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 1 to 20 of 233

Per Page: 10 20 40
Sort
Per Page
Mozart: Violin Sonatas Vol 1 cover
add to cart $30.00 In Stock
W. A. MOZART
Mozart: Violin Sonatas Vol 1
Alina Ibragimova (violin), Cédric Tiberghien (piano)
[ Hyperion / 2 CD - released 1/Apr/2016 ]
"It is difficult to imagine [these sonatas] better played" (Five Stars BBC Music)
Shostakovich: Violin Concertos Nos 1 & 2 cover
add to cart $30.00 In Stock
DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH
Shostakovich: Violin Concertos Nos 1 & 2
Alina Ibragimova (violin), State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia 'Evgeny Svetlanov', Vladimir Jurowski (conductor)
[ Hyperion / CD - released 5/Jun/2020 ]
GRAMOPHONE Award WINNER 2021 - Concerto BBC Music Award Nomination 2021 - Concerto
Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier Books 1 & 2 cover
add to cart $80.00 In Stock
J. S. BACH
Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier Books 1 & 2
Andras Schiff (piano)
[ ECM New Series / 4 CD Box Set - released 20/Sep/2012 ]
GRAMOPHONE AWARD FINALIST 2013: Instrumental
Goldberg Variations cover
add to cart $40.00 In Stock
J.S. BACH
Goldberg Variations
Andras Schiff (piano)
[ ECM Records / CD - released 5/Oct/2003 ]
""Great" is not a word to be used casually when it comes to CDs, but no other term does justice. Lucidity, elegance and strength are all here and exquisitely balanced. The definitive Goldberg? As far as I'm concerned, yes." Ann Picard, Independent...
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 4 (with Ravel - Piano Concerto in G) cover
add to cart $16.00 In Stock
SERGEI RACHMANINOV
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 4 (with Ravel - Piano Concerto in G)
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (Piano) / Philharmonia Orchestra, Ettore Gracis
[ Warner Classics Original Jacket Reissues / CD - released 20/Apr/2015 ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die (1901-1950) 50 GREATEST RECORDINGS OF ALL TIME (No 18) - BBC MUSIC
Bach: Goldberg Variations cover
add to cart $30.00 In Stock
J. S. BACH
Bach: Goldberg Variations
Beatrice Rana (piano)
[ Warner Classics / CD - released 1/Mar/2017 ]
"Her detailing is one of the aspects that makes this performance so compelling, be it the bringing out of a new line in the repeat, subtle changes in phrasing, a touch of pedal - examples are to be found in every single variation." Gramophone
Cecilia & Bryn: Duets cover
add to cart $35.00 In Stock
MOZART / ROSSINI / DONIZETTI
Cecilia & Bryn: Duets
Cecilia Bartoli (soprano) Bryn Terfel (bass) / Orchestra dell'Accademia di Santa
[ Decca Records / CD - released 2/May/2001 ]
The world's leading mezzo-soprano and the world's greatest baritone combine!
Elina Garanca: Habanera cover
add to cart $33.00 In Stock
BIZET / FALLA / BERNSTEIN / RAVEL / LEHAR / etc
Elina Garanca: Habanera
Elina Garanca (mezzo) with Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Coro Filarmonico del Regio di Torino, Karel Mark Chichon
[ Deutsche Grammophon / CD - released 30/Aug/2010 ]
"Garanča's voice has been described as "creamy", "silken" and "lustrous" but it also has a surprisingly rounded maturity. What sets her apart, however, is the unteachable ability to send shivers down the spine." Editor's Choice - Gramophone Magazine,...
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Elisabeth Schwarzkopf - Operetta Arias cover
add to cart $25.00 In Stock
Schmidt - Complete Symphonies cover
add to cart $40.00 In Stock
FRANZ SCHMIDT
Schmidt - Complete Symphonies
Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Paavo Järvi
[ Deutsche Grammophon / 3 CD - released 5/Feb/2021 ]
GRAMOPHONE Award WINNER 2021 - Orchestral BBC Music Magazine Award Finalist 2021 - Orchestral
Elgar: Cello Concerto / Sea Pictures / Overture: Cockaigne cover
add to cart $18.00 In Stock
EDWARD ELGAR
Elgar: Cello Concerto / Sea Pictures / Overture: Cockaigne
Jacqueline Du Pre (cello) Dame Janet Baker (mezzo) / London Symphony orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli
[ Warner Classics Original Jacket Reissues / CD - released 22/Aug/2015 ]
GRAMOPHONE MAGAZINE 100 GREATEST RECORDINGS OF ALL TIME
Janet Baker sings Lieder cover
add to cart $18.00 In Stock
SCHUMANN / SCHUBERT / BRAHMS
Janet Baker sings Lieder
Janet Baker (mezzo-soprano) / Martin Isepp (piano)
[ Regis Records / CD - released 18/Oct/2005 ]
"Janet Baker's range of expression.. runs the whole gamut from joyful golden tone colour of courtship to the agony of bereavement ..Martin Isepp a highly sensitive and and supportive partner.." - Penguin Guide Rosette
Handel: Agrippina (complete opera) cover
add to cart $55.00 In Stock
GEORG FRIDERIC HANDEL
Handel: Agrippina (complete opera)
Joyce DiDonato, Elsa Benoit, Biagio Pizzuti, Franco Fagioli, Andrea Mastroni, Jakub Józef Orliński / l Pomo d'Oro, Maxim Emelyanychev
[ Erato Classics / 3 CD - released 31/Jan/2020 ]
"With DiDonato nonpareil in the title-role and a uniformly strong cast, this now becomes a first choice for Handel's Venetian masterpiece." Gramophone Awards 2020 WINNER - Opera
Best Of Maxim Vengerov cover
add to cart $95.00 In Stock
BEETHOVEN / BRAHMS / BRUCH / PAGANINI / TCHAIKOVSKY / SIBELIUS / etc
Best Of Maxim Vengerov
Maxim Vengerov (violin) / Various orchestras & conductors
[ Warner Classics / 11 CD Box Set - released 20/Nov/2006 ]
"his technique is highly impressive, and he produces a beautiful tone even in the violin's lower regions." (BBC Music)
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...
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)
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)
Korngold: Violin Concerto / String Sextet cover
add to cart $30.00 In Stock
ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD
Korngold: Violin Concerto / String Sextet
Andrew Haverson (violin) / RTE Concert Orchestra, John Wilson (conductor)
[ Chandos / CD - released 3/Apr/2020 ]
"[The Sextet] gets an absolutely cracking performance here from key members of Wilson's newly reformed Sinfonia of London led by Haveron" Gramophone Editor's Choice May 2020
Chanson d'Amour cover
add to cart $30.00 In Stock
FAURÉ / POULENC / RAVEL / DEBUSSY
Chanson d'Amour
Sabine Devieilhe (soprano), Alexandre Tharaud (piano)
[ Erato Classics / CD - released 11/Sep/2020 ]
GRAMOPHONE Award Nomination 2021 - Song BBC Music Award Nomination 2021 - Vocal
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Verdi: Macbeth (Complete Opera) cover
add to cart $40.00 In Stock
GIUSEPPE VERDI
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Verdi: Macbeth (Complete Opera)
Shirley Verrett, Piero Cappuccilli, Placido Domingo / Milan La Scala Chorus; Milan La Scala Orchestra / Claudio Abbado
[ Deutsche Grammophon Originals / 2 CD Box Set - released 5/May/2000 ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die (1801-1850) - "scrupulously prepared, executed and recorded." (Gramophone)