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 81 to 100 of 246

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Verdi: La Traviata (Complete Opera recorded in 1977 with libretto) cover
add to cart $50.00 Low Stock
GIUSEPPE VERDI
Verdi: La Traviata (Complete Opera recorded in 1977 with libretto)
Ileana Cotrubas, Placido Domingo, Sherrill Milnes / Bayerisches Staatsorchester. Carlos Kleiber (cond)
[ Deutsche Grammophon Centenary Collection / 2 CD Box Set - released 1/Jun/2008 ]
"This performance is so compelling dramatically, and as a recording much more natural in the latter respect that its rivals, it could well be a newcomer's first choice." (Gramophone)
Violin Concerto No 1 / La Campanella / Moses Fantasy for violin & piano cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
Beethoven: Complete sonatas for violin and piano (plus free 'making of' DVD) cover
add to cart $55.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
LUDWIG van BEETHOVEN
Beethoven: Complete sonatas for violin and piano (plus free 'making of' DVD)
Isabelle Faust (violin) Alexander Melnikov (piano)
[ Harmonia Mundi / 4 CD Box Set - released 1/Sep/2009 ]
Gramophone Awards 2010: WINNER: Chamber - "The combination of the two fires a laser between the staves...A marvellous set." Gramophone Magazine
Mozart: Complete Violin Concertos cover
add to cart $40.00 Low Stock
W. A. MOZART
Mozart: Complete Violin Concertos
Isabelle Faust (violin) / Il Giardino Armonico, Giovanni Antonini
[ Harmonia Mundi / 2 CD - released 20/Nov/2016 ]
"her sound growing out of the corporate entity to glitter, coax, snarl and soar as required…[a] thought-provoking and eminently enjoyable cycle" Gramophone Award WINNER 2017 - RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Beethoven / Berg: Violin Concertos cover
add to cart $35.00 In Stock
BEETHOVEN / ALBAN BERG
Beethoven / Berg: Violin Concertos
Isabelle Faust (violin) / Orchestra Mozart / Claudio Abbado
[ Harmonia Mundi / CD - released 1/Mar/2012 ]
"The Beethoven and Berg Violin Concertos aren't commonly paired on disc. However, in this case it seems like an inspired piece of programme planning. Outstanding performances of both concertos, then; I'll want to return to them often." (Gramophone...
Bartok: Violin Concertos cover
add to cart $32.00 Low Stock
BELA BARTOK
Bartok: Violin Concertos
Isabelle Faust (violin) / Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Harding
[ Harmonia Mundi / CD - released 29/Jul/2013 ]
BBC Music Magazine Awards 2014 Concerto Finalist / GRAMOPHONE MAGAZINE AWARD NOMINATION 2014
Scherzi, Preludes & Piano Sonata No. 2 cover
add to cart $24.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
CHOPIN
Scherzi, Preludes & Piano Sonata No. 2
Ivo Pogorelich (piano)
[ Deutsche Grammophon Duo / 2 CD - released 15/Mar/2012 ]
"Second to none in sheer keyboard brilliance … everything he does is always done with princely authority." (Gramophone)
Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No 6 / Ravel: Gaspard de la Nuit / Chopin: Sonata No 2 cover
add to cart $20.00 Low Stock
SERGEI PROKOFIEV / MAURICE RAVEL / FREDERIC CHOPIN
Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No 6 / Ravel: Gaspard de la Nuit / Chopin: Sonata No 2
Ivo Pogorelich (piano)
[ Deutsche Grammophon Originals / CD - released 20/Mar/2003 ]
"Pogorelich's Gaspard is out of the ordinary. In Le Gibet, we are made conscious of the pianist's refinement of tone and colour first, and Ravel's poetic vision afterwards, But for all that, this is piano playing of astonishing quality." Rosette Peng
Penderecki: A Polish Requiem cover
add to cart $28.00 Low Stock
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 / Korngold / Walton: Violin Concertos cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
BARBER / KORNGOLD / WALTON
Barber / Korngold / Walton: Violin Concertos
James Ehnes (violin) / Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Bramwell Tovey
[ ONYX / CD - released 1/Feb/2007 ]
Rosette Recording - Penguin Stereo Guide - "A fine violinist excels himself in an outstanding trio of romantic concertos" (Gramophone)
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Mahler: Kindertotenlieder / Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen / etc cover
add to cart $20.00 Low Stock
GUSTAV MAHLER
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Mahler: Kindertotenlieder / Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen / etc
Janet Baker (mezzo) / Halle & New Philharmonia Orchestras / Sir John Barbirolli
[ EMI Great Recordings of the Century / CD - released 27/Aug/1999 ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die (1901-1950) - "The spontaneous feeling of soloist and conductor of this music comes over as in a live performance and brings out the tenderness to a unique degree. An indispensable CD." Penguin
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
Ravel: Jeux de Miroirs cover
add to cart $35.00 Low Stock
MAURICE RAVEL
Ravel: Jeux de Miroirs
Javier Perianes (piano) / Orchestre de Paris, Josep Pons
[ Harmonia Mundi / CD - released 29/Nov/2019 ]
"I loved this disc. The music is wonderful; within this programme we experience Ravel as poet, sophisticate, wit and, always, as the master craftsman." MusicWeb Recommended Feb 2020
Turangalila-symphonie cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
MESSIAEN
Turangalila-symphonie
Jean-Yves Thibaudet (piano) / Takashi Harada (ondes martenot) / Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra / Riccardo Chailly
[ Decca 20C / CD - released 20/Mar/2013 ]
"Chailly gets jiggy with it, in a performance that's interested in the carnal desire underpinning Messiaen's piece. It may be over the top for some tastes, but the orchestral playing is unbelievably powerful and hardcore. Vividly recorded, too."...
Shostakovich: String Quartets No. 1, 4, 6, 8, 9 & 11 cover
add to cart $32.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH
Shostakovich: String Quartets No. 1, 4, 6, 8, 9 & 11
Jerusalem Quartet
[ Harmonia Mundi Gold / 2 CD - released 1/Feb/2013 ]
BBC AWARD WINNER 2008 - Best Chamber recording - 'This is challenging, unpredictable Shostakovich which always convinces even when the approach is new. The Jerusalem Quartet's tonal range is daunting too.' (BBC)
Bach: Cantatas Vol 1: BWV7, 30, 167; BWV20, 39, 75 cover
add to cart $40.00 Low Stock
J. S. BACH
Bach: Cantatas Vol 1: BWV7, 30, 167; BWV20, 39, 75
Joanne Lunn, Gillian Keith, Wilke te Brummelstroete, Paul Agnew. Monteverdi Choir. English Baroque Soloists. John Eliot Gardiner
[ Soli Deo Gloria / 2 CD - released 10/Feb/2005 ]
Cantatas For the Feast of St John the Baptist and the First Sunday after Trinity. "The first steps on this Bach pilgrimage lift the heart for the journey to come." Recording of the Month Gramophone Magazine (March 2005) WINNER BEST BAROQUE VOCAL...
Bach: Cantatas Vol 10: BWV48, BWV5, BWV90 & BWV56; BWV79, BWV192 & BWV80 cover
add to cart $40.00 Low Stock
Requiem / Prologue to Mefistofele / Te Deum cover
add to cart $32.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
BERLIOZ / BOITO / VERDI
Requiem / Prologue to Mefistofele / Te Deum
John Aler, tenor, Robert Shaw Chorale. Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Robert Shaw
[ Telarc Classics / 2 CD - released 7/Mar/2004 ]
"The performance on this recording is about as satisfying as one can imagine, and the recording itself is simply breathtaking." —Stereophile
Liszt: Piano Works (Includes Fantasia on Hungarian Folk Themes & Mephisto Waltz No.1) ( nine CD set!) cover
add to cart $130.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
FRANZ LISZT
Liszt: Piano Works (Includes Fantasia on Hungarian Folk Themes & Mephisto Waltz No.1) ( nine CD set!)
Jorge Bolet (piano)
[ Decca Budget Boxes / 9 CD Box Set - released 26/May/2001 ]
All Bolet's solo Liszt recordings in one box at a special price