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 21 to 40 of 223

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Mozart: Requiem KV 626 cover
add to cart $42.00 Out of Stock
W. A. MOZART
Mozart: Requiem KV 626
Barbara Bonney, Anne Sofie Von Otter, Willard White / Monteverdi Choir / English Baroque / Sir John Eliot Gardiner
[ Philips / CD - released 12/Dec/2005 ]
"John Elliot Gardiner with characteristic panache gives one of the most powerful performances on record" *** Three Stars. Penguin Stereo Guide.
Bach Transcriptions (arrangements by great composers) cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
J. S. BACH
Bach Transcriptions (arrangements by great composers)
BBC Philharmonic / Leonard Slatkin
[ Chandos Classics / CD - released 5/Jul/2000 ]
Editor's Choice - Gramophone Magazine (Oct 2000) - Five Stars (*****) Classic CD (Oct 2000)
Holst: The Planets / Egdon Heath cover
add to cart $20.00 Out of Stock
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
Bach: Goldberg Variations cover
add to cart $30.00 Low 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
Grieg: Holberg Suite / Two Elegiac Melodies / Two Lyric Pieces / etc cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
EDWARD GRIEG
Grieg: Holberg Suite / Two Elegiac Melodies / Two Lyric Pieces / etc
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Ole Kristian Ruud (conductor)
[ BIS SACD / Hybrid SACD - released 1/Nov/2005 ]
"This is simply the most beautiful record of Grieg's string music in the catalogue, and one of the most beautiful and realistic recordings of strings we have ever heard. Try and hear the disc on SACD equipment with four speakers, and you will be...
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake / Nutcracker / Sleeping Beauty (Ballet Suites) cover
add to cart $25.00 Out of Stock
PYOTR Il'yich TCHAIKOVSKY
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake / Nutcracker / Sleeping Beauty (Ballet Suites)
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Mstislav Rostropovich.
[ Deutsche Grammophon The Originals / CD - released 5/May/2001 ]
'Rostropovich's trypich of Tchaikovsky ballets is very special. The remastering, always outstanding. Now approaches demonstration standard. 69 minutes of sheer joy.' - Rosette (highest rating) Penguin Guide
Cosi fan tutte (Complete opera) cover
add to cart $62.99 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
W.A. MOZART
Cosi fan tutte (Complete opera)
Bernarda Fink (soprano) Veronique Gens (soprano) Werner Gura (tenor) Marcel Boone (baritone) / Concerto Koln / Rene Jacobs
[ Harmonia Mundi Mozart Edition / 3 CD - released 1/Oct/2005 ]
"The bite and clarity of the orchestral playing are revelatory...Once again, this greatest of operas amazes and beguiles. We scarcely need another recording...but this is one I would not willingly be without, especially because of the singers'...
Bartok: Miraculous Mandarin (The) (Complete Ballet) / Hungarian Pictures / Dance Suite cover
add to cart $28.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
BELA BARTOK
Bartok: Miraculous Mandarin (The) (Complete Ballet) / Hungarian Pictures / Dance Suite
Bournemouth Symphony Chorus / Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / Marin Alsop, conductor
[ Naxos SACD / Hybrid SACD - released 17/Apr/2005 ]
"There's really no reason not to acquire this CD" International record review (June 2005)
Mozart: Horn Concertos Nos. 1 - 4 / Quintet for piano & winds cover
add to cart $20.00 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)
Bach: Missae Breves (Lutheran Masses) - BWV233, BWV234, BWV235 and BWV236 cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
J. S. BACH
Bach: Missae Breves (Lutheran Masses) - BWV233, BWV234, BWV235 and BWV236
Cantus Colln / Konrad Junghanel
[ Harmonia Mundi Gold / 2 CD - released 1/Mar/2018 ]
"Konrad Junghänel brings finesse and clarity to the music, but there is also plenty of excitement… Cantus Cölln's unity of approach between voices and instruments is outstanding." BBC Music Magazine, October 2008
Haydn, (M.): Requiem & Mass cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
MICHAEL HAYDN
Haydn, (M.): Requiem & Mass
Carolyn Sampson (soprano) Hilary Summers (alto) James Gilchrist (tenor) Peter Harvey (bass) / King's Consort / Robert King
[ Hyperion / 2 CD - released 13/Apr/2005 ]
"King and his forces give the Mass a satisfyingly spirited performance, but these discs are memorable for their fine recording of Michael Haydn's astonishing Requiem. This must be one of my records of the year and I do urge you to buy it." -...
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!
O magnum mysterium cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
VICTORIA
O magnum mysterium
Choir of Westminster Cathedral / David Hill (conductor)
[ Hyperion / CD - released 25/May/2005 ]
GRAMOPHONE CRITICS' CHOICE 'Superb music, and the listener is thrillingly involved when the sound so successfully combines immediacy and body, yet remains admirably coloured by the Westminster resonance' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)
Durufle: Requiem / Quatre Motets / Messe cum Jubilo / etc cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
MAURICE DURUFLE
Durufle: Requiem / Quatre Motets / Messe cum Jubilo / etc
Choir of Westminster Cathedral / James O'Donnell (conductor) with Aaron Webber (treble) and Simon Keenlyside (baritone)
[ Hyperion / CD - released 25/May/2005 ]
'The Westminster Cathedral boys and men carry the lyricism and harmonic luxuriance to an ethereal plane. The choral singing is superb ... helping one to bathe in Duruflé's sumptuous ideas' (The Daily Telegraph)
Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde cover
add to cart $20.00 Out of Stock
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)
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Mahler: Symphony No. 9 in D major / Kindertotenlieder / Rückert-Lieder cover
add to cart $35.00 Low Stock
GUSTAV MAHLER
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Mahler: Symphony No. 9 in D major / Kindertotenlieder / Rückert-Lieder
Christa Ludwig (mezzo) / Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan
[ Deutsche Grammophon / 2 CD - released 10/Oct/2014 ]
"Certainly this is the finest live performance of a Mahler symphony to have appeared on any kind of record since Mengelberg's 1939 account of the Fourth Symphony." Gramophone Top Ten Mahler Symphonies of all time
Mozart: Requiem in D minor, K626 cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
W. A. MOZART
Mozart: Requiem in D minor, K626
Christine Schafer (sop) Bernarda Fink (mezzo) Kurt Streit (tenor) Gerald Finley (baritone) / Vienna Concentus Musicus / Nikolaus Harnoncourt
[ Deutsche Harmonia Mundi / CD - released 2/Jul/2004 ]
"Subtle realism imbues Harnoncourt's deeply considered second recording" Editor's Choice Gramophone July 2004
Prokofiev: Cinderella (Complete Ballet) / Glazunov: The Seasons cover
add to cart $42.00 Out of Stock
SERGEI PROKOFIEV / ALEXANDER GLAZUNOV
Prokofiev: Cinderella (Complete Ballet) / Glazunov: The Seasons
Cleveland Orchestra / Royal Philharmonic / Vladimir Ashkenazy
[ Double Decca / 2 CD - released 12/Jul/2000 ]
"Ashkenazy gets excellent results from the Cleveland orchestra. The recording's fine definition is enchanced, yet not at the expense of atmosphere, and the bright, vivid image is given striking projection." (Penguin Stereo Guide)
Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik / Serenata Notturna / etc cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
W. A. MOZART
Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik / Serenata Notturna / etc
Concert des Nations, Jordi Savall
[ Alia Vox SACD / Hybrid SACD - released 30/May/2008 ]
"Savall sets some brisk tempos, particularly for the slow movement of Eine kleine Nachtmusik, but they're convincing. …it's vivid playing from everyone, well defined in outline and responding imaginatively to the varied character of Mozart's music."
Gorecki: Symphony No. 3 'Symphony of Sorrowful Songs' cover
add to cart $25.00 Low Stock
HENRYK GORECKI
Gorecki: Symphony No. 3 'Symphony of Sorrowful Songs'
Dawn Upshaw (soprano) / London Symphony / David Zinman
[ Nonesuch Records / CD - released 26/Jun/1992 ]
This is an outstanding rendition of Gorecki's Third, capturing the feeling of growing hope and joy that can ultimately break from the shackles of sorrow. Zinman and the London Sinfonietta really understand the mood and philosophy of this piece, and...