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.
There follows 200 recommended recordings that should find a place in everyone's collection.
Gershwin: Porgy and Bess (Complete Opera)
Willard White, Cynthia Haymon, Cynthia Clarey / Glyndebourne Chorus & London Philharmonic Orchestra / Sir Simon Rattle
[ Warner Classics Home of Opera / 3 CD - released 20/Jan/2017 ]
GRAMOPHONE MAGAZINE 100 GREATEST RECORDINGS OF ALL TIME "A performance that entranced audiences at Glyndebourne and which crosses over to CD virtually intact, revealing what a great dramatic world Gershwin conjured up." (Gramophone)
Schumann: String Quartet No. 1 in a minor op. 41 No1 / String Quartet No. 3 in A Major op. 41 No3
[ ECM Records / CD - released 26/May/2003 ]
GRAMOPHONE MAGAZINE RECORDING OF THE YEAR 2003 - "Revelatory performances that plumb the soul of Schumann's wild and searching muse" (Gramophone Recording of the Month June 2003)