Here's my symphony collection; what else should I get?
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Old Pa

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Since your "symphony" list included some other instrumental classical music, I'm going to suggest some pipe organ. A pipe organ and the building it is installed in are uniquely interactive and the good recordings of these are great music and magnificient sound that will explore the capabilities of all of your hardware. There are good recordings from the 60's of both Virgil Fox and E. Power Biggs. These guys really knew how to wail on the organ. Very emotionally involving.

Brit labels like Hyperion and Priory have catalogs of performances of varied selections on some of the great pipe organs or Europe. Telarc has great recordings of Michael Murray with that Telarc sound. This group of recordings is spottier, but "Bach Blaster" or Murray on the Willis organ are both great. And with his work for the pipe organ is where J. S. Bach really excelled as a composer.

 
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dparrish

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darkangel,

I happen to be a Leonard Bernstein fan. I think he is one of the past century's best interpreters of music from the romantic period.

Although his later recordings are best sonically, I have been VERY impressed with the earlier recordings he did with the NYPO in terms of interpretation (although the recordings he did in the late 70's/80's were quite good).

Bernstein was probably the first modern conductor to champion Mahler's symphonies as being on the same level as other great symphonists (Beethoven, Brahms, etc.).

I personally have the complete Brahms symphonic cycle Bernstein did for DG with the Vienna PO in the early 80s. The playing is exquisite, although the sound is early digital (although it sounds pretty good played on my Sony XA777ES
). Compared to other versions I have by Walter and Maazel, Bernstein's reading is just much more insightful and inspiring. I believe Charles Macerras did a Brahms cycle for Telarc which got rave reviews, although I haven't heard it. If you can find the Bernstein versions, go for them. Perhaps DG has rereleased some of these.

Regarding the Mahler symphonies, I'm a rather late convert to the greatness of these and am in the process of building my collection. For sonics, the forthcoming Zander series on Telarc and the Michael Tilson Thomas (my current favorite) are excellent so far and should continue to be. I have yet to hear any of Bernstein's recordings of the Mahler symphonies, but I hope to rectify this VERY soon
We REALLY should get AndreYew in on this discussion, because he is a BIG Mahler fan
Which Berstein Mahler recordings do you prefer?

Regarding the Sibelius, I have an old Solti LP, I think. This is another work I'm due for a different copy of.

I don't yet have any of Simon Rattle's more recent recordings (with the BPO), but what I do have of his is very impressive. I've been spending WAY too much on hardware upgrades lately (Max and Cardas upgrade cable); I think it's time to begin adding to the collection again
 
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post-223342
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DarkAngel

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Brahms
Some special mention performances:

Kleiber/DG Originals 4th
Like the Beethoven CD every Brahms lover needs this performance from the mercurial Klieber.

Klemperer/EMI 1st
The bold tympani strikes at the open tell you this is special.

I do have the Mackerras/Telarc set and it is good, but it is not my favorite overall. I think i enjoy the Wand/RCA or Karajan/DG Double sets the best, consistently good throughout series.

I haven't heard entire new Abbado/DG set which is full price, but do have the 3rd from this set and it is very good.

As for Bernstein, outside of his fine Mahler, I only have a few misc CDs by him.
 
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post-223573
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radrd

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You guys are great! Now I have enough music to buy for another year or so. Thanks for all the responses, and more are appreciated of course.
(especially more Shostakovich recommendations would be nice if possible)
 
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AdamK

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Quote:

Originally posted by radrd
(especially more Shostakovich recommendations would be nice if possible)


I've been getting into Shostakovich a lot lately. Most of my choices have been towards Haitink. Easily available, great sound, excellent performances.

If you really want to find more reviews on Shostakovich (I'm assuming you've done the Penguin guide thing), go here:
http://www.dschjournal.com

It's a great resource, but a lot of opinions which can either help you or confuse you.
 
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DarkAngel

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Shostakovich
More choices are available now but previously the catalog was dominated by Haitink/Decca & Jarvi/Chandos sets. I don't have all 15 symphonies just the more popular ones, and I went with Jarvi/Chandos sets because they had very good sound and nice bonus works. There is a wonderful 2CD Jarvi/Chandos set of Shostakovick ballet music which will surprise many people after hearing the bleak somewhat abstract music contained in his symphonies.

As with Mahler symphonies pay attention whether a symphony is 2CD or 1CD which makes a big difference in price. New Cds can have 80 min of music, and depending different conducting styles
some versions are two CD and some one CD.
 
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fredpb

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Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture (Kunzel/Telarc)

Also by Tchaikovsky: Francesca Di Rimini, Romeo and Juliet,
Symphonies 4 & 5, Violin Concerto (get it with Sibelius').

Holst: The Planets (Dutoit/Penguin)
Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition (Oue/Reference)

Dvorak: 8th, 9th Symphonies (Fischer/Philips)

More Dvorak: "American" Quintet. "Dumky" Trio.

Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring (Bernstein/Sony)
Stravinsky: The Firebird (Boulez/DG)

What? No "Petruska" by Stravinsky?


Wagner: Overtures and Preludes (DG)
Bruckner: 8th Symphony (Knappertsbusch/DG)
Bruckner: 9th Symphony (Skrowaczewski/Reference)
Mahler: 1st Symphony (Bernstein/DG)
Mahler: 3rd Symphony (Salonen/DG)
Mahler: 5th Symphony (Karajan/DG)
Mahler: 6th Symphony (Karajan/DG)
Mahler: 9th Symphony (Bernstein/DG)

I love Mahler #2 and #4. Klaus Tennstedt or Claudio Abbado.


Beethoven: 1st-9th Symphonies (Klemperer/EMI)
Beethoven: 5th, 7th Symphonies (Kleiber/DG)
Beethoven: 9th Symphony (Karajan/DG)
Shostakovich: 5th, 9th Symphonies (Bernstein/Sony)
Shostakovich: 1st, 7th Symphonies (Bernstein/DG)
Shostakovich: 8th Symphony (Jansons/EMI)

More Symphonies:

Hanson: "Romantic".
Schumann "Rhenish"
Mendelssohn: "Italien" and "Scottish".
Rachmaninoff #1 & #2.

Other stuff:

Richard Strauss: "Til Eulenspiegal". Don Jan. Salome.

Brahms Piano Quintet.

Schubert " Trout " quintet. Also Rosamunde and "Death and the Maiden" quartets.

Manual de Falla: "3 cornered had", and "El Amour Brujo".

Rodrigo: Concerto de Aranjuez and Fantasia de Gentilhombre.

Chopin : "Waltzes" (piano).
 
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fredpb

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One recommendation, for everyone, is find a library with a good selection of classical cd's.

Everyone has different tastes. It can cost you a fortune if you buy cd's, and you may put most of them on the shelf, never to be heard again. Money is too precious to gamble on liking something you have never heard.

Go to the library, even if you have to go to another county or city to pay money to join. My local county library has squat for music, but a local city has a great selection, but I have to pay $35 a year...cheap compared to the thousands of cd's I can try.

I also used to go to another county where they had cd's and lp's.
Until they "improved" their library and got rid of the lp's and a lot of cd's. Up yours Broward County Library!

Use your library!

And if you find you can borrow dozens of albums, and you still can't afford to buy them, well, there are portable minidisc and cassette recorders out there. Of course, copying stuff is illegal.
 
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radrd

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It looks like I've got a ton of great CDs to check out (Thanks again!), but only a couple SACD recommendations. Any other recordings (or even pieces that I already own), that I should check out on SACD?
 
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post-225673
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FCJ

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Quote:

Originally posted by radrd
It looks like I've got a ton of great CDs to check out (Thanks again!), but only a couple SACD recommendations. Any other recordings (or even pieces that I already own), that I should check out on SACD?


I found a good one the other day, on Hyperion. It's the Debussy/Faure/Ravel Piano Trios by the Florestan Trio (SACDA67114). Performances are excellent, sound is really good, especially the piano. Recommended. I found it used for only $8.99--a steal. It's a hybrid, by the way.
 
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TMAN

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All of the recommendations in the replies here are great BUT... don't forget that "classical" can include music that's less than 100 years old. Unfortunately, many people exploring classical for the first time have the impression that "contempory classical" music is mainly discordant noise. Not necessarily. Try these to ease your way into 20th-21st Century music:

Henryk Gorecki: Symphony No.3 (Nonesuch)

Aaron Copeland: Copeland Conducts Copeland (Sony)(includes copeland conducting Appalachian Spring with the original orchestration)

Samuel Barber: There is a wonderful album that is a compilation of Barber's famous Adagio, Charles Ives' Symph. #3, and Copeland's "Quiet City". It's on Polygram, #417818.

Arvo Part: Tabula Rasa
 
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FCJ

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Quote:

Originally posted by TMAN
All of the recommendations in the replies here are great BUT... don't forget that "classical" can include music that's less than 100 years old. Unfortunately, many people exploring classical for the first time have the impression that "contempory classical" music is mainly discordant noise. Not necessarily. Try these to ease your way into 20th-21st Century music:

Henryk Gorecki: Symphony No.3 (Nonesuch)

Aaron Copeland: Copeland Conducts Copeland (Sony)(includes copeland conducting Appalachian Spring with the original orchestration)

Samuel Barber: There is a wonderful album that is a compilation of Barber's famous Adagio, Charles Ives' Symph. #3, and Copeland's "Quiet City". It's on Polygram, #417818.

Arvo Part: Tabula Rasa


I agree with you, but remember the post asked what is available on SACD and unfortunately there is very little 20th century modern classical on SACD. I hope that does change, starting with Morton Feldman.
 
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kelly

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I REALLY wish I could encourage you guys to recommend specific conductors and labels (and even catalog numbers) when you know them. As it is, I'm still kind of shooting in the dark even with all of these great recommendations.
 
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FCJ

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Quote:

Originally posted by kelly
I REALLY wish I could encourage you guys to recommend specific conductors and labels (and even catalog numbers) when you know them. As it is, I'm still kind of shooting in the dark even with all of these great recommendations.


I agree 100%. It makes it easier to find a recommendation when the Conductor/Performer/Label/Catalog number is included.
 
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DarkAngel

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Quote:

Originally posted by kelly
I REALLY wish I could encourage you guys to recommend specific conductors and labels (and even catalog numbers) when you know them. As it is, I'm still kind of shooting in the dark even with all of these great recommendations.


Let me know what composer you are interested in and I will be glad to give some specific recommendations.
 
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