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Best classical recordings...ever! - Page 126

post #1876 of 2461

EMI, 60s, 70s... then comes the bad stuff. If you look for DDD recordings exclusively, you won't hear the best of Karajan.

post #1877 of 2461

Karajan's 60's Brahms, Beethoven symphony cycles are admittedly in a class of their own. Even if I don't have any warmth for man myself, unlike Furtwangler he was clearly a Nazi sympathiser (but thats enough politics!).  His Richard Strauss is also exceptional.  

 

I always check out new Beethoven symphony cycles and none effect me the way that Karajan's do. I also think his 1970's 9th is probably the best recording available (but all others are better from his earlier set).

 

Riccardo Chailly's 2011 Decca set is my second choice. Completely different to Karajan's 60's reference worthy cycle. The tempos are much faster and the overall approach is more aggressive. The 9th's final is sublime however.

 

 

 

 

 

On a completely different note...

Has anyone here took the time to explore Peter Maxwell Davies symphonies? 

 

I'll say it now- They are the greatest symphony cycle we've got from the latter half of the 20th century. Problem is, no conductors will touch them because they are too difficult- The only recordings available are conducted by Davies himself (with the exception of the 1st which Rattle commendably took the challenge).

 

I've known them for about ten years now and I'm enjoying them again since they've been re-released on Naxos. (originally on Collins classics)

 

These are extraordinary pieces of music that take a long time to get into your system. First listen and they all sound the same. Brooding, rich tapestries of strings and brass with sporadic percussion. I hate this phrase- but they are very rewarding with repeated listening. 

 

His 2nd is as good a place to start as any. A sea symphony. 

 

post #1878 of 2461
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

Szell is close. 

 

SInce most folks here seems to exclude "in my opinion" these days and go straight to an authoritative "is"

I will correct you:

 

Szell "is".

Not "Szell is close".

 

Despite being largely neglected in many circles these days his work with Cleveland in the 1960s should not be underestimated.

Especially regarding Beethoven and Schumann.

post #1879 of 2461
His Brahms too--architectural and powerful as needed, a tense Schubert's "Unfinished," as accompanist to Mozart and Beethoven concerti, and even some fine if restrained Mahler.
post #1880 of 2461

Szell is an excellent conductor. My only quibble with him is that he tended to lean a little too far towards technical rigidity. I prefer a little more free expression. But as I said, after that list I mentioned, if there is a "first runner up", Szell is that. He was an excellent conductor.

post #1881 of 2461

This one is one of my manny favorites.

 


http://www.hdtracks.com/audiophile-picks/stravinsky-the-song-of-the-nightingale-the-firebird-suite-the-rite-of-spring

 

and this is THE recording of the chopin Ballades. But I find the price to high for the sound quality given, but the musical performance...outstanding.

 

http://www.hdtracks.com/chopin-ballades-scherzos?format=AIFF

post #1882 of 2461

Just get the CD of the Chopin. It's very inexpensive and sounds the same. They all use the same mastering now.

post #1883 of 2461

The SACD is worth having too.  And yes, the performance is extraordinary.  

post #1884 of 2461

Is that SACD one of the three channel ones? Those are the ones that are better on SACD. Everything uses the same mastering now, so they all sound the same with just two channels.

post #1885 of 2461
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

EMI, 60s, 70s... then comes the bad stuff. If you look for DDD recordings exclusively, you won't hear the best of Karajan.

+1.

post #1886 of 2461

Two sets that come highly recommended and are a great reference for both composers.

 

Alberic Magnard 1-4 Symphonies.

 

Four strong symphonies that are typically French in flavour (think Saint Saens, Faure, Massenet) but with elements of both Bruckner and even Mahler. Excellent performances and good sound quality.

 

 

 

John Adams Earbox.

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This is a very popular box set but I'm recommending it for anyone who is yet to get into John Adams. A great retrospective with reference recordings of most of his best works. Regardless of what some think of JD's music style and influences - I find it hard to imagine anyone not enjoying pieces such as his Chamber Symphony and Lollapalooza for sheer foot tapping fun. 

 

The sound quality is fantastic through out. 

post #1887 of 2461

Can anyone recommend me renditions of Saint-Saens' piano concertos? Specifically No. 5, but a nudge in the direction of good versions of generally all the concertos would be most welcome.

Going back through my old cassette recordings I'd made from library CDs years ago. I have Richter's version, but I didn't note down any more details. I like the piece, but it just sounds a bit turgid and monotonous. But it could be a bad recording/version as I really like Richter with Russian works... 

 

Thank you all :smile_phones: 

post #1888 of 2461
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunTanScanMan View Post
 

Can anyone recommend me renditions of Saint-Saens' piano concertos? Specifically No. 5, but a nudge in the direction of good versions of generally all the concertos would be most welcome.

Going back through my old cassette recordings I'd made from library CDs years ago. I have Richter's version, but I didn't note down any more details. I like the piece, but it just sounds a bit turgid and monotonous. But it could be a bad recording/version as I really like Richter with Russian works... 

 

Thank you all :smile_phones: 

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This would be my pick. I was just listening to it last night! Stephen Hough is one of the greatest living pianists we have at the mo. IMO.

 

Lovely recording with a nice sense of space, piano sound is tilted with a little warmth.  Some tend to play these concertos as if they are Rachmaninov.. But they are not. They are more in tune with Mozart than anything late romantic. There is so much invention in these works that span his whole life time. They really should be played more often. So likeable!   


Edited by LugBug1 - 6/20/14 at 11:48pm
post #1889 of 2461
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post
 

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This would be my pick. I was just listening to it last night! Stephen Hough is one of the greatest living pianists we have at the mo. IMO.

 

Lovely recording with a nice sense of space, piano sound is tilted with a little warmth.  Some tend to play these concertos as if they are Rachmaninov.. But they are not. They are more in tune with Mozart than anything late romantic. There is so much invention in these works that span his whole life time. They really should be played more often. So likeable!   

 

Agreed.

 

In fact  the whole Hyperion Romantic Piano Concerto series is quite fine.

post #1890 of 2461
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post
 

Compressed with JPEG Optimizer 2.02, www.xat.com

 

This would be my pick. I was just listening to it last night! Stephen Hough is one of the greatest living pianists we have at the mo. IMO.

 

Lovely recording with a nice sense of space, piano sound is tilted with a little warmth.  Some tend to play these concertos as if they are Rachmaninov.. But they are not. They are more in tune with Mozart than anything late romantic. There is so much invention in these works that span his whole life time. They really should be played more often. So likeable!   

 

Thanks Lugbug will check it out.

 

Discovered Saint-Saens' piano concerto no. 5 during back when I was listening to anything Russian and piano related. It was like finding a new world! Some of it sounds like it could belong in a disney cartoon from the 1940s/50s. Beautiful melodies and moody sections. Then in the middle is that (for lack of a better term) 'oriental' theme... a dreamy piece of music.

 

Also found this on youtube. This Richter recording is a different to the one I have. SQ is much better, and having been recorded live makes the performance and music more engaging imo.

 

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