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 201 to 220 of 233

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Haydn: Die Schopfung (The Creation) cover
add to cart $27.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
JOSEPH HAYDN
Haydn: Die Schopfung (The Creation)
Sunhae Im (soprano) Jan Kobow (tenor) Hanno Muller-Brachmann (bass-baritone) Christine Wehler (alto) / Cologne Vocal Ensemble / Spering
[ Naxos / 2 CD - released 25/May/2005 ]
"A brisk, well-sung performance of Haydn's late choral masterpiece" Editor's Choice Gramophone Magazine (June 2005)
Verdi: Requiem Mass / Operatic Choruses cover
add to cart $32.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
GIUSEPPE VERDI
Verdi: Requiem Mass / Operatic Choruses
Susan Dunn, Diane Curry, Jerry Hadley, Paul Plishka / Robert Shaw Chorale. Atlanta Symphony Orchestra / Robert Shaw
[ Telarc Classics / 2 CD Box Set - released 7/Mar/2004 ]
"...the many felicities of the performance, not least the electricity of the choral singing and the consistency of the solo singing, add up to an exceptionally satisfying reading." Three Stars Penguin Stereo Guide
Hummel: Mass, Op 111 in D / Mass Op 77 in B flat major cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
HUMMEL
Hummel: Mass, Op 111 in D / Mass Op 77 in B flat major
Susan Gritton (soprano) / Collegium Musicum 90 / Richard Hickox
[ Chandos / CD - released 1/Nov/2002 ]
2003 Gramophone Magazine Award Finalist - Recording of the month - Gramophone (Dec 2002)
Handel: Theodora (Complete Oratorio) cover
add to cart $90.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
GEORG FRIDERIC HANDEL
Handel: Theodora (Complete Oratorio)
Susan Gritton, Susan Bickley, Robin Blaze, Paul Agnew / Gabrieli Consort, Paul McCreesh
[ Archiv / 3 CD Box Set - released 14/Aug/2000 ]
1001 Classical recordings to hear before you die (1700-1760) - 2001 GRAMOPHONE AWARD FINALIST - Baroque Vocal
Cantatas, Vol.27 (Nos 5, 80, 115) cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
J.S. BACH
Cantatas, Vol.27 (Nos 5, 80, 115)
Susanne Ryden (soprano) Pascal Bertin (counter-tenor) Gerd Tark (tenor) Peter Kooij (bass) / Bach Collegium Japan / Masaaki Suzuki, director
[ BIS / CD - released 1/Mar/2005 ]
"If you've yet to sample the series, or are just collecting the highlights, this is definitely one to consider...this disc deserves to be the best selling of the cycle." (International Record Review June 2005)
Beethoven: Early Quartets, Op.18 cover
add to cart $45.00 In Stock
LUDWIG van BEETHOVEN
Beethoven: Early Quartets, Op.18
Takacs Quartet
[ Decca Records / 2 CD - released 9/Mar/2004 ]
1001 Classical recordings to hear before you die (1761-1800) - "The Takács meet Beethoven the young Turk, bursting with ideas, and we are the better informed for listening in" - Editor's Choice Gramophone Magazine (April 2004)
Beethoven: Late Quartets Opus 95, 127, 130-133, 135 cover
add to cart $65.00 Low Stock
LUDWIG van BEETHOVEN
Beethoven: Late Quartets Opus 95, 127, 130-133, 135
Takacs Quartet
[ Decca Records / 3 CD Box Set - released 12/Dec/2004 ]
"Excellent recordings too: sonorous, and with well-judged sense of four-voices-in-one. It doesn't feel all risky to say that this is probably the finest modern set of these great quartets." (BBC)
Schubert: String Quartets Nos 13 'Rosamunde' & 14 "Death And The Maiden" cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
FRANZ SCHUBERT
Schubert: String Quartets Nos 13 'Rosamunde' & 14 "Death And The Maiden"
Takacs Quartet
[ Hyperion / CD - released 2/Oct/2006 ]
"a sense of drama and tensile strength underlines everything, even a movement as luscious as the Andante of the Rosamunde Quartet..." Gramophone Editor's Choce Awards issue 2006
Shostakovich: Piano Quintet / String Quartet No. 2 cover
add to cart $30.00 Low Stock
DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH
Shostakovich: Piano Quintet / String Quartet No. 2
Takács Quartet, with Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
[ Hyperion / CD - released 25/Apr/2015 ]
"Right from the very first bar I felt that these were going to be fine performances of these two Shostakovich works. The first movement of Quartet No.2 is played with vigour and forward thrust." (Recording of the Month MusicWeb April 2015)
Brahms: String Quartet / Piano Quintet cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
JOHANNES BRAHMS
Brahms: String Quartet / Piano Quintet
Takacs Quartet with Stephen Hough (piano)
[ Hyperion / CD - released 30/Nov/2007 ]
'The Takács Quartet bring a huge sense of enjoyment to both the Piano Quintet and the String Quartet Op 51 No 2, and it's clear that this chamber music is being revelled in by its players as much as its listeners. Stephen Hough's playing -...
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
Stabat Mater / Salve Regina and other works cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
WILLIAM CORNYSH
Stabat Mater / Salve Regina and other works
Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips, director
[ Gimell / CD - released 25/Apr/2002 ]
Penguin Guide - Rosette Recording
Glagolitic Mass (with Kodaly - Psalmus Hungaricus, Op. 13) cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
JANACEK
Glagolitic Mass (with Kodaly - Psalmus Hungaricus, Op. 13)
Tina Kiberg (sop) Randi Stene (mez) Peter Svensson (ten) Ulrik Cold (bass) Per Salo (organ) / Danish National Radio Choir / Charles Mackerras
[ Chandos Classics / CD - released 10/May/2004 ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die (1901-1950) - "Mackerras's new version is of particular interest as it embodies another of the reconstructions that have been painstakingly made of Janacek's original intentions in different...
Brahms: Piano Trios 3 & 4 cover
add to cart $21.00 Special Order
3 - 6 weeks
Trio Fontenay
Brahms: Piano Trios 3 & 4
[ Teldec Apex / CD ]
"The members of the Trio Fontenay, like other first-class chamber players, know how to meld into a unified, responsive ensemble without losing their distinctive timbres - the piano tone gleaming, well-supported piano tone, that of the violin...
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Schumann: Cello Concerto (with Bruch-Kol Nidrei / Bloch-Schelomo) cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
Tchaikovsky & Babajanian: Piano Trio cover
add to cart $35.00 Low Stock
PYOTR TCHAIKOVSKY / ARNO BABAJANIAN
Tchaikovsky & Babajanian: Piano Trio
Vadim Gluzman (violin), Johannes Moser (cello), Yevgeny Sudbin (piano)
[ BIS SACD / CD - released 4/Oct/2019 ]
"The playing is superb, Gluzman and Moser intoning the impassioned opening elegy [of the Tchaikovsky] with grave authority before Sudbin takes over with all his mercurial brilliance and the music takes flight...outstanding recording." - The Observer
Suor Angelica (complete opera recorded in 1957) cover
add to cart $23.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
PUCCINI
Suor Angelica (complete opera recorded in 1957)
Victoria de los Angeles / Fedora Barbieri / Rome Opera / Tullio Serafin
[ Naxos Historical / CD - released 1/Jul/2009 ]
Victoria de los Angeles's performance as Sister Angelica demands superlatives: 'it is in every way perfect, beautifully sung, infinitely touching, and free from the slightest suggestion of theatricality', wrote The Gramophone when this recording was...
Puccini: La Boheme (complete opera recorded in 1956) cover
add to cart $35.00 In Stock
GIACOMO PUCCINI
Puccini: La Boheme (complete opera recorded in 1956)
Victoria de los Angeles / Jussi Bjorling / Robert Merrill / Lucine Amara / RCA Victor Orchestra / Sir Thomas Beecham
[ Naxos Great Opera Recordings / 2 CD - released 11/Apr/2007 ]
Featuring Victoria de los Angeles and Jussi Björling in glorious form, the 1956 set ranks alongside the Callas De Sabata Tosca (Naxos 8.110256-57) as one of the greatest studio recordings of an opera ever made.
Strauss, (R.): Also Sprach Zarathustra / Tod und Verklarung [Death & Transfiguration] cover
add to cart $21.00 Low Stock
RICHARD STRAUSS
Strauss, (R.): Also Sprach Zarathustra / Tod und Verklarung [Death & Transfiguration]
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Andre Previn
[ Telarc Classics / CD - released 16/Apr/2002 ]
"Previn draws magnificent playing fromthe Vienna Philharmonic in powerful, red-blooded readings of the symphonic poems, and the recording is among Telarc's finest. Strongly recommended for anyone wanting this particular coupling, and enjoying...
Beethoven: Symphony Nos 5 & 7 cover
add to cart $25.00 Low Stock
LUDWIG van BEETHOVEN
Beethoven: Symphony Nos 5 & 7
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Carlos Kleiber
[ Deutsche Grammophon The Originals / CD - released 1/Jan/2002 ]
1001 Classical recordings to hear before you die (1801-1850) - ROSETTE (Highest Rating) Penguin Stereo Guide - 50 GREATEST RECORDINGS OF ALL TIME (No 2) BBC MUSIC