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 161 to 180 of 246

Per Page: 10 20 40
Sort
Per Page
Preludes I & II cover
add to cart $37.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
DEBUSSY
Preludes I & II
Pascal Roge (piano)
[ Onyx Classics / CD - released 20/Jun/2005 ]
"The recording is truly gorgeous, as is the piano sound." (MusicWeb June 2005)
Oiseaux Exotiques / Couleurs de la Cite Celeste and other works for piano and ensemble cover
add to cart $54.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
MESSIAEN
Oiseaux Exotiques / Couleurs de la Cite Celeste and other works for piano and ensemble
Peter Donohoe / Netherlands Wind Ensemble / Reinbert de Leeuuw
[ Chandos / 2 CD - released 1/Jan/1994 ]
Reinbert de Leeuw and his crackerjack Dutch musicians negotiate these difficult scores with dazzling aplomb, not to mention pianist Peter Donohoe's razor-sharp timbre and rhythmic suppleness. The bright, close-up live recording captures the full...
Piano Concertos Nos 2 & 4 cover
add to cart $30.00 Low Stock
LITOLFF
Piano Concertos Nos 2 & 4
Peter Donohoe (piano) / Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / Litton
[ Hyperion Romantic Piano Concerto Vol 14 / CD - released 17/May/2001 ]
'This entertaining Hyperion CD is one of the year's surprises and very much worth having' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)
Cantatas for solo bass (BWV 56, 82, 158) cover
add to cart $21.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
J.S. BACH
Cantatas for solo bass (BWV 56, 82, 158)
Peter Kooy (bass) La Chapelle Royale, Philippe Herreweghe
[ Harmonia Mundi musique d'abord / CD - released 4/Apr/2005 ]
These three cantatas for bass solo are based on episodes from the life of Christ (the healing of the lame man, the presentation in the temple, scenes from the Passion) with implications of the benevolence and consolation of death.
Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 13 / Symphonic Dances, Op. 45 cover
add to cart $35.00 Low Stock
SERGEI RACHMANINOV
Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 13 / Symphonic Dances, Op. 45
The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin
[ Deutsche Grammophon / CD - released 26/Feb/2021 ]
"Indeed, [his] account of the troubled First Symphony is as surprising and as thrilling as any I have heard since the much-lauded Ormandy account...An altogether stunning album." Gramophone February 2021 Recording of the Month
Diabelli Variations cover
add to cart $23.00 Low Stock
BEETHOVEN
Diabelli Variations
Piotr Anderszewski (piano)
[ EMI Recommends / CD - released 14/Oct/2007 ]
1001 Classical recordings to hear before you die (1801-1850) - "This is Beethoven first, artist second, and even if you have other versions, one recording of the Diabellis can never be enough. Treat yourself and enjoy a pianistic feast." (MusicWeb...
Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos 17 & 20 cover
add to cart $25.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
W.A. MOZART
Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos 17 & 20
Piotr Anderszewski (piano and conductor) / Scottish Chamber Orchestra
[ Erato Classics / CD - released 1/Feb/2006 ]
"In both these concertos everything is perfectly in proportion; the drama is never over-played in the D minor, while the slow movement of the G major is made that concerto's emotional heart" (Guardian)
The Gounod Edition: Operas, Choral Works, Symphonies cover
add to cart $84.00 Low Stock
CHARLES GOUNOD
The Gounod Edition: Operas, Choral Works, Symphonies
Placido Domingo, Regine Crespin, Alfredo Kraus, Nicolai Gedda, Mirella Freni, Marilyn Horne, Rolando Villazon, etc
[ Warner Classics / 15 CD Box Set - released 25/Jun/2018 ]
Among the recordings in this 15-CD edition are star-studded complete recordings of three of his operas, with Faust additionally represented by highlights from its German version, Margarethe.
Ritrovato (Puccini rediscovered) cover
add to cart $31.50 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
PUCCINI
Ritrovato (Puccini rediscovered)
Placido Domingo (tenor) & Violeta Urmana (soprano) / Wiener Philharmoniker, Alberto Veronesi
[ Deutsche Grammophon / CD - released 20/Nov/2009 ]
The Italian maestro, Alberto Veronesi, is again joined by the legendary Spanish tenor as he turns his expertise to a project of unusual interest entitled "Puccini ritrovato" - Puccini rediscovered
Smetana: Ma Vlast (My Fatherland), including Vltava (Moldau) cover
add to cart $20.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
BEDRICH SMETANA
Smetana: Ma Vlast (My Fatherland), including Vltava (Moldau)
The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra / Antoni Wit
[ Naxos / CD - released 15/Sep/2000 ]
"this new Naxos offering enshrines an interpretation of no mean stature and individuality: an undoubted bargain, I would say" - Gramophone
Gloria and other sacred music cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
JOHN RUTTER
Gloria and other sacred music
Polyphony / City of London Sinfonia / Stephen Layton
[ Hyperion / CD - released 10/Jun/2001 ]
Editor's Choice - Gramophone Magazine (Aug 2001)- 'Delicious performances of Rutter's wonderfully approachable and finely crafted vocal writing. The sound, too, is outstanding.
Symphonies No. 40 & No. 41 cover
add to cart $21.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
W.A. MOZART
Symphonies No. 40 & No. 41
Prague Chamber Orchestra / Sir Charles Mackerras
[ Telarc Classics / CD - released 22/Apr/2003 ]
"Mackerras's is an outstanding series, with electrifying performances of the early as well as the later symphonies." (Penguin Guide)
Violin Sonatas (Complete) cover
add to cart $37.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
J.S. BACH
Violin Sonatas (Complete)
Rachel Podger (violin) Trevor Pinnock (harpsichord)
[ Channel Classics / 2 CD - released 15/Jun/2001 ]
2001 GRAMOPHONE AWARD FINALIST - Baroque Instrumental
String Sextets Nos 1 & 2 cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
BRAHMS
String Sextets Nos 1 & 2
The Raphael Ensemble
[ Hyperion / CD - released 11/Nov/2000 ]
GRAMOPHONE CRITICS' CHOICE - 'Their performances can take their place beside any of the great chamber music recordings of the past, and will continue to set standards for years to come' (Gramophone)
Der Rosenkavalier (Complete opera) cover
add to cart $43.00 Low Stock
RICHARD STRAUSS
Der Rosenkavalier (Complete opera)
Regine Crespin, Manfred Jungwirth, Yvonne Minton / Vienna Philharmonic / Sir Georg Solti
[ Decca originals / 3 CD - released 10/Mar/2008 ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die (1901-1950) - "Regine Crespin brings welcome French chic to the proceedings, and Manfred Jungwirth makes his mark as Ochs." (CMS 1001 Classical)
Puccini: Madama Butterfly (Complete Opera recorded in 1967) cover
add to cart $20.00 Low Stock
GIACOMO PUCCINI
Puccini: Madama Butterfly (Complete Opera recorded in 1967)
Renata Scotto, Carlo Bergonzi, Anna di Stasio, Rolando Panerai / Rome Opera, Sir John Barbirolli
[ Warner Classics The Home of Opera / 2 CD - released 25/Apr/2018 ]
'a performance that will remind you of the first time you fell in love with this opera' (Good CD Guide)
Strauss Heroines (Capriccio, Arabella, Der Rosenkavalier) cover
add to cart $27.00 Low Stock
Ravel: Sheherazade / Berlioz: Les Nuits d'ete / with a recital of French songs (rec 1963) cover
add to cart $25.00 In Stock
MAURICE RAVEL / HECTOR BERLIOZ
Ravel: Sheherazade / Berlioz: Les Nuits d'ete / with a recital of French songs (rec 1963)
Regine Crespin (soprano) / Suisse Romande Orchestra / Ernest Ansermet
[ Decca Originals / CD - released 20/Aug/2006 ]
"Crespin is right inside these songs and ravel's magically sensuous music emerges with striking spontaneity. She is superbly supported by Ansermet who, aided by the Decca engineers, weaves a fine tonal web round the voice." (Penguin Guide Rosette)
Debussy: Pelleas and Melisande (Complete Opera recorded in 1978) cover
add to cart $33.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
CLAUDE DEBUSSY
Debussy: Pelleas and Melisande (Complete Opera recorded in 1978)
Richard Stilwell, Frederica von Stade, Josa van Dam. Berlin Philharmonic / Herbert von Karajan
[ Warner Classics Home of Opera / 3 CD Box Set - released 20/Jan/2017 ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die (1901-1950) - "a very characteristically Karajan performance, deeply committed and full of beautiful things. The casting is excellent." (Gramophone)
Gilbert & Sullivan: The Mikado (Complete Opera) cover
add to cart $30.00 Low Stock
GILBERT and SULLIVAN
Gilbert & Sullivan: The Mikado (Complete Opera)
Richard Suart, Donald Adams, Marie Mclaughlin, Anthony Rolfe Johnson / Welsh National Opera, Charles Mackerras
[ Telarc Records / CD - released 7/Jul/2000 ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die (1851-1900) Rosette (highest rating) Penguin Stereo Guide