc
Classical Kirkby - Orpheus and Corinna
Emma Kirkby (soprano) Anthony Rooley (theorbo-lute)
[ BIS / CD - released 1/Sep/2002 ]
"These are delightful songs, superbly sung with delicate, tactful accompaniments played on the theorbo-lute by Anthony Rooley" Rod Bliss (Sunday Times)
A Feather on the Breath of God cover
add to cart $30.00 In Stock
HILDEGARD von BINGEN
A Feather on the Breath of God
Emma Kirkby (soprano) / Gothic Voices
[ Hyperion / CD - released 1/Sep/2010 ]
"These hymns and sequences, most expertly performed and recorded, have excited much acclaim - and rightly so. A lovely CD" Penguin Guide
Handel: Sacred Cantatas cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
GEORG FRIDERIC HANDEL
Handel: Sacred Cantatas
Emma Kirkby (soprano) / London Baroque. Medlam
[ BIS / CD - released 1/Oct/2013 ]
Rosette (highest rating) Penguin Stereo Guide
Schnittke / Pärt: Choral Works cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
ALFRED SCHNITTKE / ARVO PART
Schnittke / Pärt: Choral Works
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Kaspars PutniƆš
[ BIS SACD / Hybrid SACD - released 15/Dec/2017 ]
"This work has been waiting for choirs able to do this, because the technical challenges are not the most important thing about this music" Gramophone Award WINNER 2018 - Choral
Tafelmusik: Excerpts cover
add to cart $37.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
TELEMANN
Tafelmusik: Excerpts
Florilegium
[ Channel Classics / CD - released 30/Jan/2003 ]
"Remember their name. They are great poets, magicians who will hypnotise your mind in the magic of their music, touching the very heart of your soul." - Diapason
Schmidt - Complete Symphonies cover
add to cart $40.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
FRANZ SCHMIDT
Schmidt - Complete Symphonies
Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Paavo Järvi
[ Deutsche Grammophon / 3 CD - released 5/Feb/2021 ]
GRAMOPHONE Award WINNER 2021 - Orchestral
Alio Modo (keyboard works transcribed for viols) cover
add to cart $32.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
J.S. BACH
Alio Modo (keyboard works transcribed for viols)
Fretwork
[ Harmonia Mundi / CD - released 25/Dec/2005 ]
British viol consort Fretwork revel in the contrapuntal intricacies of J.S. Bach's works for organ and harpsichord transcribed for a consort of viols.
Britten: War Requiem (plus Rehearsal sequences bonus) (Rec 1963) cover
add to cart $40.00 Low Stock
BENJAMIN BRITTEN
Britten: War Requiem (plus Rehearsal sequences bonus) (Rec 1963)
Galina Vishnevskaya (soprano) Peter Pears (tenor) Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) / London Symphony & chorus, Benjamin Britten, with Simon Preston
[ Decca Originals / 2 CD - released 12/Mar/2006 ]
1001 Classical Recordings you must hear before you die (1951 - present). "This superb recording, definitive in so many ways, speaks to us as powerfully today as it ever did" (MusicWeb Bargain of the Month Sept 2006)
Brahms: Symphonies (complete) / Overtures / Hungarian Dances / etc cover
add to cart $75.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
JOHANNES BRAHMS
Brahms: Symphonies (complete) / Overtures / Hungarian Dances / etc
Gewandhausorchester, Riccardo Chailly
[ Decca / 3 CD Box Set - released 1/Nov/2013 ]
BBC Music Magazine Awards 2014 Orchestral WINNER / GRAMOPHONE MAGAZINE AWARD WINNER 2014 - Orchestral
Bach: Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin BWV1001-1006 cover
add to cart $64.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
J. S. BACH
Bach: Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin BWV1001-1006
Gidon Kremer (violin)
[ ECM Records / 2 CD - released 1/Apr/2009 ]
Gidon Kremer's second complete recording (made in 2001 and 2002) of the six sonatas and partitas for solo violin is a radically new interpretation of them, not only at the level of technical and musical detail but in terms of the expressive qualities...
Violin Sonatas cover
add to cart $89.99 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
BARTOK / BEETHOVEN / BRAHMS / BUSONI / JANACEK / MESSIAEN / PROKOFIEV / etc
Violin Sonatas
Gidon Kremer (violin) with Martha Argerich, Valery Afanassiev and Oleg Maisenberg
[ DG Collector's Edition / 8 CD - released 9/Oct/2003 ]
The present set includes the complete Beethoven and Brahms Sonatas, as well as the two well-known Schumann Sonatas, plus Sonatas by Richard Strauss, Busoni, Bartok, Janacek, Prokofiev, and Messiaen's Theme and Variations - restoring many recordings...
Dixit Dominus,HWV232. Gloria in excelsis Deo. (with Vivaldi - Gloria, RV589) cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
HANDEL
Dixit Dominus,HWV232. Gloria in excelsis Deo. (with Vivaldi - Gloria, RV589)
Gillian Keith (soprano) Monteverdi Choir, John Elliot Gardiner
[ Philips / CD - released 2/May/2002 ]
"The acoustic is lavish, indeed thoroughly Baroque. The disc as a whole offers an excellent illustration of what that much-discussed word actually means in musical terms." - International Record Review (Jan 2002)
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Sibelius: Finlandia / Karelia Suite / The Oceanides / Luonnotar cover
add to cart $30.00 Low Stock
JEAN SIBELIUS
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Sibelius: Finlandia / Karelia Suite / The Oceanides / Luonnotar
Soile Isokoski (soprano) / Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Jarvi
[ Deutsche Grammophon / CD - released 15/Jan/1996 ]
1001 Classical recording you must hear before you die (1851-1900)
Orff: Carmina Burana cover
add to cart $25.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
CARL ORFF
Orff: Carmina Burana
Gundula Janowitz, Gerhard Stolze, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau / Berlin Opera, Eugen Jochum
[ Deutsche Grammophon Originals / CD - released 1/Jan/2001 ]
"Jochum's 1968 recording of Carmina Burana has never sounded better than it does in this reissue in DG's 'Originals' series. The recording has a wide dynamic range and when the music blazes it has real spedour and excitement." (Penguin Stereo Guide)
Mendelssohn: Elijah (Complete Oratorio in English) cover
add to cart $20.00 Low Stock
FELIX MENDELSSOHN
Mendelssohn: Elijah (Complete Oratorio in English)
Gwyneth Jones, Janet Baker, Nicolai Gedda, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Wandsworth School Boys' Choir / New Philharmonia / Rafael Frubeck de Burgos
[ Warner Classics / 2 CD - released 12/Nov/2004 ]
"this a memorable and enjoyable set, very well recorded and spaciously and realistically transferred to CD." *** Three Stars (Penguin Stereo Guide)
Bach: Mass in B minor cover
add to cart $60.00 Low Stock
J. S. BACH
Bach: Mass in B minor
Hannah Morrison (sop) Meg Bragle (alto) Esther Brazil (mezzo) Peter Davoren (ten) Alex Ashworth (bass) / English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
[ Soli Deo Gloria / 2 CD - released 22/Dec/2015 ]
"Thirty years since his pioneering first version, Gardiner returns to re-record the mighty Mass in B minor; the impressive result draws on all his great knowledge and experience of Bach's music." Gramophone Award Nomination 2016 - Baroque Vocal
Miroirs (with Schumann-Kreisleriana) cover
add to cart $36.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
RAVEL
Miroirs (with Schumann-Kreisleriana)
Herbert Schuch (piano)
[ Oehms / CD - released 1/Jun/2006 ]
"Herbert Schuch is a 27 year old Romanian whose recording debut is of an intimidating mastery and stylistic assurance." Editor's Choice Gramophone June 2006
Gesualdo: Tenebrae cover
add to cart $64.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
CARLO GESUALDO
Gesualdo: Tenebrae
The Hilliard Ensemble
[ ECM Records / 2 CD - released 1/Apr/2009 ]
Vocal ensemble performance doesn't get any more technically polished or musically affecting than this offering from the Hilliard Ensemble--an example of what happens when a group of individual singers performs as a spiritual entity. Of course, the...
Complete Schubert Edition: Die Schone Mullerin cover
add to cart $30.00 Low Stock
FRANZ SCHUBERT
Complete Schubert Edition: Die Schone Mullerin
Ian Bostridge (tenor) Graham Johnson (piano) Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (reader)
[ Hyperion 30 / CD - released 1/Oct/2010 ]
GRAMOPHONE AWARD WINNER - PENGUIN GUIDE ROSETTE - GRAMOPHONE EDITOR'S CHOICE / CRITICS' CHOICE