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  1. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by Motzart View Post
    Like to know where you got that one.....love to add that to my collection!
    This particular title was not a domestic US RCA release. The CD pictured was a mid-80s pressing done by Denon. I believe the regular CD version may be out-of-print. However, earlier this year, Hong Kong Sony released a Blu-Spec CD version of this title. Even though Sony has its own CD pressing plant in HK, the Blu-Spec CD is pressed in Japan.

    I know Naxos has separate CDs for each of the works on the RCA release....and the 2 Naxos CDs together would cost less than the Blu-Spec CD.

  2. #92

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    Ukrainian born Reinhold Gliere took as inspiration the folk hero Ilya Murometz to compose his massive 3rd Symphony, a gloriously melodic and dramatic work which some snobbish critics grit their teeth over. I have several versions of this gorgeous work depicting Ilya's heroic exploits in defeating enemies of Ukraine and suggest here that if you don't already have this symphony(you're really missing something)that you get this exciting performance , available from various Amazon sellers for just a few dollars.

  3. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by Micah Cohen View Post
    You guys have made some great suggestions. You'll see some of the same stuff here. I've tried to include the labels and disc numbers to help out.

    A Short List of The Classical Best

    Why listen to Classical Music? Because it's the original rock and roll, that's why. And when you get bored by the sameness of rock or pop, there is nothing like the endless depth and interesting nuances of classical music. Plus, these guys are demented -- some truly evil and wacked out personalities here. Worthy not only of your ear, but of your research. Rock stars have nothing on these guys.

    This is a short selection of some of the recordings in my collection (my faves). They are in most cases the best of the best if I do say so myself. I know this because I have a very well-read classical music mentor who is up on all this stuff. I am a mere amateur here, but I know enough to be dangerously judgemental. Ready? You will be amazed at how much free time I have. In no order:

    BACH Pretty much all you need, if you're just getting into classical music, is the SIX BRANDENBURG CONCERTOS played by Trevor Pinnock and The English Concert (pronounced "consort" by snooty classical music people) on ARCHIV BMG (3-disc set #D284161). Glorious and moving, and instantly recognizable as "classical."

    COPLAND You can't be an American if you don't like this modern American classical music by Aaron Copland (really, among the last great composers of the age). Sony Classical has remastered all the early Copland recordings by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic (Berstein was a personal pal of Copland so you know he got it right) and they sound pristine and powerful. Check APPALACHIAN SPRING/RODEO/BILLY THE KID/FANFARE FOR THE COMMON MAN on Sony Classical disc SMK 63082. The only better version of RODEO is the on by Emerson Lake & Palmer on the live "Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends..."

    Sony Classical has also included Bernstein's rendition of BIZET's CARMEN Suites 1 & 2 in their remastered reissues. If I liked opera I'd like CARMEN first, because the music is tremendously powerful and emotional. This disc is the most moving of versions. (Too bad I didn't write down the disc number when I made my list last night. Up to you.)

    TCHAIKOVSKY No composer beats the tortured Tchaikovsky (of "Nutcracker" fame) for angry evil music. The man was demented and depressed, and he poured his emotion into his wonderful music. Amazingly, the best representative bit of this music is available on a cheapy-cheap disc produced by a company called NAXOS. It's called TCHAIKOVSKY FESTIVAL and it's stuff like "1812 Overture," "Romeo & Juliet" and more played by Adrian Leaper and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on NAXOS 8.550500. The TELARC discs are pretty good, and really filled with dynamic response, but this disc is filled with the spirit of the man himself and contains overwhelmingly well recorded and well played versions of these pieces. (Gotta love a composer who uses real cannon on stage!)

    As an aside, look to the NAXOS label for cheap discs that often trump the expensive labels in quality and "best version" recommendation. I have all my VIVALDI, TELEMANN and HAYDN string pieces on NAXOS discs. Quality and performance-wise, you can't go wrong with the NAXOS Classical label.

    MUSSORGSKY's PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION has always been one of my favorite pieces of classical music -- since hearing ELP do it, my first exposure to it. It comes in two versions, the original solo piano one, and the more familiar orchestral version. For a version of the former that will enlighten you as to why this piece would attract such a wacko as Keith Emerson, listen to the solo piano version played by young pianist Mikhail Pletnev on Virgin Classics (disc 0777 75961126). This is one of my favorites because it's simply astonishing what the original piece of music accomplishes with minimal instrumentation. Pletnev makes the piece come alive. You will be surprised at what a piano can do. The classic orchestral version is done well by Bernstein again on CBS Basic Rep disc MYK 36726.

    BRAHMS once left a gathering by saying "If there is anyone here whom I have not offended, I am sorry." Gotta love that. The best versions of his four symphonies are performed by Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonica on a Musical Heritage Society 4-disc set #5446042. I like this stuff because you can instantly tell the influence it had on guys like Rick Wakemen (YES) and Keith Emerson: lots of flowing, crashing familiar big-orchestra stuff that would have made Beethoven smile. (We'll get to him in a sec.)

    For something lighter, but still tremendous, check out the recordings of Brahms' and Tchaikovsky's VIOLIN CONCERTOS peformed by Fritz Reiner & the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (violin played by Jascha Heifetz) on the acclaimed RCA Living Stereo Cd 09026-61495-2.

    Now for the big two:

    MOZART Another easy-to-get-into classical composer, obviously. Mozart Rule of Thumb: Always go with Marriner's Mozart. That would be Sir Neville Marriner & The Academy of Ancient Music. No one does Mozart better. Witness THE LAST 5 SYMPHONIES on Philips 438 332-2 (2-disc set) and THE BEST KNOWN PIANO CONCERTOS (this is all stuff you'll instantly recognize) with Alfred Brendel at the piano on Philips 442 269-2 (another 2-disc set). Another of my favorites is a two-2-disc set of Mozart's PIANO SONATAS (Concertos include the orchestra, Sonatas are solo piano), the best versions of which are found on the cut-rate VOX BOX label (Vol 1 CDX 5026, Vol 2 CDX 5046), played by pianist Walter Klein. It's relaxing, moving, soft and powerful at the same time, filled with recognizable themes and variations. Heck, it's Mozart!

    BEETHOVEN is my favorite of all. He's angry, he struggled (whereas it came easy to Mozart) and he produced some of the most beautiful music ever made... And he was deaf. If that's not enough to make you pissed, I don't know what is. My absolute favorite piece of Beethoven's music is his set of FIVE PIANO CONCERTOS. And the greatest, most moving, most well done version of these concertos is found on a Sony Classical 3-disc set (SB3K 48397) which retails for around $20! Baltimore's own Leon Fleischer is the master at the piano for these early 1950s recordings, and no one has done it better since. Beethoven's Piano Concertos are endlessly fun and innovative and familiar, filled with recognizable and easily assimilated music that really rocks.

    But nothing rocks like his symphonies. Simple fact is that they changed western music (from dainty old classical Mozart stuff, to a thundering new wave of orchestral music). You could get all nine of them in one box a myriad of ways: old style, played on "orginal instruments," by Christopher Hogwood & The Academy of Ancient Music on L'oiseau-Lyre 425 696-2, or great new versions, using recently found original never-seen-before transcriptions of Beethoven himself, done by Baltimore's own David Zinman on the Arte Nova label #74321 654102 -- a set of nine discs that retails for cheap, too. The one set to get, tho, remains the set that is the paradigm, the way Beethoven himself must have heard the great symphonies in his own head: performed by Herbert Von Karajan & the Berlin Philharmonic (1963 performances, Deutsche Grammaphone label, 5-disc set 453 701-2). What can I say about Beethoven's symphonies that hasn't already been said, except that there is nothing that compares to them. They just are, and this is the best way to hear them.

    Another of my favorite Beethoven pieces are his PIANO SONATAS, 32 in all, that are found on another DG set (8 discs) performed in the early 1950s by Wilhelm Kempff. The recordings are mono, but the realism is astonishing: it sounds like the piano is in your living room. Every nuance of these great piano pieces is reproduced perfectly, with all the emotion and joy and darkness that befits them. It is said that when Beethoven finished the last of these piano pieces, many years after he wrote the first one, he remarked: "The piano has nothing more to say." And he is right.

    'Kay.

    Day's half over now. I guess I should do some real work around here, huh? :D

    Go home and listen to music!

    Micah


    wow I havent listened any of this
    :S

  4. #94

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    The most beautiful vocal recording that I have, or have ever heard, is the disc Anna Moffo recorded with Stokowski conducting(and writing the liner notes). This included selections from the Canteloube Songs of the Auvergne, the Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 and the Rachmaninoff Vocalise. Moffo had one of the most gorgeous voices ever put on record and this selection showcases it to perfection. The closing Vocalise in particular makes an unforgettable impression that you...well, won't easily forget.

    Available on Amazon here , but now on sale for $13.99 directly from Arkiv here .

  5. #95

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    I certainly have to add to the list of "Must Haves" my favorite of the six versions of Smetana's Ma Vlast(My Country)that I have and maybe a dozen others that I've listened to. This is emotional patriotic music that is played at the Prague Spring Festival every year and can affect all listeners, regardless of their ancestral background. Berglund conducts the superb Dresden State Orchestra, one of the 3-4 finest in Europe in excellent remastered sound. Available here from Amazon sellers at typical bargain prices for music of this quality.

  6. #96

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    Why John, I never took you as a big classical guy. Your choices are primo, though I admit to only getting an ear on about half of those suggestions, and some of those were awhile back. I'm going to have to dig them up now that you brought it back to the surface of the ole memory bank.

  7. #97

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    Tony, I guess that you somehow have missed my fairly numerous posts on this topic. Yes, my listening is almost entirely classical. The music, not the equipment, is the bottom line. There's a whole world of great music out there waiting for us to give a listen. I have about a thousand classical CDs and have borrowed and listened to quite a few more, and I'm glad to share some of the things that I've learned.

  8. #98

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    Any Stravinski favorites John?

  9. #99

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    Sure, Mark; a Stravinsky "Must Have" is the RCA remaster for its "High performance" series of the energetic performances of Rite of Spring and Petrouchka(plus Fireworks)that Ozawa turned out when he was still a young and exciting conductor. Available here from several sellers for cheap.

  10. #100

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    Thanks John, appreciated.

  11. #101

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    thanks guys for sharing the best classical musics.il surely buy or download for it and listen so that i could also appreciate.hehe!:tongue:

  12. #102

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    Has anyone listened the the Hybrid CD/SACDs from Pentatone? They seem to get pretty good reviews on Amazon, but i'd never heard of them before. I can find them locally for about 7 bucks each so was curious if anyone had any experience with these before purchasing a few.

  13. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by coolsax View Post
    Has anyone listened the the Hybrid CD/SACDs from Pentatone? They seem to get pretty good reviews on Amazon, but i'd never heard of them before. I can find them locally for about 7 bucks each so was curious if anyone had any experience with these before purchasing a few.
    I've got eleven of them (all classical) and they are among my favorites.
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  14. #104

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    One of my all time favorite classical albums is Respighi's Ancient Airs and Dances with Dorati on Mercury Living Presence.

    http://tinyurl.com/3ocl3yq

    It was one of the few classical recordings my dad owned so I grew up with it.
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  15. #105

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    Another 'must have' classical recording is Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade by Mackerras and the London Symphony Orchestra on Telarc

    http://tinyurl.com/3ojl995

    Listening to the 3rd movement, "The Young Prince and Young Princess", still sends shivers down my back.
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  16. #106

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    Aram Khachaturian composed the music for two Soviet-era ballets, Gayaneh and Spartacus. While the story lines of the ballets themselves are typically dreary socialist drivel(e.g., in Gayaneh a collective farm struggling to meet its quota, spiced up with a little romance: girl loves boy, boy loves his tractor), Khachaturian can largely ignore this nonsense in his music and sets the workers to dancing a wonderfully colorful and exciting series of dances based on folk material from his native Armenia. A generous selection of the best music from each is performed vigorously by Temirkanov with the Royal Philharmonic in excellent sound and is available from various Amazon sellers here for about $12 shipped.

  17. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ern Dog View Post
    Another Big Rachmaninoff fan here. I found that "The Symphonies" box set by Ashkenazy didn't do it for me. The recordings sounded too thin for me and the pacing was too fast. My favorite Rachmaninoff recording is "Symphonic Dances" on the Reference Recording label. This recording won awards for it's to notch engineering.
    I'll whole heartly second the RR's Rachmanioff Symphonic dances as truly a must have for any classical collection worth it's salt! sheer beauty and power! Let me also add Ivan Fishers Mahlers 2nd on Channel Classics sacd , Ravel's Bolero/La Valse on Mobile Fidelity sacd. All beyond what one would call reference

  18. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by coolsax View Post
    Has anyone listened the the Hybrid CD/SACDs from Pentatone? They seem to get pretty good reviews on Amazon, but i'd never heard of them before. I can find them locally for about 7 bucks each so was curious if anyone had any experience with these before purchasing a few.
    I have four or five on the Pentatone label and consider them in the top 3 labels I look for when buying Hybrid sacd's , in short I'd grab as many as I could at that price

  19. #109

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    Quote Originally Posted by pescholl View Post
    Another 'must have' classical recording is Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade by Mackerras and the London Symphony Orchestra on Telarc

    http://tinyurl.com/3ojl995

    Listening to the 3rd movement, "The Young Prince and Young Princess", still sends shivers down my back.
    Intresting, I absolutley love my recent purchase of Schehrazade by Reiner and the CSO Living Stereo sacd, Its considered by many to be one of the best. I just may pick up Mackerras, as I like to have at least two takes of each for performance comparisons.

  20. #110

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    Quote Originally Posted by playback View Post
    Intresting, I absolutley love my recent purchase of Schehrazade by Reiner and the CSO Living Stereo sacd, Its considered by many to be one of the best. I just may pick up Mackerras, as I like to have at least two takes of each for performance comparisons.
    I have the Reiner on LS SACD and the XRCD version but the Mackerras is still my favorite.

    Pentatone is releasing a new, pure DSD Scheherazade later this summer. I know the sound quality will be super, but I wonder how good the performance will be.

    http://tinyurl.com/3gbpjco
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  21. #111

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    Default About Pentatone

    Quote Originally Posted by coolsax View Post
    Has anyone listened the the Hybrid CD/SACDs from Pentatone? They seem to get pretty good reviews on Amazon, but i'd never heard of them before. I can find them locally for about 7 bucks each so was curious if anyone had any experience with these before purchasing a few.
    Pentatone was formed by former employees of Philips Classical after Philips dropped out of the recorded music business in the late 1990s. They are strictly classical music.

    The recordings that they make are pure high-resolution DSD recordings recorded in surround sound. They also license old Philips quadraphonic recording and reissue them in their original quad format as well as in stereo. Their quad reissues are called RQR for Remastered Quadro Recordings.

    All Pentatone releases are surround sound hybrid SACDs. These discs have two layers, a stereo CD layer playable on any CD player and a high-resolution DSD layer playable on an SACD player. The DSD layer contains both a stereo and a surround sound version of the music. So you are getting three different versions of the same recording, CD stereo, high-resolution DSD stereo, and high-resolution DSD surround sound.

    Their recordings are all top-notch. You just can't go wrong with Pentatone. And no, I don't work for them, I'm just a fan!
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  22. #112

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    If you like 'spacey' music then Gloria Coates or Morton Feldman fits the bill. Morton requires a bottle of wine, or 6 beers, to really appreciate, or tolerate.

    Medicine that is smokable also helps. Great classical music.

  23. #113

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    I've always been fond of Hooked On Classics! lol. Actually I'm looking to buy my first classical cd- but I have no idea what I want. I like upbeat and the french horns...

    I liked this: Rachmaninov Symphony No. 1 - IV Allegro con fuoco
    I listened to it on youtube. Strong!

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks

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  24. #114

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    Pat, welcome to Club Polk and the great world of classical music. Yes, the final movement of the Rachmaninoff Symphony No.1 can certainly be thrilling in a top performance. The other movements, some parts beautiful, others energetic, are also great listening. Rachmaninoff is a favorite composer of mine and I have five complete sets of his three symphonies plus other discs of the individual symphonies. For you I'd specifically suggest that you get the great performances by Ormandy with the Philadelphia Orchestra, available from several sellers here for only about $10 shipped for the 2-disc set.

    Another classical composition that you should get immediately is Holst's The Planets. Again this is music which varies between energy and beauty and which can appeal to new listeners. Of the seven versions that I have I'll suggest for you the thrilling performance by Mehta with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in excellent remastered sound which is available from sellers here at a bargain price of about $6 shipped.

    I have about a thousand classical CDs in my collection, so hurry up! Just kidding, of course, but there's a whole world of great music(including my previous suggestions in this thread)out there waiting for you to give a listen.

  25. #115

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    The symphonies of Borodin aren't known nearly as well as their attractions call for. Strongly Russian in character with oriental overtones that add to their very melodious nature. The two movements of the unfinished 3rd Symphony in particular are rarely played, but the first movement has a beautiful, haunting theme that's hard to get out of your mind.

    All three symphonies in the excellent performances led by Loris Tjeknavorian have been remastered for this disc available for about $5 up.

  26. #116

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    SIX BRANDENBURG CONCERTOS played by Trevor Pinnock
    great performance but early digital recording sounds harsh.

  27. #117

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    I never buy Naxos, but I'm a snob. I find every recording to be with unknown orchestras, choirs, and often performed badly. I can't comment on the actual quality of the recording because I've never listened to them outside of a boombox.

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    As a follow-up to my previous suggestion for a disc with Borodin's three symphonies, his two string quartets are lush with gorgeous melody and should also be included in any collection. Quartet number 2 in particular has several memorable themes which were adapted for use in the Broadway musical Kismet(one of my top three Broadway shows, along with Brigadoon and Show Boat), and led to Borodin being awarded a Tony for his music nearly 70 years after his death. A theme in the second movement became "Baubles, Bangles and Beads" and one in the third movement "And This is My Beloved".

    A great performance of this glorious music by the eponymous(finally got a chance to use that word!)Borodin String Quartet is available now on a Musical Heritage Society disc from several sellers here at Amazon at quite low prices. Although it's not apparent on the Amazon page, this is the same recording that was previously on EMI and is described more fully and reviewed here .

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    Reported, plse flush the turd!
    DARE TO SOAR:
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    The disc aptly named "Exotic Dances from the Opera" contains a colorful selection of orchestral music with Slavic and oriental themes. Excitingly performed and recorded in particularly high sound quality(mastered at a lower than average level which calls for a higher volume control setting), it's available from several Amazon sellers here very reasonably priced.
    Last edited by John K.; 10-06-2011 at 01:23 AM.

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