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 61 to 80 of 223

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Brahms: Symphonies (complete) / Overtures / Hungarian Dances / etc cover
add to cart $75.00 Low Stock
JOHANNES BRAHMS
Brahms: Symphonies (complete) / Overtures / Hungarian Dances / etc
Gewandhausorchester, Riccardo Chailly
[ Decca / 3 CD Box Set - released 1/Nov/2013 ]
BBC Music Magazine Awards 2014 Orchestral WINNER / GRAMOPHONE MAGAZINE AWARD WINNER 2014 - Orchestral
Bach: Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin BWV1001-1006 cover
add to cart $64.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
J. S. BACH
Bach: Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin BWV1001-1006
Gidon Kremer (violin)
[ ECM Records / 2 CD - released 1/Apr/2009 ]
Gidon Kremer's second complete recording (made in 2001 and 2002) of the six sonatas and partitas for solo violin is a radically new interpretation of them, not only at the level of technical and musical detail but in terms of the expressive qualities...
Violin Sonatas cover
add to cart $89.99 Out of Stock
BARTOK / BEETHOVEN / BRAHMS / BUSONI / JANACEK / MESSIAEN / PROKOFIEV / etc
Violin Sonatas
Gidon Kremer (violin) with Martha Argerich, Valery Afanassiev and Oleg Maisenberg
[ DG Collector's Edition / 8 CD - released 9/Oct/2003 ]
The present set includes the complete Beethoven and Brahms Sonatas, as well as the two well-known Schumann Sonatas, plus Sonatas by Richard Strauss, Busoni, Bartok, Janacek, Prokofiev, and Messiaen's Theme and Variations - restoring many recordings...
Orff: Carmina Burana cover
add to cart $25.00 Low Stock
CARL ORFF
Orff: Carmina Burana
Gundula Janowitz, Gerhard Stolze, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau / Berlin Opera, Eugen Jochum
[ Deutsche Grammophon Originals / CD - released 1/Jan/2001 ]
"Jochum's 1968 recording of Carmina Burana has never sounded better than it does in this reissue in DG's 'Originals' series. The recording has a wide dynamic range and when the music blazes it has real spedour and excitement." (Penguin Stereo Guide)
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Mozart: Don Giovanni, K527 (Complete opera) cover
add to cart $30.00 Low Stock
W. A. MOZART
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Mozart: Don Giovanni, K527 (Complete opera)
Hakan Hagegard, Gilles Cachemaille, Arleen Auger, Della Jones / Drottningholm Court Theatre, Arnold Ostman
[ Double Decca / 2 CD - released 1/Aug/2007 ]
"Even those who have never been to Drottningholm and experienced Arnold Ostman's Mozart in the flesh will know exactly what it is that makes his recorded performances live." (Gramophone)
Vaughan Williams: Symphony No 1 'A Sea Symphony' cover
add to cart $35.00 Low Stock
RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS
Vaughan Williams: Symphony No 1 'A Sea Symphony'
Katherine Broderick (soprano) Roderick Williams (baritone) / Halle Choir, Youth Choir & Orchestra, Sir Mark Elder
[ Halle / CD - released 6/Nov/2015 ]
"The superbly honed choral and orchestral contribution surely testifies to many hours of painstaking preparation." (Gramophone Award Nomination 2016 - Orchestral)
Bach: Mass in B minor cover
add to cart $60.00 Low Stock
J. S. BACH
Bach: Mass in B minor
Hannah Morrison (sop) Meg Bragle (alto) Esther Brazil (mezzo) Peter Davoren (ten) Alex Ashworth (bass) / English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
[ Soli Deo Gloria / 2 CD - released 22/Dec/2015 ]
"Thirty years since his pioneering first version, Gardiner returns to re-record the mighty Mass in B minor; the impressive result draws on all his great knowledge and experience of Bach's music." Gramophone Award Nomination 2016 - Baroque Vocal
Miroirs (with Schumann-Kreisleriana) cover
add to cart $36.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
RAVEL
Miroirs (with Schumann-Kreisleriana)
Herbert Schuch (piano)
[ Oehms / CD - released 1/Jun/2006 ]
"Herbert Schuch is a 27 year old Romanian whose recording debut is of an intimidating mastery and stylistic assurance." Editor's Choice Gramophone June 2006
Gesualdo: Tenebrae cover
add to cart $64.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
CARLO GESUALDO
Gesualdo: Tenebrae
The Hilliard Ensemble
[ ECM Records / 2 CD - released 1/Apr/2009 ]
Vocal ensemble performance doesn't get any more technically polished or musically affecting than this offering from the Hilliard Ensemble--an example of what happens when a group of individual singers performs as a spiritual entity. Of course, the...
Violin Concerto No 1 / La Campanella / Moses Fantasy for violin & piano cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
Mozart: Complete Violin Concertos cover
add to cart $40.00 Low Stock
W. A. MOZART
Mozart: Complete Violin Concertos
Isabelle Faust (violin) / Il Giardino Armonico, Giovanni Antonini
[ Harmonia Mundi / 2 CD - released 20/Nov/2016 ]
"her sound growing out of the corporate entity to glitter, coax, snarl and soar as required…[a] thought-provoking and eminently enjoyable cycle" Gramophone Award WINNER 2017 - RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Beethoven / Berg: Violin Concertos cover
add to cart $35.00 Low Stock
BEETHOVEN / ALBAN BERG
Beethoven / Berg: Violin Concertos
Isabelle Faust (violin) / Orchestra Mozart / Claudio Abbado
[ Harmonia Mundi / CD - released 1/Mar/2012 ]
"The Beethoven and Berg Violin Concertos aren't commonly paired on disc. However, in this case it seems like an inspired piece of programme planning. Outstanding performances of both concertos, then; I'll want to return to them often." (Gramophone...
Bartok: Violin Concertos cover
add to cart $35.00 Low Stock
BELA BARTOK
Bartok: Violin Concertos
Isabelle Faust (violin) / Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Harding
[ Harmonia Mundi / CD - released 29/Jul/2013 ]
BBC Music Magazine Awards 2014 Concerto Finalist / GRAMOPHONE MAGAZINE AWARD NOMINATION 2014
Chopin: Scherzi, Preludes & Piano Sonata No. 2 cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
FREDERIC CHOPIN
Chopin: Scherzi, Preludes & Piano Sonata No. 2
Ivo Pogorelich (piano)
[ Deutsche Grammophon Duo / 2 CD - released 15/Mar/2012 ]
"Second to none in sheer keyboard brilliance … everything he does is always done with princely authority." (Gramophone)
Penderecki: A Polish Requiem cover
add to cart $28.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
Elgar: Cello Concerto / Sea Pictures / Overture: Cockaigne cover
add to cart $20.00 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
Barber / Korngold / Walton: Violin Concertos cover
add to cart $40.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
BARBER / KORNGOLD / WALTON
Barber / Korngold / Walton: Violin Concertos
James Ehnes (violin) / Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Bramwell Tovey
[ ONYX / CD - released 1/Feb/2007 ]
Rosette Recording - Penguin Stereo Guide - "A fine violinist excels himself in an outstanding trio of romantic concertos" (Gramophone)
Ravel: Jeux de Miroirs cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
MAURICE RAVEL
Ravel: Jeux de Miroirs
Javier Perianes (piano) / Orchestre de Paris, Josep Pons
[ Harmonia Mundi / CD - released 29/Nov/2019 ]
"I loved this disc. The music is wonderful; within this programme we experience Ravel as poet, sophisticate, wit and, always, as the master craftsman." MusicWeb Recommended Feb 2020
Messiaen: Turangalila-symphonie cover
add to cart $30.00 Low Stock
OLIVER MESSIAEN
Messiaen: Turangalila-symphonie
Jean-Yves Thibaudet (piano) / Takashi Harada (ondes martenot) / Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra / Riccardo Chailly
[ Decca 20C / CD - released 20/Mar/2013 ]
"Chailly gets jiggy with it, in a performance that's interested in the carnal desire underpinning Messiaen's piece. It may be over the top for some tastes, but the orchestral playing is unbelievably powerful and hardcore. Vividly recorded, too."...
Shostakovich: String Quartets No. 1, 4, 6, 8, 9 & 11 cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH
Shostakovich: String Quartets No. 1, 4, 6, 8, 9 & 11
Jerusalem Quartet
[ Harmonia Mundi Gold / 2 CD - released 1/Feb/2013 ]
BBC AWARD WINNER 2008 - Best Chamber recording - 'This is challenging, unpredictable Shostakovich which always convinces even when the approach is new. The Jerusalem Quartet's tonal range is daunting too.' (BBC)