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 101 to 120 of 233

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The Nutcracker (Complete ballet on one CD) cover
add to cart $31.50 Low Stock
TCHAIKOVSKY
The Nutcracker (Complete ballet on one CD)
The Kirov Orchestra / Valery Gergiev
[ Philips / CD - released 15/Apr/2003 ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die (1851-1900) - "Philips has somehow crammed more than 81 minutes of superb sound onto this disc, making it a remarkable bargain. Very highly recommended!"
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"
Brahms: 3 Violin Sonatas cover
add to cart $22.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
JOHANNES BRAHMS
Brahms: 3 Violin Sonatas
Krysia Osostowicz (violin) Susan Tomes (piano)
[ Hyperion Helios / CD - released 26/May/2008 ]
'Subtle enough to suggest that for both artists these performances were a revelatory voyage of discovery' (Gramophone)
Liszt: Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2 / Totentanz cover
add to cart $32.00 Low Stock
FRANZ LISZT
Liszt: Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2 / Totentanz
Krystian Zimerman (piano) / Boston Symphony Orchestra / Seiji Ozawa
[ Deutsche Grammophon / CD - released 2/Jan/2002 ]
Rosette (Highest Rating) Penguin Stereo Guide
Ravel: The Piano Concertos / Valses nobles et sentimentales (orchestral version) cover
add to cart $38.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
MAURICE RAVEL
Ravel: The Piano Concertos / Valses nobles et sentimentales (orchestral version)
Krystian Zimerman (piano) Cleveland Orchestra / London Symphony / Pierre Boulez
[ Deutsche Grammophon / CD - released 20/Jul/2001 ]
1999 Gramophone Award Winner: Concerto - A Penguin Stereo Guide Rosette recording
Bruch: Violin Concerto / Scottish Fantasy cover
add to cart $17.00 Low Stock
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...
Rondo of the Waves: The Oceanides, Op.73 / Coronation March / Porilaisten marssi / etc cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
Tone Poems: En Saga, The Dryad, Pohjola's Daughter, Night Ride and Sunrise cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
SIBELIUS
Tone Poems: En Saga, The Dryad, Pohjola's Daughter, Night Ride and Sunrise
Lahti Symphony Orchestra conducted by Osmo Vanska
[ BIS / CD - released 1/Apr/2002 ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die (1901-1950) - This is a very appealing collection of Sibelius favourites and rarities." (Editor's Choice Gramophone Magazine Sept 2002)
Musical Offering (Musikalisches Opfer) BWV1079 cover
add to cart $32.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
J. S. BACH
Musical Offering (Musikalisches Opfer) BWV1079
Le Concert des Nations, Jordi Savall
[ Alia Vox / CD - released 30/Dec/2005 ]
"One is occasionally fortunate enough to come across a new recording of a great work, and a personal favourite, that is so good that all other recordings pale in comparison. A recording that is not only played and recorded impeccably, but also one...
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 'Eroica' / Coriolan Overture, Op. 62 cover
add to cart $37.00 Low Stock
LUDWIG van BEETHOVEN
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 'Eroica' / Coriolan Overture, Op. 62
Le Concert des Nations, Jordi Savall
[ Alia Vox SACD / Hybrid SACD - released 25/May/2016 ]
"the end-result has been amongst the most impressive demonstrations of believable surround-sound I have heard." Recording of the Month MusicWeb (May 2016)
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Grieg: Lyric Pieces cover
add to cart $20.00 Low Stock
EDWARD GRIEG
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Grieg: Lyric Pieces
Leif Ove Andsnes (piano)
[ EMI / Warner Classics / CD - released 3/Mar/2002 ]
GRAMOPHONE AWARD WINNER 2002 - Instrumental
Piano Sonatas Nos 24, 30, 32, 33 & 34 cover
add to cart $26.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
HAYDN
Piano Sonatas Nos 24, 30, 32, 33 & 34
Leif Ove Andsnes (piano)
[ EMI Music / CD - released 11/Jan/2002 ]
Rosette (Highest Rating) Penguin Stereo Guide
Kullervo Symphony Op 7 cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
Tchaikovsky & Sibelius: Violin Concertos cover
add to cart $38.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOSVKY / JEAN SIBELIUS
Tchaikovsky & Sibelius: Violin Concertos
Lisa Batiashvili (violin) / Staatskapelle Dresden, Daniel Barenboim
[ Deutsche Grammophon / CD - released 15/Aug/2017 ]
"Every familiar phrase somehow manages to sound both authoritative and newly discovered...a delight from start to finish." Gramophone Magazine Disc of the Month - January 2017
Symphony No 2 'London' [Original Version] (with Butterworth - Banks of Green Willow) cover
add to cart $37.79 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS
Symphony No 2 'London' [Original Version] (with Butterworth - Banks of Green Willow)
London Symphony Orchestra / Richard Hickox
[ Chandos SACD / Hybrid SACD - released 20/Mar/2003 ]
'Hickox and the LSO respond with an unquenchable spirit, generous flexibility and tender affection that suit VW's admirably ambitious inspiration to a T, and Chandos' sound is big and bold to match. Quite simply, an essential purchase for anyone...
Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet (Complete ballet recorded November 2008) cover
add to cart $32.00 Low Stock
SERGEI PROKOFIEV
Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet (Complete ballet recorded November 2008)
London Symphony Orchestra, Valery Gergiev
[ LSO Live SACD / 2 SACD - released 20/Jan/2010 ]
DISC OF THE YEAR 2011 (BBC Music) - "Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet warrants a hi-res recording of the complete score since it is regarded by many as the greatest ballet score ever composed. The live recording is sensational in its realism." (AudAud...
Lieder (Recorded live at Wigmore Hall, 30 November 1998) cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
BRAHMS / HANDEL / LIEBERSON / MAHLER
Lieder (Recorded live at Wigmore Hall, 30 November 1998)
Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (mezzo-soprano) Roger Vignoles (piano)
[ Wigmore Hall Live / CD - released 21/Feb/2007 ]
Taped live at a Wigmore Hall recital in 1998 this recording has now come to light following Hunt Lieberson's tragically early death in 2006. Highly recommended by Marbecks staff - a definite disc of the year.
Debussy: Songs 4 cover
add to cart $30.00 Low Stock
CLAUDE DEBUSSY
Debussy: Songs 4
Lucy Crowe (soprano), Malcolm Martineau (piano) with Jennifer France (soprano) & Christopher Maltman (baritone)
[ Hyperion / CD - released 2/Mar/2018 ]
"In wonderful voice throughout, Crowe very much makes this repertory her own. Ascents into the stratospheres are all beautifully and securely accomplished, and those long melismas are tautly controlled and always expressive, never vacuous" Gramophone
Love Songs cover
add to cart $33.30 Low Stock
DVORAK / MARTINU / JANACEK
Love Songs
Magdalena Kozena (soprano) Graham Johnson (piano)
[ Deutsche Grammophon / CD - released 30/Aug/2000 ]
2001 GRAMOPHONE AWARD WINNER - Vocal
Puccini: Tosca (Complete Opera recorded in 1953) cover
add to cart $25.00 Low Stock
GIACOMO PUCCINI
Puccini: Tosca (Complete Opera recorded in 1953)
Maria Callas, Giuseppe di Stefano, Tito Gobbi / Coro e Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala, Milano. Victor de Sabata
[ Warner Classics Maria Callas Remastered / 2 CD - released 20/Oct/2014 ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die (1851-1900) - 50 GREATEST RECORDINGS OF ALL TIME (No 5) - BBC MUSIC