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 121 to 140 of 233

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Requiem (with the 6 Biblical Songs) cover
add to cart $27.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
DVORAK
Requiem (with the 6 Biblical Songs)
Maria Stader / Siegline Wagner / Czech Philharmonic / Karel Ancerl
[ Deutsche Grammophon / 2 CD - released 26/Mar/2000 ]
"This superb DG set from 1959 brings an inspired performance of a work that can sound relatively conventional but which here emerges with fiery intensity, helped by a recording made in appropriately spacious acoustic that gives an illusion of an...
Franck: Organ Works cover
add to cart $20.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
CESAR FRANCK
Franck: Organ Works
Marie-Claire Alain (organ)
[ Erato Apex / 2 CD ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die (1801-1850) -
Haydn: The Seasons (Complete oratorio) cover
add to cart $50.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
JOSEF HAYDN
Haydn: The Seasons (Complete oratorio)
Marlis Petersen (soprano), Werner Gura (tenor), Dietrich Henschel (baritone), RIAS-Kammerchor, Freiburger Barockorchester, Rene Jacobs
[ Harmonia Mundi Haydn Edition / 2 CD - released 1/Feb/2009 ]
"The thrilling sound of the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and Berlin's crack RIAS Chamber Choir make for a life-enhancing experience. The three soloists are superb; the whole set makes you wonder anew at the 67-year-old composer's creativity and...
Saint-Saëns: Organ Symphony / Carnival of the Animals cover
add to cart $25.00 Low Stock
CAMILLE SAINT-SAENS
Saint-Saëns: Organ Symphony / Carnival of the Animals
Martha Argerich (piano) Antonio Pappano (piano) Daniele Rossi (organ) / Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
[ Warner Classics / CD - released 25/Sep/2017 ]
Martha Argerich and Antonio Pappano (as pianist rather than conductor) lead the fun in Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals with Members of the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto no 3 (coupled with Ravel-Piano Concerto in G) cover
add to cart $25.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
SERGEI PROKOFIEV
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto no 3 (coupled with Ravel-Piano Concerto in G)
Martha Argerich (piano) / Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Claudio Abbado
[ Deutsche Grammophon The Originals / CD - released 5/May/2000 ]
"all done with the most engaging reckless abandon." (Gramophone)
Clarinet Works (Incls sonatas & trio) cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
BRAHMS
Clarinet Works (Incls sonatas & trio)
Martin Frost (clarinet) / Roland Pantinen (piano) / Torleif Thedaen (cello)
[ BIS SACD / Hybrid SACD - released 1/Oct/2005 ]
"Martin Fröst is as fine a clarinetist as anyone alive today, and he teams up with two equally superb colleagues in presenting exceptional performances of these three chestnuts of the chamber-music-with-winds repertoire...if you're looking for...
Clarinet Concertos cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
WEBER
Clarinet Concertos
Martin Frost (clarinet) / Tapiola Sinfonietta / Jean-Jacques Kantorow
[ BIS SACD / Hybrid SACD - released 1/Oct/2013 ]
"This is an absolutely wonderful disc in every way. Weber's clarinet music is delightful, and it's hard to imagine it being better played or recorded. Martin Fröst has such a supple, liquid timbre that at times you could almost swear there were words...
The Late Piano Sonatas cover
add to cart $33.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
BEETHOVEN
The Late Piano Sonatas
Maurizio Pollini (piano)
[ Deutsche Grammophon The Originals / 2 CD - released 6/Jul/2004 ]
"Pollini's recordings of the late sonatas, which won the 1977 Gramophone critic's award for instrumental music, contain playing of the highest mastery." - Penguin Stereo Guide
Best Of Maxim Vengerov cover
add to cart $95.00 In Stock
BEETHOVEN / BRAHMS / BRUCH / PAGANINI / TCHAIKOVSKY / SIBELIUS / etc
Best Of Maxim Vengerov
Maxim Vengerov (violin) / Various orchestras & conductors
[ Warner Classics / 11 CD Box Set - released 20/Nov/2006 ]
"his technique is highly impressive, and he produces a beautiful tone even in the violin's lower regions." (BBC Music)
The Art of Midori cover
add to cart $65.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
TCHAIKOVSKY / SHOSTAKOVICH / PAGANINI / SIBELIUS / BACH / MENDELSSOHN / BARTOK / etc
The Art of Midori
Midori (violin) / Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, with Robert McDonald (piano)
[ Sony Classical / 10 CD Box Set - released 26/May/2017 ]
"A very grand performance, full of swaggering confidence and interpretative panache..Strongly recommended for anyone fancying this coupling." (Gramophone on the Tchaikosvky/Shostakovich)
Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonatas cover
add to cart $15.00 Low Stock
DOMENICO SCARLATTI
Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonatas
Mikhail Pletnev (piano)
[ Erato Classics Red Line / CD - released 15/Oct/2018 ]
"Pletnev establishes a firm pianistic approach...The performances throughout are in the very front rank." Penguin Guide, 2011 edition
Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Capriccio Italien (with Beethoven-Wellington's Victory) cover
add to cart $25.00 Low Stock
PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOSVKY
Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Capriccio Italien (with Beethoven-Wellington's Victory)
Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra / London Symphony Orchestra / Antal Dorati
[ Mercury Originals / CD - released 14/Jun/2007 ]
"This most famous of all Mercury records was one of the most successful classical LPs of all time, selling some two million copies in the analogue era. Remastered for CD, it sounds even more spectacular than it ever did in its vinyl format, vividly...
Debussy: 12 Etudes cover
add to cart $25.00 Low Stock
CLAUDE DEBUSSY
Debussy: 12 Etudes
Mitsuko Uchida (piano)
[ Philips Originals / CD - released 15/Apr/2006 ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die (1901-1950) - "Mitsuko Uchida's remarkable account of the Etudes is not only one of the best Debussy piano records in the catalogue, but also one of the best ever recordings of the instrument."
Mozart: The Piano Sonatas (Complete) cover
add to cart $75.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
W. A. MOZART
Mozart: The Piano Sonatas (Complete)
Mitsuko Uchida (piano)
[ Philips / 5 CD Box Set - released 2/Dec/2001 ]
1001 Classical recordings to hear before you die - "In a relatively short time Mitsuko Uchida's outstanding recordings of the complete Mozart piano sonatas have come to be regarded as among the "must have" classics of recorded music" Penguin Guide
Vivaldi: Four Seasons / La Notte / Concerto in Re minore per Viola d'amore & Lute cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
ANTONIO VIVALDI
Vivaldi: Four Seasons / La Notte / Concerto in Re minore per Viola d'amore & Lute
Monica Huggett (viola d'amore) Jakob Lindberg (lute) Clas Pehrsson (recorder) / Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble
[ BIS / CD - released 1/Oct/2013 ]
"This performance comes out on top of every other recording I have listened to...The Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble produces tremendous rhythmic drive, conjuring up real excitement" (Classic CD)
Ravel: Bolero / La Valse / Rapsodie Espagnole / Ma Mere l'Oye / Daphnis et Chloe cover
add to cart $35.00 Low Stock
MAURICE RAVEL
Ravel: Bolero / La Valse / Rapsodie Espagnole / Ma Mere l'Oye / Daphnis et Chloe
Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Charles Dutoit
[ Double Decca / 2 CD - released 12/Jul/2000 ]
"Anyone beginning a Ravel collection, or coming fresh to most of this repertoire and willing to duplicate, will find this Double Decca unbeatable value" A Rosette recording - Penguin Stereo Guide
Holst: The Planets cover
add to cart $35.00 Low Stock
GUSTAV HOLST
Holst: The Planets
Montreal Symphony Orchestra / Charles Dutoit
[ Decca Records / CD - released 10/Aug/2007 ]
1001 Classical recordings you must hear before you die (1901-1950) - "an highly successful version, both rich and brilliant, and recorded with an opulence to outshine almost all rivals. *** Three Stars. Penguin Stereo.
Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations (with Dvorak - Cello Concerto) cover
add to cart $25.00 In Stock
PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY
Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations (with Dvorak - Cello Concerto)
Mstislav Rostropovich (cello) / Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Herbert von Karajan
[ Deutsche Grammophon The Originals / CD - released 1/Jan/2001 ]
"the intensity of lyrical feeling and the spontaneity of the partnership between Karajan and Rostropovich ensures the position of their disc at the top of recommendations for this peer among nineteenth century cello concertos." Rosette. Penguin...
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Chopin: Etudes: Op. 25 & Op. 10 cover
add to cart $25.00 Low Stock
FREDERIC CHOPIN
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Chopin: Etudes: Op. 25 & Op. 10
Murray Perahia (piano)
[ Sony Music / CD - released 2/Dec/2002 ]
Gramophone Magazine Award Finalist 2003 - Recording of the Month (Gramophone November 2002)
Bach: Keyboard Concertos Vol 1 (Nos 1, 2 & 4) cover
add to cart $22.00 Out of Stock
2-6 weeks
J.S. BACH
Bach: Keyboard Concertos Vol 1 (Nos 1, 2 & 4)
Murray Perahia (piano and conductor), Academy of St Martins in the Fields
[ Sony Music / CD - released 20/Mar/2001 ]
ROSETTE (Highest Rating) Penguin Stereo Guide 2001 GRAMOPHONE AWARD FINALIST - Concerto