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 141 to 160 of 245

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Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonatas cover
add to cart $15.00 Low Stock
DOMENICO SCARLATTI
Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonatas
Mikhail Pletnev (piano)
[ Erato Classics Red Line / CD - released 15/Oct/2018 ]
"Pletnev establishes a firm pianistic approach...The performances throughout are in the very front rank." Penguin Guide, 2011 edition
Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Capriccio Italien (with Beethoven-Wellington's Victory) cover
add to cart $25.00 Low Stock
PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOSVKY
Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Capriccio Italien (with Beethoven-Wellington's Victory)
Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra / London Symphony Orchestra / Antal Dorati
[ Mercury Originals / CD - released 14/Jun/2007 ]
"This most famous of all Mercury records was one of the most successful classical LPs of all time, selling some two million copies in the analogue era. Remastered for CD, it sounds even more spectacular than it ever did in its vinyl format, vividly...
Debussy: 12 Etudes cover
add to cart $25.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
CLAUDE DEBUSSY
Debussy: 12 Etudes
Mitsuko Uchida (piano)
[ Philips Originals / CD - released 15/Apr/2006 ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die (1901-1950) - "Mitsuko Uchida's remarkable account of the Etudes is not only one of the best Debussy piano records in the catalogue, but also one of the best ever recordings of the instrument."
Mozart: The Piano Sonatas (Complete) cover
add to cart $75.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
W. A. MOZART
Mozart: The Piano Sonatas (Complete)
Mitsuko Uchida (piano)
[ Philips / 5 CD Box Set - released 2/Dec/2001 ]
1001 Classical recordings to hear before you die - "In a relatively short time Mitsuko Uchida's outstanding recordings of the complete Mozart piano sonatas have come to be regarded as among the "must have" classics of recorded music" Penguin Guide
Four Seasons / La Notte / Concerto in Re minore per Viola d'amore & Lute cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
VIVALDI
Four Seasons / La Notte / Concerto in Re minore per Viola d'amore & Lute
Monica Huggett (viola d'amore) Jakob Lindberg (lute) Clas Pehrsson (recorder) / Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble
[ BIS / CD - released 1/Oct/2013 ]
"This performance comes out on top of every other recording I have listened to...The Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble produces tremendous rhythmic drive, conjuring up real excitement" (Classic CD)
Ravel: Bolero / La Valse / Rapsodie Espagnole / Ma Mere l'Oye / Daphnis et Chloe cover
add to cart $35.00 In Stock
MAURICE RAVEL
Ravel: Bolero / La Valse / Rapsodie Espagnole / Ma Mere l'Oye / Daphnis et Chloe
Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Charles Dutoit
[ Double Decca / 2 CD - released 12/Jul/2000 ]
"Anyone beginning a Ravel collection, or coming fresh to most of this repertoire and willing to duplicate, will find this Double Decca unbeatable value" A Rosette recording - Penguin Stereo Guide
Holst: The Planets cover
add to cart $35.00 In Stock
GUSTAV HOLST
Holst: The Planets
Montreal Symphony Orchestra / Charles Dutoit
[ Decca Records / CD - released 10/Aug/2007 ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die (1901-1950) - "an highly successful version, both rich and brilliant, and recorded with an opulence to outshine almost all rivals. *** Three Stars. Penguin Stereo.
Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations (with Dvorak - Cello Concerto) cover
add to cart $25.00 In Stock
PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY
Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations (with Dvorak - Cello Concerto)
Mstislav Rostropovich (cello) / Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Herbert von Karajan
[ Deutsche Grammophon The Originals / CD - released 1/Jan/2001 ]
"the intensity of lyrical feeling and the spontaneity of the partnership between Karajan and Rostropovich ensures the position of their disc at the top of recommendations for this peer among nineteenth century cello concertos." Rosette. Penguin...
Chopin: Etudes: Op. 25 & Op. 10 cover
add to cart $25.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
FREDERIC CHOPIN
Chopin: Etudes: Op. 25 & Op. 10
Murray Perahia (piano)
[ Sony Music Expanded Edition / CD - released 2/Dec/2002 ]
Gramophone Magazine Award Finalist 2003 - Recording of the Month (Gramophone November 2002)
Bach: Keyboard Concertos Vol 1 (Nos 1, 2 & 4) cover
add to cart $22.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
J.S. BACH
Bach: Keyboard Concertos Vol 1 (Nos 1, 2 & 4)
Murray Perahia (piano and conductor), Academy of St Martins in the Fields
[ Sony Music / CD - released 20/Mar/2001 ]
ROSETTE (Highest Rating) Penguin Stereo Guide 2001 GRAMOPHONE AWARD FINALIST - Concerto
Mozart: Sonata in D Major for Two Pianos / etc (with Schubert - Fantasia in F minor for two pianos) cover
add to cart $20.00 In Stock
W. A. MOZART
Mozart: Sonata in D Major for Two Pianos / etc (with Schubert - Fantasia in F minor for two pianos)
Murray Perahia (piano) Radu Lupu (piano)
[ Sony Originals / CD - released 20/Jul/2011 ]
1001 Classical recordings to hear before you die (1801-1850) - "The performance of Lupu and Perahia is full of haunting poetry, with each of these highly individual artists challenging the other in imagination." (*** Three Stars. Penguin Stereo Guide)
Beethoven: The Five Piano Concertos (3 CDs ) cover
add to cart $25.00 In Stock
LUDWIG van BEETHOVEN
Beethoven: The Five Piano Concertos (3 CDs )
Murray Perahia (piano) / Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bernard Haitink
[ Sony Music / 3 CD - released 12/Jul/2007 ]
"Perahia, with Haitink a deeply sympathetic partner, gives masterly performances, as close to the heart of the music as any. The sound is full and well balanced...well worth it." (Penguin Stereo Guide)
Magnificat / Cantata Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen cover
add to cart $14.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
J.S. BACH
Magnificat / Cantata Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen
Nancy Argenta, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Emma Kirkby / John Eliot Gardiner
[ Philips 50 / CD - released 10/May/2012 ]
This bold Gardiner interpretation of Bach's Magnificat is one of the few recordings on period instruments that's available in the Philips catalogue.
Rigoletto (Complete Opera recorded in 1985) cover
add to cart $31.50 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
VERDI
Rigoletto (Complete Opera recorded in 1985)
Neil Shicoff, Renata Bruson, Edita Gruberova / Santa Cecilia Acad. / Sinopoli
[ Decca Grand Opera / 2 CD - released 20/Jun/2012 ]
American tenor Neil Shicoff as the Duke heads up a starry cast which also includes one of the great Italian Verdi baritones as Rigoletto, Renato Bruson
This is Leonard Bernstein: His Greatest Recordings cover
add to cart $85.00 Low Stock
GERSHWIN / GROFE / HAYDN / BEETHOVEN / STRAVINSKY / BERNSTEIN / MAHLER
This is Leonard Bernstein: His Greatest Recordings
Rudolf Serkin, Lukas Foss (pianos), Original Broadway Cast, Dietrich Fischer Dieskau (baritone) / New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Leonard Bernstein
[ Sony Classical / 16 CD Box Set - released 1/Nov/2009 ]
This special edition collects the conductor-composer's 15 most celebrated original albums from the 1950s and 60s on 16 CDs. The best selection of his benchmark recordings as a conductor, composer and pianist.
Lilburn: The Three Symphonies cover
add to cart $20.00 Low Stock
DOUGLAS LILBURN
Lilburn: The Three Symphonies
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra / James Judd
[ Naxos / CD - released 2/May/2002 ]
"There's a freshness and enthusiasm in Judd's readings, and he takes care with the music, observing every detail. Throughout all three symphonies there is a greater breadth and warmth of emotion than we've heard before." - Sunday Star Times (May 2002
Piano Concertos cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
GRIEG / PROKOFIEV
Piano Concertos
Nikolai Lugansky (piano) Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Kent Nagano
[ Ambroisie Naive / CD - released 20/Feb/2014 ]
"in the Grieg Concerto he is as rhapsodic and affectionate as he is masterly...In the Prokofiev...his performance blazes with conviction, a propulsion and energy finely complemented wth an innate sense of poetry...In a market place where great record
L'Arlesienne & Carmen Suites / Symphony in C / La Jolie fille de Perth cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
BIZET
L'Arlesienne & Carmen Suites / Symphony in C / La Jolie fille de Perth
Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal / Charles Dutoit
[ Double Decca / 2 CD - released 8/Sep/2003 ]
"With playing that is both elegant and vivid, and with superb, demonstration-worthy sound, Dutoit's polished yet affectionate coupling of the L'Arlesienne and Carmen suites make a clear first choice." (Penguin Guide)
Water Music / Royal Fireworks Music cover
add to cart $25.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
HANDEL
Water Music / Royal Fireworks Music
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
[ DG Entree / CD - released 15/Jan/2005 ]
"This is joyously irresistible. It is like listening to this marvellous music for the very first time." Rosette Penguin Stereo Guide
Overtures / Introduction, Theme and Variations for Clarinet cover
add to cart $25.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
ROSSINI
Overtures / Introduction, Theme and Variations for Clarinet
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra with Charles Neidich (clarinet)
[ DG Entree / CD - released 1/Nov/2004 ]
"This is one of the finest of all collections of Rossini overtures to have been recorded in recent decades. The superbly stylish playing apart, one of the reasons for the disc's success is the fact of its working within shrewdly appointed boundaries...