Audiophile Classical Music Recommendations - Basic Library (Links included)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 52121 times.

Tyson

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 6594
  • Audio - It's all a big fake.
Thanks. :)
I prefer Pictures at an Exhibition performed on piano to the orchestral versions I've heard.

One version of Pictures at an Exhibition performed and arranged by Kazuhito Yamashita for classical guitar may upset the purists but it's a very entertaining and heroic effort.



-Roy

Pictures on guitar?  Wow, that must be something to hear, it seems hard enough to play it with two hands at the piano.

no1maestro

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 84
Tyson,

I am a recent member here and was not familiar with your name or your research. Let me thank you for putting in the effort and hours it must have taken.

I have a couple of ideas and additions for you to consider. First, I would like to see a little more from the English composers and some attention to some of Hanson's work such as the Second Symphony and the music from Merry Mount; two of my favorites with many versions out there to choose from.

Secondly, might I suggest including wind ensemble recordings in your recommendations such as Eastman Wind Ensemble and the many other fine wind groups conducted by Fennell, There is a world of fine music for this type of group.

I look forward to catching up with your posts along with others in here. Keep up the good work and don't let mine or other suggestions deter you. Thanks!

DBB

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 4
My first visit here and my first post. You went to a lot of work to create this list Tyson. Thank you. I am a big classical fan, and have been for years. I think your recommendations are interesting but heavily skewed to sound quality and pretty much omit many of the best main stream conductors of the 20th Century. So from a performance point of view, I would advise a novice to look at performances by Bernstein, Walter, Horenstein, Barbiroli, Kleiber, Szell to name just a few.

roymail

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 842
  • Roy in TX
Tyson, thank you for a most helpful post.  I love string quartets and very much enjoy the Emersons and Cleveland quartets.

Lots of other very helpful information along with the links, too.  Great stuff!  :thumb:

myview

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 91
Hi Tyson and the rest of us,

This is a great post.  I am a great classical music fan and have been since I was little.  In terms of sonics, I would say that titles from the Reference Recordings (with Keith Johnson as the recording engineer) are generally superb.  The performances are not the greatest admittedly but I keep coming back to them.  It's a pity that many great performers/conductors/orchestras continue to record for the major labels and some of these productions really do not sound as good as they should.

For older recordings (say late 50s to late 60s) but with quite good (sometimes even splendid) sonics, I go for recordings made by the late engineer Kenneth Wilkinson.  Most of these analogue recordings have been made available at some point in time in the mid-price and budget series of DECCA.  Also worth noting are some recordings by him which originally appeared under READERS' DIGEST and had been reissued under CHESKY.  I like the Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov piano concertos played by Earl Wild.  The Tchaoikovsky violin conerto played by Itzhak Perlman in his early days is also very good.  I really like CHESKYbut it seems that it has stopped coming out with new classical titles.

I will be chekcing back this thread for more discussions.

 

Tyson

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 6594
  • Audio - It's all a big fake.
Thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback!

DBB,
Originally my list was indeed slanted more toward great performances over great sound quality, but since this is an audiophile forum, I slowly reworked it over time to include more performances with great sound.  But, these are all still excellent performances.  Some of them can compete very nicely with the greats from the past in terms of performance, and IMO, some of them even surpass them.

etcarroll

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2990
  • SE PA. by way of Boston, MA.
So I hit the resale shop in Princeton today, grabbed a bunch of Shosty, and a
Telarc release of Brahms - "The Four Symphonies" - caught my eye, marked down to $9.00, so I grabbed it.

I recognized the conductor from this thread, Sir Charles Mackerras with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

Any thoughts on this one?

roymail

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 842
  • Roy in TX
I haven't heard it, but on Telarc with Mackerras... should be very good.  Let us know.  :thumb:

rpf

So I hit the resale shop in Princeton today, grabbed a bunch of Shosty, and a
Telarc release of Brahms - "The Four Symphonies" - caught my eye, marked down to $9.00, so I grabbed it.

I recognized the conductor from this thread, Sir Charles Mackerras with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

Any thoughts on this one?

It's pretty good overall. Sound quality is fine. It's a relatively small orchestra of course. I like the clarity and transparency this brings but some will want a fuller bodied orchestra. For a first choice, Bohm is my pick.

Feanor

I appreciate the discussion and, especially, the recommendations in this thread: my thanks to all.

For my own small contribution I'd like to point people to my personal classical composition recommendations.  Modestly I have to admit these compilations aren't for the mosr part original with me, rather they are condensed from the opinions good many experts whose advice has formed the basis of my own classical listening & learning.


goldlizsts

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1151
  • Let Music Flow!
Hi Tyson and the rest of us,

This is a great post.  I am a great classical music fan and have been since I was little.  In terms of sonics, I would say that titles from the Reference Recordings (with Keith Johnson as the recording engineer) are generally superb.  The performances are not the greatest admittedly but I keep coming back to them.  It's a pity that many great performers/conductors/orchestras continue to record for the major labels and some of these productions really do not sound as good as they should.

For older recordings (say late 50s to late 60s) but with quite good (sometimes even splendid) sonics, I go for recordings made by the late engineer Kenneth Wilkinson.  Most of these analogue recordings have been made available at some point in time in the mid-price and budget series of DECCA.  Also worth noting are some recordings by him which originally appeared under READERS' DIGEST and had been reissued under CHESKY.  I like the Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov piano concertos played by Earl Wild.  The Tchaoikovsky violin conerto played by Itzhak Perlman in his early days is also very good.  I really like CHESKYbut it seems that it has stopped coming out with new classical titles.

I will be chekcing back this thread for more discussions.

What about those Cozart Fine-headed recordings.  They can be bought for first cheap now, but many are first-rate, still, 40 years later.

jose

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 60
A few that come to mind:

* Any of the recordings by Angela Hewitt on the Hyperion label. (Personally, I am partial to those on the Fazioli piano, but Ms. Heweitt's entire Bach cycle is one of the landmarks in the history of recorded music)

* Anything conducted by Philippe Herrewhege (His St. Matthew Passion is another historical landmark.)

* Anything conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt

* Anything conducted by Jordi Savall

* Anything on the Telarc label (of course)

* Anything on the Channel Classics label. (Two special recommendations: Rachel Podger's recording of the Complete Sonatas & Partitas for Violin Solo and Dejan Lazic's recording of the Schubert  Sonata in B-flat major.)

* Anything on the Linn Classics label. (Special recommendation: the recording of the Beethoven piano concertos by Artur Pizarro and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.)

* Anything on the Hanssler Classics label

* Anything recorded by Jan Eric Persson (of Opus 3), or by Pierre Sprey (of Mapleshade Records), or by Kavi Alexander (of Water Lily Acoustics)

* Anything recorded by Tony Faulkner

* The John Atkinson/Ray Kimber recording of Robert Silverman performing the Diabelli Variations (available from Stereophile)

* The Takacs Quartet cycle of the Beethoven string quartets

* For orchestral audiophile fireworks: The Mahler cycle of Zdenek Macal conducting the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra (on the Japanese Exton label). These are not cheap; if you want to buy only one, I suggest starting with the 7th, because this symphony, in a sense, "belongs" to the Czech Philharmonic.

Randy

I got the Mackerras recordings of the Brahms symphonies back in the day and was disappointed by them.  Let face it, you need a big orchestra to put over those works in the best light, and the selling point of those performances was the pared down orchestra done supposedly in the name of period authenticity.  I think old Johannes would have been appalled.

I wouldn't recommend just "anything" by Savall. Many of his recordings are of very esoteric repertoire, aimed at the specialist early music collector.

saisunil

Thunder and Lightening ... Solti's powerful 2 CD set - highly recommend to any audiophile ...
 
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00000DLUS/ref=oh_o01_s00_i00_details

Ericus Rex

I think old Johannes would have been appalled.

I doubt it.  While I won't disagree with you that modern orchestrations do sound better for Brahms symphonies, the fact is that the steel string and modern, more projecting, violin setup weren't adopted until long after JB's death.  The period sets probably sound more like how Brahms heard them while he lived.

Tyson

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 6594
  • Audio - It's all a big fake.
I usually love almost everything that Mackerras does, but I have to agree that his Brahms is underwhelming.  Jochum, Dorati, and Levine are tops for overall performances of the set.

rpf

I recently purchased the set by Rattle with the BPO and it's become my favorite. Great sound, conducting and, of course, playing. Autumnal Brahms at it's best.

Rattle's set of Beethoven Piano Concertos with Brendel and the VPO has also become my favorite set in those works.

Randy

I doubt it.  While I won't disagree with you that modern orchestrations do sound better for Brahms symphonies, the fact is that the steel string and modern, more projecting, violin setup weren't adopted until long after JB's death.  The period sets probably sound more like how Brahms heard them while he lived.

I meant that he probably would much prefer the sound of a modern orchestra over what he had available in his day, but I don't think they were all that much different by the time of his death. He lived into the 1890s after all.  An analogy might be if Beethoven could have had the use of a modern grand piano, I doubt very much he would ever have gone back to a piano of his time if given the choice.

PA

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 123
Pictures on guitar?  Wow, that must be something to hear, it seems hard enough to play it with two hands at the piano.

Here is a version of ''Pictures that I like. It is of course quite different from the piano version but I it find very enjoyable and well recorded;


sample;http://www.jorgecaballeroguitar.com/

PA

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 123
This download is maybe the best recorded classical guitar that I have and a very beautiful album as well.
The repertoire goes from romantic to melodic modern music. The combination of guitar and clarinet works very well and is to my knowledge unique.

http://www.soundliaison.com/
Quote
Levan Tskhadadze (clarinet) and Izhar Elias (guitar) play their instruments with an incredible transparency, refined articulation and subtle musical colours. It is their own story they create. Their music speaks as if they are talking with each other through their instruments.