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 223

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Clarinet Works (Incls sonatas & trio) cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
2-4 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
2-4 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...
Beethoven: The Late Piano Sonatas cover
add to cart $35.00 Out of Stock
LUDWIG van BEETHOVEN
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 Low 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
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 Out of 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
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Great Pianists of the 20th Century - Mikhail Pletnev cover
add to cart $35.00 In Stock
PYOTR Il'yich TCHAIKOVSKY
MARBECKS COLLECTABLE: Great Pianists of the 20th Century - Mikhail Pletnev
Mikhail Pletnev (piano) / The Philharmonia, Vladimir Fedoseyev
[ BMG Philips EMI / 2 CD - released 20/Jan/2018 ]
"Admirers of this pianist will count this Double an outstanding bargain." *** Three Stars Penguin Stereo Guide
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 Out of 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 In Stock
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
2-4 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 $42.00 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 Out of 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)
Mozart: Sonata in D Major for Two Pianos / etc (with Schubert - Fantasia in F minor for two pianos) cover
add to cart $20.00 Out of Stock
W. A. MOZART
Mozart: Sonata in D Major for Two Pianos / etc (with Schubert - Fantasia in F minor for two pianos)
Murray Perahia (piano) Radu Lupu (piano)
[ Sony Originals / CD - released 20/Jul/2011 ]
1001 Classical recordings to hear before you die (1801-1850) - "The performance of Lupu and Perahia is full of haunting poetry, with each of these highly individual artists challenging the other in imagination." (*** Three Stars. Penguin Stereo Guide)
Beethoven: The Five Piano Concertos (3 CDs ) cover
add to cart $40.00 In Stock
LUDWIG van BEETHOVEN
Beethoven: The Five Piano Concertos (3 CDs )
Murray Perahia (piano) / Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bernard Haitink
[ Sony Music / 3 CD - released 12/Jul/2007 ]
"Perahia, with Haitink a deeply sympathetic partner, gives masterly performances, as close to the heart of the music as any. The sound is full and well balanced...well worth it." (Penguin Stereo Guide)
Rigoletto (Complete Opera recorded in 1985) cover
add to cart $31.50 Out of Stock
2-4 weeks
VERDI
Rigoletto (Complete Opera recorded in 1985)
Neil Shicoff, Renata Bruson, Edita Gruberova / Santa Cecilia Acad. / Sinopoli
[ Decca Grand Opera / 2 CD - released 20/Jun/2012 ]
American tenor Neil Shicoff as the Duke heads up a starry cast which also includes one of the great Italian Verdi baritones as Rigoletto, Renato Bruson
This is Leonard Bernstein: His Greatest Recordings cover
add to cart $85.00 Out of Stock
GERSHWIN / GROFE / HAYDN / BEETHOVEN / STRAVINSKY / BERNSTEIN / MAHLER
This is Leonard Bernstein: His Greatest Recordings
Rudolf Serkin, Lukas Foss (pianos), Original Broadway Cast, Dietrich Fischer Dieskau (baritone) / New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Leonard Bernstein
[ Sony Classical / 16 CD Box Set - released 1/Nov/2009 ]
This special edition collects the conductor-composer's 15 most celebrated original albums from the 1950s and 60s on 16 CDs. The best selection of his benchmark recordings as a conductor, composer and pianist.
Lilburn: The Three Symphonies cover
add to cart $25.00 In Stock
DOUGLAS LILBURN
Lilburn: The Three Symphonies
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra / James Judd
[ Naxos / CD - released 2/May/2002 ]
"There's a freshness and enthusiasm in Judd's readings, and he takes care with the music, observing every detail. Throughout all three symphonies there is a greater breadth and warmth of emotion than we've heard before." - Sunday Star Times (May 2002