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

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Holst: The Planets / Egdon Heath cover
add to cart $15.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
GUSTAV HOLST
Holst: The Planets / Egdon Heath
BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Andrew Davis
[ Warner Classics Apex / CD - released 1/Apr/2016 ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die (1901-1950) "An unmissable opportunity to test fresh musical waters....price, presentation and repertory selections, all are bang on target." Gramophone Magazine
Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde cover
add to cart $15.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
GUSTAV MAHLER
Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde
Christa Ludwig, Fritz Wunderlich / Philharmonia & New Philharmonia, Otto Klemperer
[ Warner Classics Original Jacket Reissues / CD - released 22/Aug/2015 ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die (1901-1950) - "....not likely to be outshone for a long time" (Gramophone)
Cantatas Nos BWV179, BWV199 & BWV113 cover
add to cart $15.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
J.S. BACH
Cantatas Nos BWV179, BWV199 & BWV113
Kozena, Towers, Padmore, Loges / English Baroque Soloists / John Eliot Gardiner
[ DG Archiv / CD - released 21/Oct/2000 ]
A live performance of Bach's Cantatas for the 11th Sunday after Trinity. Features Magdalena Kozena's stunning performance of BWV199 "Mein Herze schwimmt in Blut"
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
Grieg: Peer Gynt / Symphonic Dance No.2 / In Autumn / etc. cover
add to cart $15.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
EDVARD GREIG
Grieg: Peer Gynt / Symphonic Dance No.2 / In Autumn / etc.
Ilse Hollweg (soprano) / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Thomas Beecham
[ Warner Classics / CD - released 13/Feb/2012 ]
"Beecham showed a very special feeling for this score and to hear (these excerpts) under his baton is a uniquely rewarding experience. Ilse Hollweg makes an excellent soloist." Rosette - Penguin Stereo Guide
Symphony No 6 Pathetique / Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture cover
add to cart $15.29 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
TCHAIKOVSKY
Symphony No 6 Pathetique / Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture
Russian National Orchestra / Mikhail Pletnev
[ Deutsche Grammophon Entree / CD - released 11/Oct/2002 ]
"for Pletnev, the Pathetique, I suspect, stands apart from the other symphonies, as this new DG account remains an interpretation that throws moderation to the winds." (Gramophone)
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
Mozart: Horn Concertos Nos. 1 - 4 / Quintet for piano & winds cover
add to cart $16.00 Low Stock
W. A. MOZART
Mozart: Horn Concertos Nos. 1 - 4 / Quintet for piano & winds
Dennis Brain (horn) / Dennis Brain Wind Ensemble / Philharmonia Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan
[ Warner Classics Masters / CD - released 13/Feb/2012 ]
'Truly an all-time classic. Timelessly neat and elegant orchestral playing under Karajan accompanies Dennis Brain's flawless and characterful horn playing.' ('The Gramophone' Good CD Guide, 2005)
Bruch: Violin Concerto / Scottish Fantasy cover
add to cart $17.00 Low Stock
MAX BRUCH
Bruch: Violin Concerto / Scottish Fantasy
Kyung-Wha Chung (violin) / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Rudolf Kempe
[ Decca Virtuoso / CD - released 27/Oct/2011 ]
"Kyung-Wha Chung is a formidable player. She has a bold attack which springs from absolute security of intonation...the sound of the lyrical passages especially is consistently bright and rich, tonally integrated from top to bottom and of a really...
Ikon of Light / Funeral Ikos / The Lamb / etc cover
add to cart $17.00 Low Stock
JOHN TAVENER
Ikon of Light / Funeral Ikos / The Lamb / etc
Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips, director
[ Gimell / CD - released 10/May/2014 ]
"Enjoying a close working relationship with Tavener at the time, The Tallis Scholars imbued these performances with a real sense of ownership and an innate feel for the graceful shaping of his chant-inspired lines" Gramophone Magazine Re-issue of the
Symphony No. 1 / Academic Festival Overture cover
add to cart $17.99 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
BRAHMS
Symphony No. 1 / Academic Festival Overture
Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Sir Charles Mackerras
[ Telarc Classics / CD - released 20/Sep/2005 ]
"An example of what's best in a new school of thought on the subject, the discs are indispensable." - Los Angeles Times
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
Satie: Gymnopedies and other piano works cover
add to cart $20.00 Low Stock
ERIK SATIE
Satie: Gymnopedies and other piano works
Aldo Ciccolini (piano)
[ Warner Classics Original Jacket Reissues / CD - released 20/Apr/2015 ]
"No more committed or convincing champion of this music could be found than Ciccolini, who equally well conveys, for example, the tenderness of the fifth Gnossienne, the pre-Poulenc pert humour and charm of the Morceaux en forme de poire and the...
Solo Piano Works: Sonata In E Major D157 / Sonata In G Major D894 / etc cover
add to cart $20.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
FRANZ SCHUBERT
Solo Piano Works: Sonata In E Major D157 / Sonata In G Major D894 / etc
Arcadi Volodos (piano)
[ Sony Classics / CD - released 18/Mar/2002 ]
1001 Classical recordings to hear before you die (1801-1850) - Gramophone Magazine - Recording of the month (June 2002)
Prokofiev: Scythian Suite / Lieutenant Kije / Alexander Nevsky cover
add to cart $20.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
SERGEI PROKOFIEV
Prokofiev: Scythian Suite / Lieutenant Kije / Alexander Nevsky
Elena Obraztsova / London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado
[ Deutsche Grammophon The Originals / CD - released 5/May/2000 ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die - "Abbado's Alexander Nevsky culminates in a deeply moving account of the tragic lament after the battle, made more telling when the battle itself is so fine an example of orchestral virtuosity"
Mendelssohn: Elijah (Complete Oratorio in English) cover
add to cart $20.00 Low Stock
FELIX MENDELSSOHN
Mendelssohn: Elijah (Complete Oratorio in English)
Gwyneth Jones, Janet Baker, Nicolai Gedda, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Wandsworth School Boys' Choir / New Philharmonia / Rafael Frubeck de Burgos
[ Warner Classics / 2 CD - released 12/Nov/2004 ]
"this a memorable and enjoyable set, very well recorded and spaciously and realistically transferred to CD." *** Three Stars (Penguin Stereo Guide)
Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No 6 / Ravel: Gaspard de la Nuit / Chopin: Sonata No 2 cover
add to cart $20.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
SERGEI PROKOFIEV / MAURICE RAVEL / FREDERIC CHOPIN
Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No 6 / Ravel: Gaspard de la Nuit / Chopin: Sonata No 2
Ivo Pogorelich (piano)
[ Deutsche Grammophon Originals / CD - released 20/Mar/2003 ]
"Pogorelich's Gaspard is out of the ordinary. In Le Gibet, we are made conscious of the pianist's refinement of tone and colour first, and Ravel's poetic vision afterwards, But for all that, this is piano playing of astonishing quality." Rosette Peng
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Grieg: Lyric Pieces cover
add to cart $20.00 Low Stock
EDWARD GRIEG
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Grieg: Lyric Pieces
Leif Ove Andsnes (piano)
[ EMI / Warner Classics / CD - released 3/Mar/2002 ]
GRAMOPHONE AWARD WINNER 2002 - Instrumental
Franck: Organ Works cover
add to cart $20.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
CESAR FRANCK
Franck: Organ Works
Marie-Claire Alain (organ)
[ Erato Apex / 2 CD ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die (1801-1850) -