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Re: suggested classical recordings

Ah yes - the standard repertoire - I love it! (See discussion in one of the threads below.)

Speaking of discussions below, there's a good overview of various posters' preferences of the Beethoven Symphonies. I'll take this opportunity to reiterate my recommendations for Kempe/Munich Phil and Krips/LSO sets (but see the caveats in the original discussion below too). For individual Beethoven Symphonies I recommend the following (keeping in mind your request for decent sound quality):

#1: Reiner/CSO
#2: Jansons/RCOA
#3: Von Matacic/CPO; Kempe/BPO
#4: Vänsskä/Minnesota
#5: Dorati/LSO; Reiner/CSO
#6: Reiner/CSO; Walter/Columbia SO
#7: Dorati/LSO; Reiner/CSO
#8: Salonen/LAPO (Beware: iTunes - lossy compression - fairly decent in spite of this)
#9: Reiner/CSO

For the Brahms symphonies, I'm impressed with the recent complete set from Bychkov and the WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne. There are also a couple of fine individual performances of number 2, one with Jansons and the RCOA, and another one with Vonk and the Netherlands Radio Symphony.

For the Brahms Violin Concerto, Julia Fischer's recording will be released later this month. (It also includes the Double Concerto. See photo above. But come to think of it, maybe your wife isn't too interested in babe violinists - my wife sometimes has to remind me that she doesn't share my interest in this topic!)

As for Debussy, Stravinsky, Vivaldi, and Tchaikovsky. . .

Debussy Preludes: A rare instance where I agree with the Gramophone. Zimmerman's performances are so good (and technically complete), it's scary! (Same goes for his performances of the Ravel Piano Concertos with Boulez.)

Stravinsky Firebird: The classic Dorati/LSO performance is available on a Mercury Living Presence hybrid SACD.

Stravinsky Petrushka: Another winner from Jansons/RCOA. (Also includes a dynamite rendition of the Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances.)

Stravinsky Dumbarton Oaks Concerto, Soldier's Tale Suite, etc.: P. Järvi / Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Bremen. Outstanding sound quality.

Vivaldi Four Seasons: I'm tempted to pick another babe violinist here (Janine Jansen), but there are a few too many cavalier HIP mannerisms and influences, which offset the genuinely imaginative touches in these performances. Decent engineering.

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto: There are many fine performances of this work, but the sound quality on Julia Fischer's recording is superior, allowing us to marvel at her tonal variety (as well as the virtuosity which we take for granted in performances of this work nowadays).

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  • Re: suggested classical recordings - Chris from Lafayette 18:08:28 04/15/07 (0)

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