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 81 to 100 of 233

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Chopin: Scherzi, Preludes & Piano Sonata No. 2 cover
add to cart $24.00 Out of Stock
2-6 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)
Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No 6 / Ravel: Gaspard de la Nuit / Chopin: Sonata No 2 cover
add to cart $20.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
SERGEI PROKOFIEV / MAURICE RAVEL / FREDERIC CHOPIN
Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No 6 / Ravel: Gaspard de la Nuit / Chopin: Sonata No 2
Ivo Pogorelich (piano)
[ Deutsche Grammophon Originals / CD - released 20/Mar/2003 ]
"Pogorelich's Gaspard is out of the ordinary. In Le Gibet, we are made conscious of the pianist's refinement of tone and colour first, and Ravel's poetic vision afterwards, But for all that, this is piano playing of astonishing quality." Rosette Peng
Penderecki: A Polish Requiem cover
add to cart $28.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
Elgar: Cello Concerto / Sea Pictures / Overture: Cockaigne cover
add to cart $18.00 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 $35.00 Out of Stock
2-6 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)
Janet Baker sings Lieder cover
add to cart $18.00 In Stock
SCHUMANN / SCHUBERT / BRAHMS
Janet Baker sings Lieder
Janet Baker (mezzo-soprano) / Martin Isepp (piano)
[ Regis Records / CD - released 18/Oct/2005 ]
"Janet Baker's range of expression.. runs the whole gamut from joyful golden tone colour of courtship to the agony of bereavement ..Martin Isepp a highly sensitive and and supportive partner.." - Penguin Guide Rosette
Ravel: Jeux de Miroirs cover
add to cart $35.00 Low Stock
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
Turangalila-symphonie cover
add to cart $30.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
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 $32.00 Out of Stock
2-6 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)
Bach: Cantatas Vol 1: BWV7, 30, 167; BWV20, 39, 75 cover
add to cart $40.00 Low Stock
J. S. BACH
Bach: Cantatas Vol 1: BWV7, 30, 167; BWV20, 39, 75
Joanne Lunn, Gillian Keith, Wilke te Brummelstroete, Paul Agnew. Monteverdi Choir. English Baroque Soloists. John Eliot Gardiner
[ Soli Deo Gloria / 2 CD - released 10/Feb/2005 ]
Cantatas For the Feast of St John the Baptist and the First Sunday after Trinity. "The first steps on this Bach pilgrimage lift the heart for the journey to come." Recording of the Month Gramophone Magazine (March 2005) WINNER BEST BAROQUE VOCAL...
Bach: Cantatas Vol 10: BWV48, BWV5, BWV90 & BWV56; BWV79, BWV192 & BWV80 cover
add to cart $40.00 Low Stock
Requiem / Prologue to Mefistofele / Te Deum cover
add to cart $32.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
BERLIOZ / BOITO / VERDI
Requiem / Prologue to Mefistofele / Te Deum
John Aler, tenor, Robert Shaw Chorale. Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Robert Shaw
[ Telarc Classics / 2 CD - released 7/Mar/2004 ]
"The performance on this recording is about as satisfying as one can imagine, and the recording itself is simply breathtaking." —Stereophile
Biber: The Mystery Sonatas cover
add to cart $25.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
HEINRICH IGNAZ FRANZ von BIBER
Biber: The Mystery Sonatas
John Holloway / Davitt Moroney / Tragicomedia
[ Virgin Veritas / 2 CD - released 2/Sep/2002 ]
"Holloway's performance stands well against the competition and not least for the imaginative support he gets from his colourful continuo group." (Penguin Guide Rosette Recording)
Liszt: Piano Works (Includes Fantasia on Hungarian Folk Themes & Mephisto Waltz No.1) ( nine CD set!) cover
add to cart $130.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
FRANZ LISZT
Liszt: Piano Works (Includes Fantasia on Hungarian Folk Themes & Mephisto Waltz No.1) ( nine CD set!)
Jorge Bolet (piano)
[ Decca Budget Boxes / 9 CD Box Set - released 26/May/2001 ]
All Bolet's solo Liszt recordings in one box at a special price
Handel: Agrippina (complete opera) cover
add to cart $55.00 In Stock
GEORG FRIDERIC HANDEL
Handel: Agrippina (complete opera)
Joyce DiDonato, Elsa Benoit, Biagio Pizzuti, Franco Fagioli, Andrea Mastroni, Jakub Józef OrliƄski / l Pomo d'Oro, Maxim Emelyanychev
[ Erato Classics / 3 CD - released 31/Jan/2020 ]
"With DiDonato nonpareil in the title-role and a uniformly strong cast, this now becomes a first choice for Handel's Venetian masterpiece." Gramophone Awards 2020 WINNER - Opera
Early Cantatas, Opferlied & Meeresstille cover
add to cart $25.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
BEETHOVEN
Early Cantatas, Opferlied & Meeresstille
Judith Howarth, Janice Watson, Jean Rigby, John Mark Ainsley, Jose Van Dam / Corydon Singers & Orchestra, Matthew Best
[ Hyperion Helios / CD - released 28/Aug/2014 ]
'Arguably Beethoven's first major masterpiece … superb performance, at once fresh and incisive and deeply moving' - PENGUIN GUIDE ROSETTE
Barber: Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Op 24 / Toccata Festiva, Op 24 cover
add to cart $23.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
SAMUEL BARBER
Barber: Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Op 24 / Toccata Festiva, Op 24
Karina Gauvin (soprano) Thomas Trotter (organ) / Royal Scottish National Orchestra / Marin Alsop
[ Naxos American Classics / CD - released 20/May/2004 ]
"A Knoxville performance to treasure as this essential Barber series reaches a new high point" Gramophone Magazine Recording of the Month (June 2004)
Piano Trios Op.1 No.3 & B flat major 'Archduke' cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
BEETHOVEN
Piano Trios Op.1 No.3 & B flat major 'Archduke'
Kempf Trio
[ BIS / SACD - released 1/Jul/2004 ]
"...make room for pianist Freddy Kempf and his cohorts, whose individual and collective agility dazzles the ear and serves the composer well...Certainly this release bodes well for a complete Beethoven cycle from the Kempf trio, and represents its...
Dido and Aeneas / Indian Queen (complete operas) cover
add to cart $45.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
PURCELL
Dido and Aeneas / Indian Queen (complete operas)
Catherine Bott, Emma Kirkby, John Mark Ainsley, David Thomas / Chorus and Orchestra of The Academy of Ancient Music / Christopher Hogwood
[ Decca Operas / 2 CD - released 22/Apr/2012 ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die (pre 1700) - "Key to the whole opera is the casting of Dido herself - and no singer surpasses Catherine Bott's poignant acceptance of death in the famous 'Lament'" (GP 1001 Classical recordings)
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade (with Borodin - In the Steppes of Central Asia & Balakirev - Islamey) cover
add to cart $40.00 Low Stock