I prefer french composers. My favorite compositions are Gabriel Fauré’s “Après un reve” and “Pavane” and Claude Debussy’s “Claire de Lune”. Luckily I've found them all on one cd at eclassical.com recently. The record calls "Pavane" and there are also works of Richard Dubugnon and Maurice Ravel.
Carmina Burana's popularity hasn't led to a recognition that Orff actually composed it as part of a Trilogy, with Catulli Carmina and Trionfo di Afrodite being the other two. So, it's pretty rare to have all three included in a set. This one has a performance of Carmina Burana that's as exciting as any of the 20 or so I've heard, with excellent sound quality. Catulli and Trionfo probably don't have quite the same overall level of interest, but their inclusion is a very substantial bonus. Available from Amazon sellers from about $8 for the 2-disc set.
I just started getting into classical music and lately have been listening a lot to Mozart's symphonies. Karl Bohm conducting the Berlin Philarmoniker. Fantastic.
Shostakovich composed his great 10th Symphony in 1953 following the death of the leading classical music critic in the U.S.S.R., one J.Stalin, whose scathing "reviews" of some of his work had made life dangerous for him. It's been said that the symphony is a commemoration of that event and that in particular the violent second movement paints a musical picture of Stalin's murderous activities.
This is generally viewed as his greatest symphony and belongs in every collection. A very exciting performance, especially of the second movement, and in notably fine sound quality is available here from various Amazon sellers for about $5 up.
The music Berlioz composed marked a decided change in the sound of classical music compared to his predecessors. His Symphonie Fantastique is the most often recorded, and should be included in every collection, but his exciting and beautiful Harold in Italy, featuring the viola prominently, has similar attractions. Of the dozen or so of its recordings which I've heard, I suggest the thrilling reading Charles Munch gave with the Boston Symphony. This is one of the "Living Stereo" series which was selected for remastering for SACD and the hybrid disc also includes an excellent CD layer. High-powered readings of four Berlioz overtures are also included, making for a great overall Berlioz collection. Available here from several Amazon sellers at bargain prices for music of this quality.
+1 on SACD
Originally Posted by zingo
I'll go with more recent stuff, just for the sake of it:
Arvo part: Table Rasa (ECM)
Stravinksy: Rite of Spring (I'm a fan of the Gergiev recording.)
Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra (Reiner conducting Chicago)
Gorecki: Symphony 3 (with Dawn Upshaw)
Webern: Passacaglia / Schoenberg: Variations op. 31 / Berg: 3 Pieces from the "Lyric Suite"; 3 Pieces for Orchestra op. 6 (with Karajan conducting)
Every collection should have recordings of the beautiful and exciting music Tchaikovsky composed for the great ballets The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. The outstanding performance of the complete music for Swan Lake conducted by Mark Ermler in excellent sound is available at bargain prices from about $5 up from various Amazon sellers . Note that this is actually the 2-disc set of the complete music, not the single-disc highlights, and is what the first Amazon reviewer(a symphony orchestra oboist)was willing to pay $105 for six years ago when it was out of print.
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #3 - Byron Janis
Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue - Benjamin Grosvenor
Haydn Piano Concertos - Marc-Andre Hamelin
Beethoven Symphony #9 Klemperer
Parry: Jerusalem, The Glories of Our Blood and State et al - Neeme Jarvi
Sacd: Berlioz Symphony Fantastique - Charles Munch RCA Living Stereo
Beethoven Symphony #7 - Carlos Kleiber
Polk Rti A7
Onkyo C-S5Vl SACD Player
Polk A6 Center Channel
Polk PSW 111 Subwoofer
Polk RM8 Surround Speakers
It would take me years to compile a list of my favorites, but someone asked about Stravinsky ... here's a few I love.
Attachment 86566 This is a great recording of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and will really show off your pricey rig, especially the bass drums. Superb playing, wonderful recorded sound - it's become my favorite of the dozen or so recordings that I have.
Attachment 86567 Another great version of the Firebird suite from Simon Rattle. Great sonics on this one.
Attachment 86568 A great recording of the later "Pulcinella" - a great piece, one of the best from the later years and one of his most accessible works. It doesn't sound anything like his early ballets.
An outstanding pair of Tchaikovsky performances by Vladimir Ashkenazy, in excellent re-mastered sound, in which he performs the Piano Concerto No.1 and then takes the baton to conduct an exciting performance of the Symphony no. 4, is available at absurdly low prices and should certainly be a must buy. Priced from about $3 from various Amazon sellers
Thanks for the recommendation John! I've bought many of your album suggestions and I have never been disappointed.
Just found this thread.
For someone who has just gotten into classical music and trying to build a collection, this feels like a kid in a candy store.
Thanks to one and all for sharing.
I bought this one (Johaan Heinrich Schmeltzer - Solo Violin Sonatas) from Amazon recently. This is an absolute must have! If you like classical that is on the mellow side, yet still emotional, this CD is absolutely for you. I love this CD and very highly recommend it.
I'll just limit it to a few "best" recordings I have. I have over 1500 Classical CD's, but these are the ones I listen when making purchasing decisions ...
Beethoven - Symphony 3, Hogwood AAM (L'Oiseau-Lyre - Walthamstow Assembly Hall, London) - clarity in orchestral parts is quite amazing
Monteverdi - 6th Book of Madrigals, Concerto Italiano/Alessandrini (Naive - Farnese Palace, Rome) vocal music with continuo, very clean dry sound
Mahler - Symphony 2, Solti/Chicago (Decca - Orchestra Hall, Chicago) - esp. scherzo, awesome stereo imaging
Mozart - Serenade No 10 for Winds in B♭, Hogwood/AAM (L'Oiseau-Lyre - Methus Memorial Music Hall, Massacheusetts) (pure winds, awesome sound, miked close - can hear the keys on the instruments clicking at times)
Schubert - Quintet in C, Berg Quartet (EMI- Protestant Church, Seon, Switzerland) (esp. the scherzo - how does the very soft trio section sound?)
Brahms - Serenade No 1, Mackerras, Scottish Chamber Orchestra (Telarc - City Hall, Glasgow, Scotland) - great Telarc sound. One of their best
Bach - Matthew Passion, Harnoncourt (Teldec - Jesuitenkirche-Universitätskirche, Vienna) (beautiful warm sound, slightly reverberant, choral parts should be distinct and not muddy.)
Stravinsky - Rite of Spring, Salonen, LA (DG - Walt Disney Concert Hall, LA) miked far, great acoustics in this new (2005) hall - how does the subwoofer sound? Bass response without it?
Mendelssohn - Symphony 4, Laredo Scottish Chamber Orchestra. (Nimbus - single mike, miked far) example of very reverberant recording. Kind of unfortunate, considering the performance is stellar.
Telemann - Tafelmusik, Musica Antiqua Cologne (DG, Sendesaal, Deutschlandfunk, Köln) up close chamber recording, pristine sound
Seriously? Bohm is the most plodding Mozart conductor ever. He directs everything as if it were written in the 1860's. The orchestra here is about ten times the size it should be. I love his Brahms and some Beethoven, but not Mozart! MacKerras or Hogwood!
Originally Posted by pglbook
I like all of Starker, Ma and Bylsma. Bylsma is interesting since it's performed with proper Baroque technique. Starker plays gorgeously, but almost a Romantic interpretation. Ma is somewhere in between.
Originally Posted by saemark30
Spaseniye Sodelal- Pavel Chesnokov
Almost any recording of Musica Antiqua Köln
Great Bach Choruses by the Monteverdi Choir
Sir Edward Elgar's majestic and beautiful 2nd Symphony has continued to grow on me to the point where it's now a top favorite of mine. An excellent disc couples the symphony with another Elgar favorite, the overture In The South, which he drew the inspiration for while on a family vacation in the south of Italy.
Available from several Amazon sellers here from about $5.
Pickup Mozart's Violin Concertos by Marianne Thorsen/Trondheimsolistene it come with both a CD & SACD and though I've not been the biggest fan of classical music I'm really loving this :)
Beethoven Symphony 5,7 & 9
Chopin Piono Concerto #1
Holst - The Planets
Rachmaninov piano Concerto #3
Andres Segovia - Any of his recordings
Tchaikovsky - 1812
Vivaldi - The Four Seasons
Glenn Danzig - Black Aria
Holst's massive composition The Planets is well-known for its exciting and beautiful musical moments and its purely sonic virtues have made it popular content for a demonstration disc. Everyone should have at least one recorded performance(I have seven)and should also be aware that the composer definitely wasn't an example of a "one-hit wonder".
An excellent 2-disc set which of course features a performance of The Planets, conducted by Sir Adrian Boult(who led the first performance and Holst commented that he "First made The Planets shine")and also a nice overview of other Holst compositions. I especially enjoy, besides The Planets, The Perfect Fool and The Song of the Blacksmith from the Suite for Military Band. The set is available here from about $7 up from several Amazon sellers.