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 41 to 60 of 223

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Handel: Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (complete oratorio) cover
add to cart $31.00 Low Stock
GEORG FRIDERIC HANDEL
Handel: Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (complete oratorio)
Deborah York / Gemma Bertagnolli / Sara Mingardo / Concerto Italiano / Rinaldo Alessandrini
[ Naive Baroque Voices / 2 CD - released 1/May/2007 ]
Stunning performances and recording of this early Italian oratorio by Handel. Newly re-issued at mid-price 2 CDs for less than the price of 1!
Bach: St Matthew Passion (Complete on 2 CDs) cover
add to cart $45.00 Out of Stock
J. S. BACH
Bach: St Matthew Passion (Complete on 2 CDs)
Deborah York, Julia Gooding, Magdalena Kozena, Susan Bickley, Mark Padmore, Gabrieli Players, Paul McCreesh
[ Archiv / 2 CD - released 15/Apr/2003 ]
"With his modest forces, McCreesh's performance of the St Matthew Passion has a transparency and grace that can be quite breathtaking." Recording of the Month - Gramophone Magazine (May 2003)
4 Horn Concertos / Piano and Wind Quintet (rec 1953, 1955) cover
add to cart $25.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
W. A. MOZART
4 Horn Concertos / Piano and Wind Quintet (rec 1953, 1955)
Dennis Brain (horn) / Walter Gieseking (piano) / Philharmonia Wind Ensemble / Philharmonia Orchestra / Herbert von Karajan
[ Naxos Historical / CD - released 6/Feb/2007 ]
"This disc is pure joy. At the price, it is almost a crime not to snap it up." Bargain of the Month MusicWeb May 2007
Dvorak: Piano Quartets 1 & 2 cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
ANTONIN DVORAK
Dvorak: Piano Quartets 1 & 2
Domus
[ Hyperion / CD - released 1/Feb/2000 ]
PENGUIN GUIDE ROSETTE - "The Dvorak Piano Quartets are glorious pieces, and the playing of Domus is little short of inspired. This is real chamber-music-playing: intimate, unforced and distinguished by both vitality and sensitivity."
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Faure: Piano Quartets Nos 1 & 2 cover
add to cart $30.00 Low Stock
GABRIEL FAURE
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Faure: Piano Quartets Nos 1 & 2
Domus
[ Hyperion / CD - released 19/Sep/2003 ]
GRAMOPHONE AWARD WINNER "Domus have the requisite lightness of touch and subtlety, and just the right sense of scale and tempo." Rosette Penguin Stereo Guide
Faure: The Piano Quintets cover
add to cart $30.00 In Stock
GABRIEL FAURE
Faure: The Piano Quintets
Domus
[ Hyperion / CD - released 19/Sep/2003 ]
PENGUIN GUIDE ROSETTE GRAMOPHONE AWARD WINNER
Gilbert & Sullivan: H.M.S. Pinafore (Complete Opera) cover
add to cart $42.00 Out of Stock
GILBERT and SULLIVAN
Gilbert & Sullivan: H.M.S. Pinafore (Complete Opera)
D'Oyly Carte Opera Company with Jean Hindmarsh / John Reed / Donald Adams / New Symphony Orchestra / Isadore Godfrey
[ Decca Records / 2 CD - released 1/Apr/2003 ]
"The 1960 Godfrey set of this opera is very special indeed, and HMS Pinafore is in our view the finest of all the D'Oyly Carte analogue stereo recordings" Rosette - Penguin Stereo Guiide
Bach: Christmas Oratorio cover
add to cart $42.00 Low Stock
J. S. BACH
Bach: Christmas Oratorio
Mary Bevan (sop) Joanne Lunn (sop) Clare Wilkinson (mezzo) Nicholas Mulro (ten), etc / Dunedin Consort and Players, John Butt
[ Linn / 2 CD - released 14/Oct/2016 ]
"Way-too-early seasonal content (sorry), but this latest release from the Dunedin Consort is too good to wait. It's surely one of the finest accounts now available of Bach's Christmas Oratorio." Guardian Five Stars
Prokofiev: Scythian Suite / Lieutenant Kije / Alexander Nevsky cover
add to cart $25.00 Out of Stock
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"
Bach: Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn' ihn BWV1127 cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
J. S. BACH
Bach: Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn' ihn BWV1127
Elin Manahan Thomas / English Baroque Soloists / John Eliot Gardiner
[ Soli Deo Gloria / CD - released 10/Oct/2005 ]
Premiere recording of a newly discovered aria by Bach, unearthed in a library in June 2005
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
Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos 1-15 (Complete) (special price) cover
add to cart $63.00 Out of Stock
DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH
Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos 1-15 (Complete) (special price)
Elisabeth Soderstrom / Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau / Concertgebouw Orchestra / London Philharmonic / Bernard Haitink
[ Decca Bargain Boxes / 11 CD - released 20/May/2006 ]
"All in all, a considerable achievement." *** Three Stars. Penguin Stereo Guide.
Classical Kirkby - Orpheus and Corinna cover
add to cart $35.00 Low Stock
LAWES / BLOW / WILSON / CAMPION / ECCLES / etc
Classical Kirkby - Orpheus and Corinna
Emma Kirkby (soprano) Anthony Rooley (theorbo-lute)
[ BIS / CD - released 1/Sep/2002 ]
"These are delightful songs, superbly sung with delicate, tactful accompaniments played on the theorbo-lute by Anthony Rooley" Rod Bliss (Sunday Times)
A Feather on the Breath of God cover
add to cart $30.00 Low Stock
HILDEGARD von BINGEN
A Feather on the Breath of God
Emma Kirkby (soprano) / Gothic Voices
[ Hyperion / CD - released 1/Sep/2010 ]
"These hymns and sequences, most expertly performed and recorded, have excited much acclaim - and rightly so. A lovely CD" Penguin Guide
Handel: Sacred Cantatas cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
GEORG FRIDERIC HANDEL
Handel: Sacred Cantatas
Emma Kirkby (soprano) / London Baroque. Medlam
[ BIS / CD - released 1/Oct/2013 ]
Rosette (highest rating) Penguin Stereo Guide
Schnittke / Pärt: Choral Works cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
ALFRED SCHNITTKE / ARVO PART
Schnittke / Pärt: Choral Works
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Kaspars Putniņš
[ BIS SACD / Hybrid SACD - released 15/Dec/2017 ]
"This work has been waiting for choirs able to do this, because the technical challenges are not the most important thing about this music" Gramophone Award WINNER 2018 - Choral
Schmidt - Complete Symphonies cover
add to cart $40.00 Out of 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
Alio Modo (keyboard works transcribed for viols) cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
J.S. BACH
Alio Modo (keyboard works transcribed for viols)
Fretwork
[ Harmonia Mundi / CD - released 25/Dec/2005 ]
British viol consort Fretwork revel in the contrapuntal intricacies of J.S. Bach's works for organ and harpsichord transcribed for a consort of viols.
Britten: War Requiem (plus Rehearsal sequences bonus) (Rec 1963) cover
add to cart $40.00 Out of Stock
BENJAMIN BRITTEN
Britten: War Requiem (plus Rehearsal sequences bonus) (Rec 1963)
Galina Vishnevskaya (soprano) Peter Pears (tenor) Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) / London Symphony & chorus, Benjamin Britten, with Simon Preston
[ Decca Originals / 2 CD - released 12/Mar/2006 ]
1001 Classical Recordings you must hear before you die (1951 - present). "This superb recording, definitive in so many ways, speaks to us as powerfully today as it ever did" (MusicWeb Bargain of the Month Sept 2006)