Author Topic: GMG Members' Personal Essentials Lists  (Read 79301 times)

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Scarpia

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Re: GMG Members' Personal Essentials Lists
« Reply #80 on: March 05, 2011, 06:51:24 PM »
And I think lists of pieces of music (with or without a few comments) are about 100 times more useful than the stacks of pictures of particular recordings.  The pieces are more important than the recordings, and the cd covers take up too much space to scroll through comfortably.

Offline MishaK

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Re: Since this is a beginner's forum,
« Reply #81 on: March 07, 2011, 03:30:26 PM »
it would be more useful to a beginner if y'all would mention WHY you selected these particular pieces.  Obviously it's too late to retrofit the previous comments, and doing so for 25 recordings would result in double-wide posts.  However, perhaps future posters could explain what motivated one or two of their choices?

Thanks.

Well, I'll go ahead and retrofit mine...

I selected my "essentials" list basically on the basis of trying to cover a representative spectrum of the classical output, not necessarily, though mostly, canonical works, and most, if not all, major genres, within the limitations imposed by the original poster, with a list of recordings that are readily available and which capture performances that are musically unimpeachable. I have mostly stuck to recordings in modern sound, but have also tried to include a few really important performers and tried to cover different performance styles. Of course, the list reflects my personal biases and preferences. I will replace three recordings from my earlier list on the basis of unavailability and for better balance. At any rate, here is the list with brief explanations (I suppose I could turn this into a list on amazon's listmania):

Un viaggio musicale - Il Giardino Armonico - it is always hard to include renaissance and early baroque music in lists of classical recordings, because the forms and aesthetic of that period is rather outside of what followed and there are a plethora of works, few of them easily categorized as influential on subsequent musical development. But I think this very fine disc provides a very enjoyable survey of the Italian Renaissance, which was so instrumental in moving music from the sacred into secular settings and giving us the birth of opera. Il Giardino Armonico is one of the very finest period instrument ensembles, and they play these works with love, verve and a lot of involvement. It is a disc I return to very often.

Monteverdi - Vespro della beata Vergine - Christie/LAF - This is a seminal work of early baroque writing, exhibiting the peak of the development of sacred music from the Renaissance. Monteverdi of course is most known as the composer of the oldest surviving operas, but in keeping with the OP's limitations on box sets, I decided to include his sacred masterpiece here. William Christie should be considered a living UNESCO world heritage site for his immeasurable contributions in unearthing forgotten baroque and renaissance masterpieces. That he is also a masterful performer and one of the most universally beloved voice teachers makes it almost too good of a package.

Bach Brandenburg Concertos - Il Giardino Armonico - The Brandenburgs, as you Palmetto already have learned, are considered pinnacles of Baroque music. Personal bias here, but I am very partial to the buoyant playing of Il Giardino Armonico, who perform these works in the Italian style that inspired Bach, and who play with such rhythmic drive and passion that you want to leap out of your chair and dance. This recording has a place of honor on my iPod and has gotten me through many a dreary workday.

Bach Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin - Hahn - Trying to cover some music for solo instruments along the way, one could have likewise chosen Bach's Well Tempered Clavier or the Cello Suites, any of these are in a sense a microcosm of compositional possibilities. they would influence composers for centuries to come and into the present. Hilary Hahn recorded these austere pieces for solo violin at the ripe old age of 16, one of the most momentous debuts of any musical artist in the last few decades. Her impeccably clean double stops clarify Bach's polyphony like nobody else can. This is simply one of the greatest solo violin recordings ever made.

Mozart Zauberflöte - Abbado - Mozart is another one of those composers who cannot be avoided.  ;) The Magic Flute is his last opera and an attempt at breaking the boundaries of operatic convention of the time. Despite the disjointed storyline, the opera is musically uniquely tightly structured and forward looking, some aspects pointing all the way to late Wagner. Abbado's recording is important in that it shows the present state of music making with traditional orchestras on modern instruments adopting influences of historically informed period performance. Abbado here uses modern instruments, but a smaller ensemble to create lighter textures, greater transparency and allowing the voices to shine. The cast is first rate and DG captured the electricity of a live performance that must have been a treat to see in person.

Mozart piano concertos - Barenboim/BPO - Trying to cover the concerto genre, Mozart is in a sense the classical model from which all others follow, emphasizing the conversational or struggling aspect of the concerto. To me, his late piano concertos in particular are simply some of the finest music ever composed. Mozart was first and foremost an opera composer, and Barenboim to my ear like no one else manages to make the piano sing. That he leads these performances from the keyboard with the stellar Berlin Philharmonic (in reduced numbers) makes these performances singularly interpretively coherent, I find. The box set is a bargain these days.

Mozart Le Nozze di Figaro - Solti/te Kanawa/von Stade et al. - A seminal opera and a seminal recording. Figaro is in a sense the pinnacle of the Mozart/Da Ponte collaboration and contains so much musically and dramatically that would be a model and inspiration for dramatic and comical operas for centuries to come. Solti's recording is one of the first digital studio recordings made and features a cast that is absolutely top flight. Solti was perhaps one of the very few conductors who really knew how to infuse the start-stop process of studio recording with a dramatic arc that make the final product sound musically seamless. Simply a top recommendation for this work.

Beethoven Sym. No.3 Eroica - Antonini - The Eroica is in a sense the work that straddles the symphonic cusp between classicism and romanticism. I am very much in love with this impactful performance by Giovanni Antonini leading the chamber orchestra of Basel, which again shows informed period performance on modern instruments, this time in symphonic repertoire. The revolutionary character of this work cannot fail to be noticed in a performance as driven and well characterized as this one. Comes coupled with an equally fine performance of the 4th.

Beethoven Sym. No.9 - Solti/CSO/Norman et al. - Here, by contrast, we have Beethoven's final symphony performed in a more traditionally romantic "big orchestra" syle, though with Solti you can always be sure that there is no lack of drive and clarity. A timeless performance, really. Solti not only boast some of the best singers and a virtuoso orchestra, he also manages to make sense of some of the more seemingly serendipitous episodes of the finale and gets his singers to sing the a capella parts perfectly in tune. A rarity.

Beethoven Pathetique Sonata etc. - Moravec - Beethoven's piano sonatas mark the point in the technical development of the instrument where the limitations of the harpsichord give way to the more expressive pianoforte, opening new possibilities for composer and performer alike. Recommendations for recordings of Beethoven sonatas are a dime a dozen. There are numerous I like, but I find that Ivan Moravec's selection is especially rewarding for the listener. Committed playing from a performer who has really thought about this.

Beethoven Hammerklavier Sonata etc. - Gilels - The big sound of Beethoven's immense Hammerklavier sonata requires the big sound of the Russian piano school.  ;D Emil Gilels is a force of nature. Capable of myriad nuances of color and dynamics, he could go from the finest pianissimo to the most devastating fortissimos. Exactly what you want in this essential work.

Chopin Nocturnes - Moravec - Moravec again, yes. But what a performance! All the ambiguity, melancholy and really original innovative writing of Chopin captured by one of the most sensitive interpreters of his music bar none. This recording, taped at Columbia University in the 60's, was once a hard to find, secret recommendation for decades among connoisseurs. It is now more widely available on CD and remains the reference recording.

Wagner Lohengrin - Bychkov/WDR - There is a sad, but vocal minority of hopeless nostalgists in the internet who claim that the 1950's were the "Golden Age" of Wagnerian singing. I would really like everyone to hear Johan Botha's effortless, rock solid, sensitive portrayal of the title character in this new recording (alongside a lead soprano who not only hits every note but makes every word intelligible) and see if they can sustain that statement. Wagnerian singing is alive and well, thank you. This all-around superb performance captured in wonderful, spacious modern sound is top choice for Wagner's first mature opera, and the one which I think is most accessible to newcomers to Wagner, thanks to its straightforward story and density of almost constant stage action.

Berlioz Symphonie fantastique - Jansons/RCO - This work is so unique in the repertoire and so unique in terms of orchestration, no collection is any good without a decent recording of it. It is also interesting to hear in the context of Beethoven's Eroica (see above), which inspired it, if for no other reason than to see how far music managed to develop in such short time in the heady early romantic period. A number of years ago, I became obsessed with the Symphonie fantastique and bought or listened to nearly every available recording of it. I still have over 40 recordings of it. I remain convinced that the true innovation and radicalism of this score is not to be found with conductors who superimpose another form of romantic insanity onto Berlioz's explicitly detailed score (a la Munch), but with those performers who follow the score instructions to the letter while retaining a spontaneity in their performance. Mariss Jansons and the incomparable Concertgebouw Orchestra deliver just that. It is the recording to which I regularly return. The disc is also a real bargain.

Brahms Symphonies - Barenboim/CSO - A very personal choice here. There are a number of superb Brahms cycles - Karajan, Wand, Rattle - that I could have likewise recommended (I still await shipment of the Dohnyani cycle, which I hear is excellent). I absolutely adore, and keep returning to, Barenboim's Chicago cycle, though, for its incomparable wealth of color, an intensely dark 1st, a 2nd with a boundlessly joyous finale, and a 4th that simply has the most gorgeous 2nd movement on disc, with instrumental blends, dynamic nuances and a long line that simply has to be heard to be believed. Whichever set one gets, Brahms is essential and will provide a treasure trove of continued discovery. This is the pinnacle of symphonic writing in the traditional classical format and simply has to be in every collection.

Schubert 9 "the Great" - Furtwängler/BPO - Here is an attempt to include perhaps the most influential conductor of the past century. Nobody else is cited as an influence by so many conductors as Furtwängler. His recording of the 9th is not only in unusually good sound, it also shows him, I think, at his very best. The Schubert 9th in the hands of lesser conductors often devolves into a randomly endless agglomeration of episodes and repeats. Furtwängler manages to make sense of this giant work like nobody else can. He shows that the Schubert of the 9th is the same Schubert of the tuneful Lieder, the same Schubert of the endlessly inventive string quartets, and a precocious late-romanticist/modernist pointing the way ahead to the symphonic über-structures of Bruckner. This intellectual synthesis within a performance of immense spontaneity, inexorably organic development and edge-of-the-seat sweep is really what defines great conducting and why Furtwängler remains an unavoidable influence long after his death.

Dvorak Piano Quintets - Richter/Borodin SQ - I almost forgot to cover the essential genre of chamber music. Where would we be without chamber music, which allowed music to be experienced in more intimate settings when large bands were unavailable? We should also cover some of the national romantics influenced by Beethoven and Brahms, who infused classical/romantic structures with the folk heritage of their home countries. Dvorak is the textbook case. His piano quintets have been personal favorites of mine for a long time, since I heard my parents rehearsing and playing them at home. I have found it impossible to find a better played recording than these timeless live performances by Sviatoslav Richter and the Borodin Quartet.

Bruckner 8 - Kubelik/BRSO - Bruckner to me is an essential composer, because of his telescopic synthesis of the distant past and the inklings of a distant future beyond traditional harmony, but within romantically expanded classical symphonic structures, using counterpoint deeply indebted to Bach. The 8th is his last and most accomplished completed symphony. This newly unearthed live performance gives us grand but dramatically intense, yet straightforward Bruckner, by a woefully underappreciated master-conductor who knew like few others how to merge profound intellectual understanding of the music he conducted with natural, unpretentious musicality in performance.

Mahler 5 - Chailly/RCO - Mahler, again for me, is essential for his attempts at containing the entire universe of human emotion and experience within symphonic structure. Of his symphonies, I find that none so comprehensively contains this totality as well as his virtuoso roller coaster of the 5th. No other orchestra in the world probably has as uninterrupted a Mahler tradition as the Concertgebouw, and few others match them in virtuosity. Chailly leads one of the finest performances on disc, captured in the most resplendently spacious sound you could ever want.

Mahler 9 - Barenboim/Staatskapelle Berlin - More Mahler. Like Beethoven, Mahler was one of few composers who developed radically over the course of his productive life while still staying true to some personal, unmistakeable characteristics, which makes it essential to have a little of his output from different periods in his life. The 9th is such an angst-ridden farewell, with its foreshadowings of musical modernity, it is hard not to include it in a discography of essentials. I had to include a link between romanticism and modernity, and this practically defines it. Barenboim's performance is to me the essential recording of this work, for a number of reasons: firstly, it is played with immense sensitivty and great contrast in the various moods of the work, while providing a clear guiding, overarching dramatic line; secondly this is an important disc in that it captures in superb sound a Central European orchestral culture that survives only in very few places these days, mostly in East Germany and the Czech Republic. If we have a list of essentials that includes modern American orchestras, the Berlin Philharmonic and the Concertgebouw, alongside HIP and HIP-influenced ensembles, the dark-hued, rich sound of an orchestra like the Staatskapelle Berlin shouldn't be missing. A nearly equally good alternative that also captures the Central European orchestral tradition would be Ancerl with the Czech Philharmonic. 

Strauss Eine Alpensinfonie, Four Last Songs - Harteros/Dresden/Luisi - Then again, here I go including another East German orchestra unique in sound and rich in tradition. This recording is important to me in a number of ways: Strauss's Alpensinfonie to me represents the height of the form of the symphonic poem, which Strauss didn't invent, but arguably perfected. It tells with almost photographic realism of an ascent to and descent from a mountain in the Swiss Alps, vividly describing in music all the sights along the way. This is again a piece I love dearly, and no other recording comes anywhere close in sweep, quality of playing and recorded sound as Luisi's riveting performance with the Dresdners. Thankfully, it is coupled with a very fine performance of Strauss's Four Last Songs, which themselves in a sense represent the culmination of the German art song, albeit with orchestral accompaniment. Written after the horrors of WWII, these works are in a sense almost a farewell to a musical tradition that had already been nefariously appropriated by the Nazis and abandoned by the modernists. So, two birds with one stone in this recording.

Stravinsky Firebird - Boulez/CSO - Stravinsky's Rite is arguably the more important and revolutionary work, but a) I still haven't found a clear favorite recording of it, and b) I find Stravinsky interesting because despite his modernity, and despite his vehement attestations to the contrary, he is a deeply Russian composer, and his incorporation of Russian folklore is more evident in his Firebird, which remains my favorite Stravinsky work. I have heard Boulez with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra live numerous times, and these performances are deeply ingrained in my memory. So this is again a very personal recommendation, but I find that the combination of Boulez's analytical clarity and the CSO peerless virtuosity and inexhaustible musical reserves yield the most interesting discoveries in the early/mid 20th century repertoire. I could have likewise put Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin with the same forces in this spot in the list - another well-worn recording in my collection.

Debussy Piano Works - Michelangeli - Debussy's Preludes in particular and his other solo piano output are to me essential, both in defining impressionism, paving the way towards modernism and breaking the boundaries of musical expression on the piano. Debussy asked for a non-percussive tone on the piano, a technical near-impossibility. Nobody, but really nobody, ever possessed that sort of total control over sonorities and achieved that non-percussive tone like Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. These are absolutely essential performances for both the repertoire and the mastery of the performer.

Debussy L'apres midi, La Mèr etc. - Rattle/BPO - I know I'm a bit heavy on the symphonists here, but hey, it's a personal list.  :D Nothing defines Impressionism more than Debussy's Prélude a l'après-midi d'un Faun, and his La Mèr showed that there was still life to be found in grand symphonic structures. This recording with Simon Rattle and the Berliners was a recent acquisition for me, but has quickly occupied a special place in my collection. Top flight woodwinds are of the essence for French impressionist music, and there simply isn't a better woodwind section out there at the moment than the Berlin Philharmonic. This recording is simply a marvel of not just technical excellence but sheer joy of playing and idiomatic expression. A cascade of colors captured in top quality sound.

Ligeti Musica ricercata, Etudes, etc. - P-L Aimard - Of the modernists, some of the works by Ligeti included here are arguably some of the very few modernist masterpieces to really have reached wider audiences thanks to their use by Stanley Kubrick in his films. Pierre-Laurent Aimard is singular among interpreters of the 20th and 21st century repertoire in his sheer technical capabilities, irrepressible curiosity, direct connection to a number of the composers he plays, and his tireless advocacy and inventive programming. This is simply the go-to recording for these works.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2011, 06:31:03 PM by Mensch »

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: GMG Members' Personal Essentials Lists
« Reply #82 on: March 07, 2011, 05:16:13 PM »
Wow, you are a mensch!  Service above and beyond and very graciously filling Palmetto's request.  More of us may follow suit, now that you've shown the way!
"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

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ibanezmonster

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Re: GMG Members' Personal Essentials Lists
« Reply #83 on: March 07, 2011, 08:19:00 PM »
I applaud you, Mensch. Very interesting read and informative. Well done.  8)

Online mc ukrneal

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Re: Since this is a beginner's forum,
« Reply #84 on: March 09, 2011, 04:31:20 AM »
Well, I'll go ahead and retrofit mine...

That is very informative, even for an experienced listener who may just be looking for different versions. Very well done indeed!! Two thumbs up for sure!
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: GMG Members' Personal Essentials Lists
« Reply #85 on: March 09, 2011, 08:15:43 AM »
Per Palmetto's request and Mensch's pioneering example ( ;) ), I offer this annotated list.  My original list offered a solid foundation for building a collection that includes many of my personal favorites among the cornerstones of classical music, focused on some of the most widely appreciated composers representative of the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and early Modern periods in music.  I believe every music lover should know these works and that most will enjoy them for a lifetime.

This list is as much personal as a music history survey, thus is missing some composers others might consider essential (Schubert, Wagner, Schoenberg, for instance) and includes some that others would regard as passe or minor (such as Vivaldi, Rossini, Copland, Pärt).  It's also heavily weighted toward orchestral music.  Revisiting it, I'm not surprised to find that I would probably make several changes today...but then I'd make more changes tomorrow...and the next day...and so on.

1     Bach      Cello Suites      Fournier
The seminal work for solo cello, a masterpiece in every respect, with some of the most soulful, spiritually fulfilling music I know.  Fournier's recording is not only among the most beautiful, but is widely available in a new discounted edition.
      
2          Bach   Goldberg Variations   Schiff ECM
A solo keyboard work that is mesmerizingly lovely, and also "soulful and spiritually fulfilling."  Hmmm, come to think of it, that description applies to almost all of the choices listed here.  Don't think twice about it, just buy it...and Schiff on ECM is about as good as they get, though there are many others equally fine.
      
3          Bach      Violin Concertos        Suwanai/COE
These pieces have been among the most reliable spiritually uplifting pieces I know for nearly all of my life.  Unlike the Brandenburg Concertos, I never tire of them.  Suwanai's recording is among the loveliest "mainstream" (that is, not period) performances I know, but is available in the U.S. only as an import.
      
4          Beethoven   Piano Sonatas         Kovacevich   
One of the greatest achievements of humankind.  32 solo piano sonatas, exploring the gamut of human emotion, perhaps the most personal expression of Beethoven's soul, tracing the development of his intellect, his craft, and his spirit.  I think Kovacevich channels Beethoven's spirit better than anyone else.
    
5          Beethoven   String Quartets   Emerson SQ   
The greatest body of work for chamber ensemble yet devised.  Beethoven took Haydn's format and over the course of a lifetime stretched it to the limits of his powers.  The Emersons aren't everyone's top choice, but they are very, very good and their cycle is also now available at reduced price.
   
6          Beethoven   Symphonies   Abbado/BP (Rome)   
What Beethoven did for the quartet, he also did for the symphony, picking up where Mozart left off and expanding the scale and scope of what, a generation before, had been merely light entertainment for the privileged classes.  The new Abbado/BP cycle applies much learned from the HIP movement to one of the world's greatest full scale orchestras and I fall more in love with it each time I hear something from it.
   
7           Brahms   Piano Concertos 1 & 2     Freire/Chailly/Gewandhaus Leipzig
Some Brahms is necessary.  These piano concertos are high points of the genre and of Brahms's work, perhaps the highest expression of musical romanticism still firmly grounded in classical form.  And I really dig this new recording.
      
8            Copland   Appalachian Spring/Rodeo/Billy the Kid       MTT/SFS
Copland defines the "American" sound, evident in nearly every bar of these beloved ballets.  Appalachian Spring is an especially gorgeous tone poem, rich in color and range of feeling, and no one does Copland as well as MTT.
      
9         Debussy   Prelude…Faun/La Mer/Images/En Bateau   MTT/Giulini/BSO
Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun may be the most beautiful dozen minutes of music ever written, and La Mer may be Debussy's most ambitious and successful large scale orchestral piece--an "impressionist" symphony.  This is a fine recording of both and at bargain price.
      
10     Debussy   Preludes      Planès   
Debussy's Preludes for solo piano are highlights of both the genre and his output.  Contemplative, moody, jaunty, always interesting, moving, and satisfying.  Planès's recording on a period Bechstein is a personal favorite.
   
11      Elgar          Cello Concerto/Enigma Variations    Tortelier/Boult/LPO   
Few pieces are as moving for me as Elgar's cello concerto--perhaps the acme of late romanticism and, for my money, not only the greatest cello concerto ever written, but one of the greatest concertos, period.  Tortelier/Boult are tops, but harder to find than the more celebrated DuPre/Barbirolli, also great.
   
12      Haydn   String Quartets op 33   Quatuor Mosaiques      
Haydn must be represented as one of the absolute greats, extremely original, prolific, and influential, he practically defines the Classical era and is credited with inventing the string quartet as a genre.  This disc by the great period performance ensemble is about as good as they come.  Uplifting and lovely.
 
13   Mahler   Symphonies    Sinopoli/Philharmonia   
To me one of the three extraordinarily great symphonists whose work puts all others in the shade. Big, personal, individual, powerful, witty, operatic symphonies written by a master of orchestration.  The Sinopoli/Philharmonia cycle is among the most distinctive, beautifully played, and consistently good--Bertini's is more mainstream and a great value.
   
14   Mozart   Symphonies 40 & 41   Minkowski/Musiciens du Louvre
Beethoven didn't just spring from nothing.  These two symphonies--each of very different character, one introspective and the other the opposite--are among my very favorite and this period instrument    recording gets them right!  (Though I'm surprised that I did not include late piano concertos--Mozart's are simply great!)
   
15   Mozart   Cosi fan tutte    Jacobs
Opera must be included and none did it better than Mozart, especially in the three with librettos by da Ponte.  Cosi is the last of the three, less celebrated than its siblings but musically even   more astonishing, with amazing multi-part pieces throughout.  Jacobs's period instrument recording beats out even the fabulous vocal performances of the celebrated Böhm/Legge recording.
   
16   Pärt     Tabula Rasa/Fratres/Cantus   Jarrett/Kremer   
The only contemporary composer on my list for newbies.  This is extraordinary music with a contemporary spiritual focus, spare but deep.  It will change your life.
   
17   Prokofiev   Piano Concerto 3 (+ Ravel Piano Concerto)   Argerich/Abbado/BP   
Prokofiev's 3rd piano concerto is one of the most fiery pieces of the early 20th Century, and this recording simply dazzles.
   
18   Rachmaninov   Piano Concertos 2 & 3   Ashkenazy/Kondrashin
In a crowded field, the landmark recording of two of the loveliest and most beloved modern piano concertos--sweeping, lush, and as romantic as they come.
      
19   Rossini   Il Barbiere di Siviglia      Prey/Berganza/Abbado/LSO
Perhaps the greatest comic opera ever written and packed with memorable tunes, Abbado's recording is as good as any and better than most.
      
20   Sibelius   Symphonies   Blomstedt/SFS   
The third supremely great symphonist, still underappreciated, with a modernist aesthetic all his own and far from the trendiness of Paris or Vienna.  The path from his first symphony to his last (and the later tone poem, Tapiola, included) is the most profound spiritual biography in music, and achingly beautiful.  In a crowded field, Blomstedt with San Francisco gets everything right, bringing out more of the distinctively Sibelian in the early symphonies than most.
   
21   Sibelius   Tone Poems   Vänskä/Lahti
Sibelius also excelled at the symphonic poem   and this excellent disc includes most of the best.
   
22   Strauss, R.   Four Last Songs/Metamorphosen/Oboe Cto   Janowitz/Karajan/BP
Strauss was another of the extraordinary composers of his generation, deserving representation.  The Four Last Songs is very late Strauss, melodic and perhaps the most beautiful vocal music with orchestra I know... and Janowitz sings it better than anyone.  And the oboe concerto is nearly as good.
      
23   Stravinsky   Pétrouchka/ Le Sacre du Printemps      Boulez/CO   
Stravinsky may be the Beethoven of his time, and Le Sacre (The Rite of Spring) is probably the most famous and influential work of 20th Century music--and it's damned good!  Pétrouchka shows another side of this multi-faceted composer, and Boulez gets under his skin better than anyone.
   
24   Vaughan Williams   Symphony 5/The Lark Ascending   Davis/Thomson/LSO   
On another day I might have left RVW off the list altogether, or included a cycle of his symphonies.  The 5th Symphony is a personal favorite, and if there is anything more beautiful to me than Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, it is RVW's The Lark Ascending.  Thomson gets the 5th right.
   
25   Vivaldi   Four Seasons/3 Violin Concertos   Carmignola/Marcon/Venice Baroque Orch
One of the all-time perennial classical top hits, Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" violin concertos should be high on every newbie's list of acquisitions.  They damn near define the concerto genre, they're exiting and lovely, and this period instrument performance is terrific.    
« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 08:29:02 AM by Sherman Peabody »
"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

karlhenning

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Re: GMG Members' Personal Essentials Lists
« Reply #86 on: March 09, 2011, 08:19:08 AM »
Taking title to include multi-disc issues makes this a bit easier.

Off the top of my head, 25 titles which, even if I somehow had to liquidate my library, I should refuse to let go:

Stravinsky Conducts Stravinsky
Stravinsky, Threni, Les noces, Symphony of Psalms / Robt Craft conductor
Shostakovich, Complete Symphonies / Maksim Shostakovich, conductor
Shostakovich, Symphony № 10, Songs & Dances of Death / Jansons, Phila, Robt Lloyd
Shostakovich, Preludes & Fugues, Opus 87 / Nikolayeva

Shostakovich, Suite on Words of Michelangelo, Six Romances on Verses by Relaigh, Burns & Shakespeare, &c. / Abdrazakov, Noseda, BBC Phil
Shostakovich, Violin Concertos / Khatchatryan, Masur, Orchestre National de France

Hindemith, Complete Kammermusiken / Abbado, members of the Berlin Philharmonic
Hindemith, Das Marienleben (new version) / Isokoski, Viitasalo
Prokofiev, Violin Sonatas / Kremer, Argerich

Prokofiev, Romeo & Juliet / Ozawa, BSO
Prokofiev, L’enfant prodigue, Le pas d’acier / Jurowski, conductor
Boulez conducts Schoenberg I
Boulez conducts Schoenberg II
Feldman, Crippled Symmetries / California EAR Unit

Sibelius, Symphonies / Blomstedt, SFSO
Doráti conducts Bartók
Berlioz Box / Munch, BSO
Rakhmaninov, Symphony № 1, Isle of the Dead / Noseda, BBC Phil
Rakhmaninov, Complete Songs

Wuorinen, String Sextet & other works / Group for Contemporary Music, &al.
Markevich, Arrangement of JS Bach The Musical Offering / Lyndon-Gee, Arnhem Phil
Tallis, Complete Works
Cage, Cheap Imitation &c. / Schleiermacher
My 40-disc JS Bach box


Revisited this post this morning . . . pleased to find that I feel no Poster's Remorse : )

Offline Palmetto

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Mensch and SP,
« Reply #87 on: March 09, 2011, 11:15:19 AM »
Thanks.  Your comments help me know why you think these are worthwhile works far better than a simple 'laundry list'.  What's really interesting are those items that are on both your lists (Debussy, Mozart, Mahler, etc.).

DieNacht

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Re: GMG Members' Personal Essentials Lists
« Reply #88 on: October 18, 2011, 10:43:04 PM »
Selecting only from those hitherto mentioned, mine would be:

Stravinsky conducts Stravinsky
Bach Mass in b /Harnoncourt
Tchaikovsky 4-6/Mravinsky
Liszt box /Bolet
Sibelius Collection /Vänskä etc.

Chopin Piano works /Ashkenazy
Ravel/Debussy Orchestral Works / Martinon
Beethoven Quartets /Vegh
Rachmaninov Vespers
Beethoven Sonatas/Fischer (or perhaps Kovacevich)

Bach WTC /Feinberg
Bach Cello Suites/Wispelway
Shostakovich Quartets/Borodin
Bach St.Matthew /Richter
Beethoven 1-9/Wand

Schumann Piano Works /Kempff
Ravel Piano Works /Collard
Rach Cti /Hough
Wagner Ring/Boulez
Haydn Symphonies Fischer

Bruckner Symphonies/Wand
Shostakovich Symphonies/Haitink
Mahler symphonies/Bernstein
Bartok Edition/Boulez
Myaskovsky Symphonies/Svetlanov
« Last Edit: October 19, 2011, 10:08:59 PM by DieNacht »

Offline madaboutmahler

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    Mahler, Elgar, Ravel, Chopin, Schnittke, Dvorak, Vaughan Williams, Schmitt, Karlowicz, R.Strauss, Prokofiev, Shostakovich....
Re: GMG Members' Personal Essentials Lists
« Reply #89 on: October 21, 2011, 07:49:43 AM »
Will have to stretch it to 30 choices....

Right, for today, it would probably be: (in alphabetical order)
Beethoven
Symphonies 1-9 (LSO/Haitink)

Brahms
Symphonies 1-4 (BPO/Rattle)

Bruckner
Symphonies 1-9 (BPO/Barenboim)

Dvorak
Symphonies 1-9/other orchestral music (RLPO/Pesek)
Slavonic Dances (RCO/Harnoncourt)

Elgar
Symphonies 1+2 (LPO/Solti)
Enigma Variations etc (BBCSO/Bernstein)
Cello Concerto/Falstaff (Halle/Elder)

Glazunov
Symphonies 4+5 (USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra/Rozhdestvesnky)
The Seasons/Concert Waltzes/Stenka Razin (L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Ansermet)

Mahler
Complete Symphonies (CSO/Solti)
Symphony no.5 (RCO/Chailly)
Symphony no.8 (Philharmonia/Sinopoli)
Symphony no.9 (BPO/Rattle)

Martinu
Symphonies (Bamberg Symphony O/Jarvi)

Nielsen
Symphonies (Danish Radio SO/Blomstedt)

Prokofiev
Romeo and Juliet selections (BPO/Abbado)

Rachmaninov
Symphonies/Symphonic Dances/Isle of the Dead (RCO/Ashkenazy)
Piano Concertos (LSO/Previn/Ashkenazy)

Ravel
Orchestral Works (LSO/Abbado)
Daphnis et Chloe (BPO/Boulez)

Respighi
Roman Trilogy (RPO/Batiz)

Rimsky Korsakov
Sheherezade/Capriccio Espagnol (Boston Symphony Orchestra/Ozawa – Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra/Jarvi)

Schoenberg
Pelleas und Melisande, Verklarkte Nacht (BPO/Karajan)

Schubert
Symphony no.9 (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Mackerras)

Scriabin
Symphonies etc (Philadelphia/Muti)

Shostakovich
Symphony no.10 (RLPO/Petrenko)

R.Strauss
Ein Heldenleben (BPO/Rattle)
Eine Alpensinfonie (Staatskapelle Weimar/Wit)
Tod und Verklarung/Metamorphosen/Vier Letzte Lieder (BPO/Janowitz/Karajan)

Tchaikovsky
The Nutcracker (BPO/Rattle)
Symphonies 4-6 (BPO/Karajan)

There are still quite a few cds in my collection that I am still yet to listen to, and of course my collection is still growing! So shall return in a few months and the list may be a little different! Had to miss out quite a few other favourites ranging from Roussel to Novak, and Karlowicz to more Mahler cds.
"Music is ... A higher revelation than all Wisdom & Philosophy"
— Ludwig van Beethoven

Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: GMG Members' Personal Essentials Lists
« Reply #90 on: October 21, 2011, 09:25:58 AM »
My personal list would be:

Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 (Karajan/BPO)

Brahms: Symphonies 1-4 (Karajan/BPO)

Bruckner: Symphonies 1-9 (Karajan/BPO)

Chopin: Piano works (Ashkenazy), Piano Concertos (Rubinstein)

Dvorak: Symphonies 1-7 (Pesek/RLPO), Symphnoies 8-9 (Karajan/BPO)

Elgar: Symphonies 1-2 (Solti/LPO), Enigma Variations (Bernstein/NYP)

Holst: The Planets (Karajan/BPO)

Liszt: Transcendental Etudes (Ovchinnikov), Hungarian Rhapsodies (Michele Campanella), Les Preludes (Barenboim/CSO), Mazeppa (Karajan/BPO)

Mahler: Symphonies 1-9 (Bernstein on DG)

Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro (Kleiber/VPO)

Nielsen: Symphonies 1-6 (Blomstedt/San Francisco Symphony)

Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet (Abbado/BPO)

Rachmaninov: Symphonies/Symphonic Dances (Ashkenazy/RCO), Piano Concertos/Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (Ashkenazy, Previn/LSO)

Ravel: Daphis and Chloe (Boulez/BPO)

Respighi: Pines of Rome, Fountains of Rome (Karajan/BPO), Roman Festivals (Maazel/CO)

Shostakovich: Complete Symphonies (Haitink/CO-LPO)

Johann Strauss Sohn: An der schönen blauen Donau, Kaiser-Walzer and Perpetuum Mobile

Richard Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie, Ein Heldenleben, Tod und Verklärung (Karajan/BPO)

Sibelius: Symphonies 4-7 (Karajan/BPO), Violin Concerto (Hahn, Salonen/SRSO)

Scriabin: Complete Symphonies (Ashkenazy/DSO Berlin)

Schönberg: Pelleas und Melisande, Verklarkte Nacht (BPO/Karajan)

Tchaikovsky: Capriccio Italien, 1812 Ouverture, Symphonies 4-6 (Karajan/BPO)

Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen (Karajan/BPO)


« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 09:17:18 AM by Lisztianwagner »
"Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents." - Ludwig van Beethoven

Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: GMG Members' Personal Essentials Lists
« Reply #91 on: October 21, 2011, 09:47:23 AM »
My personal list would be:

Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 (Karajan/BPO)

Brahms: Symphonies 1-4 (Karajan/BPO)

Bruckner: Symphonies 1-9 (Karajan/BPO)

Chopin: Piano works (Ashkenazy), Nocturnes (Barenboim)

Dvorak: Symphonies 1-7 (Pesek/RLPO), Symphnoies 8-9 (Karajan/BPO)

Elgar: Symphonies 1-2 (Solti/LPO), Enigma Variations (Bernstein/NYP)

Holst: The Planets (Karajan/BPO)

Liszt: Transcendental Etudes (Ovchinnikov), Hungarian Rhapsodies (Michele Campanella), Les Preludes (Barenboim/CSO), Mazeppa (Karajan/BPO)

Mahler: Symphonies 1-9 (Bernstein on DG)

Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro (Kleiber/VPO)

Nielsen: Symphonies 1-6 (Blomstedt/San Francisco Symphony)

Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet (Abbado/BPO)

Rachmaninov: Symphonies/Symphonic Dances (Ashkenazy/RCO), Piano Concertos/Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (Ashkenazy, Previn/LSO)

Ravel: Daphis and Chloe (Boulez/BPO)

Respighi: Pines of Rome, Fountains of Rome (Karajan/BPO), Roman Festivals (Maazel/CO)

Shostakovich: Complete Symphonies (Haitink/CO-LPO)

Johann Strauss Sohn: An der schönen blauen Donau, Kaiser-Walzer and Perpetuum Mobile

Richard Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie, Ein Heldenleben, Tod und Verklärung (Karajan/BPO)

Sibelius: Symphonies 4-7 (Karajan/BPO), Violin Concerto (Hahn, Pekka-Salonen/SRSO)

Scriabin: Complete Symphonies (Ashkenazy/DSO Berlin)

Schönberg: Pelleas und Melisande, Verklarkte Nacht (BPO/Karajan)

Tchaikovsky: Capriccio Italien, 1812 Ouverture, Symphonies 4-6 (Karajan/BPO)

Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen (Karajan/BPO)

Wonderful list Ilaria, how could I guess there would be so much Karajan?! ;)
"Music is ... A higher revelation than all Wisdom & Philosophy"
— Ludwig van Beethoven

karlhenning

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Re: GMG Members' Personal Essentials Lists
« Reply #92 on: October 21, 2011, 09:54:47 AM »
Taking title to include multi-disc issues makes this a bit easier.

Off the top of my head, 25 titles which, even if I somehow had to liquidate my library, I should refuse to let go:

Stravinsky Conducts Stravinsky
Stravinsky, Threni, Les noces, Symphony of Psalms / Robt Craft conductor
Shostakovich, Complete Symphonies / Maksim Shostakovich, conductor
Shostakovich, Symphony № 10, Songs & Dances of Death / Jansons, Phila, Robt Lloyd
Shostakovich, Preludes & Fugues, Opus 87 / Nikolayeva

Shostakovich, Suite on Words of Michelangelo, Six Romances on Verses by Relaigh, Burns & Shakespeare, &c. / Abdrazakov, Noseda, BBC Phil
Shostakovich, Violin Concertos / Khatchatryan, Masur, Orchestre National de France

Hindemith, Complete Kammermusiken / Abbado, members of the Berlin Philharmonic
Hindemith, Das Marienleben (new version) / Isokoski, Viitasalo
Prokofiev, Violin Sonatas / Kremer, Argerich

Prokofiev, Romeo & Juliet / Ozawa, BSO
Prokofiev, L’enfant prodigue, Le pas d’acier / Jurowski, conductor
Boulez conducts Schoenberg I
Boulez conducts Schoenberg II
Feldman, Crippled Symmetries / California EAR Unit

Sibelius, Symphonies / Blomstedt, SFSO
Doráti conducts Bartók
Berlioz Box / Munch, BSO
Rakhmaninov, Symphony № 1, Isle of the Dead / Noseda, BBC Phil
Rakhmaninov, Complete Songs

Wuorinen, String Sextet & other works / Group for Contemporary Music, &al.
Markevich, Arrangement of JS Bach The Musical Offering / Lyndon-Gee, Arnhem Phil
Tallis, Complete Works
Cage, Cheap Imitation &c. / Schleiermacher
My 40-disc JS Bach box


Hmmm, I might need to update this . . . .

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: GMG Members' Personal Essentials Lists
« Reply #93 on: October 21, 2011, 01:24:34 PM »
Hmmm, I might need to update this . . . .
I could update mine almost every day, but though several might change with each passing breeze, these are likely to stand fast as personal essentials as long as I'm still sucking air:

1 Bach      Cello Suites
2   Bach   Goldberg Variations   
3   Bach      Violin Concertos
4   Beethoven   Piano Sonatas   
5   Beethoven   String Quartets   
6   Beethoven   Symphonies
9   Debussy   Prelude…Faun/La Mer/Images   
10 Debussy   Preludes   
11 Elgar   Cello Concerto   
13 Mahler   Symphonies
15 Mozart   Cosi fan tutte
16 Pärt     Tabula Rasa/Fratres/Cantus         
20 Sibelius   Symphonies
21 Sibelius   Tone Poems
22 Strauss, R.   Four Last Songs
      

   

"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: GMG Members' Personal Essentials Lists
« Reply #94 on: October 24, 2011, 10:45:03 AM »
Wonderful list Ilaria, how could I guess there would be so much Karajan?! ;)

Hahaha  ;)
"Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents." - Ludwig van Beethoven

Jared

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Re: GMG Members' Personal Essentials Lists
« Reply #95 on: November 14, 2011, 06:49:01 AM »
Having found this thread, it has given me much food for thought....

As near impossible as this is going to be, I will write down a list of the basic essentials I wish has been given to me, when I first stared collecting and listening, a mere 4 years ago. I am going to try to avoid boxsets where possible, and highlight individual pieces...

1) Tallis: Spem in Alium & Salve intemerata: Tallis Scholars/ Gimell
2) Monteverdi: Vespers (1610): Gardiner/ Archiv
3) Bach: Cello Suites: Fournier/ Archiv
4) Bach: Brandenburg Concertos: Pinnock/ Archiv
5) Bach: Mass in B: Gardiner/ Archiv
6) Haydn: Cello Concertos: du Pre & Barenboim; Barbirolli/ EMI
7) Haydn: The Creation: McCreesh/ Archiv
8 ) Mozart: Symphs 38-41: MacKerras/ Linn
9) Mozart: Piano Concertos 20,23,24,26 & 27: Curzon/ Decca
10) Mozart: Requiem: Marriner/ Philips
11) Beethoven: Symphs 5&7: Kleiber/ DGG
12) Beethoven: Violin Concerto & Romances: Grumiaux/ Philips
13) Beethoven: Piano Sonatas 8,14,21 &23: Barenboim/ EMI
14) Beethoven: Missa Solemnis: Klemperer/ EMI
15) Schubert: Symphs 8&9: Sinopoli/DG
16) Schubert: String & Trout Quintets: Alban Berg/ EMI
17) Schubert: Last Four String Quartets: Quartetto Italiano/ Philips
18) Brahms: Symphs 1-4: Mackerras/ Telarc
19) Brahms: Violin Concerto: Sharam & Abbado/ DG
20) Brahms: Piano Quintet: Berlin Octet/ Philips
21) Schumann: Piano Quintet & Quartet: Michelangelo/ Chandos
22) Bruckner: Symph No 9: Jochum/ EMI
23) Mahler: Symph No 9: Karajan/ DG
24) Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde: Ferrier & Walter/ Decca
25) R. Strauss: Four Last Songs: Janowitz & Karajan/ DG

Right, I'll let you start ripping it to pieces, now...  ;D

« Last Edit: November 14, 2011, 06:51:01 AM by Jared »

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: GMG Members' Personal Essentials Lists
« Reply #96 on: November 14, 2011, 08:32:32 AM »
Hi, Jared--nice to see you over here!  I have welcomed you to the site, haven't I?  If not, please forgive the oversight and accept my apologies and my belated welcome!

Thanks for offering the list.  This is exactly the sort of thing we had in mind with this thread and I imagine the selections of a relative newcomer to classical music, but with enough experience now to have some perspective, will be particularly valuable to others new to this important pillar of Western Civilization.

"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

Jared

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Re: GMG Members' Personal Essentials Lists
« Reply #97 on: November 14, 2011, 08:41:37 AM »
Hi, Jared--nice to see you over here!  I have welcomed you to the site, haven't I?  If not, please forgive the oversight and accept my apologies and my belated welcome!

Thanks for offering the list.  This is exactly the sort of thing we had in mind with this thread and I imagine the selections of a relative newcomer to classical music, but with enough experience now to have some perspective, will be particularly valuable to others new to this important pillar of Western Civilization.

thanks for the welcome David... always good to read your posts...  :)

yes, but even for a relative newcomer with a fairly small library... that was one HELL of a task! I'm cursing myself for no Palestrina, Victoria, Biber, Pergolesi, Purcell, Handel, Hummel, Liszt, Chopin, Sibelius, Nielsen, Dvorak, Smetana, Janacek, Berlioz, Grieg, RVW, Mendelssohn, Britten, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov or Rimsky that got left out... and don't even start on the Beethoven omissions!  :-[

Offline coffee

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Re: GMG Members' Personal Essentials Lists
« Reply #98 on: November 15, 2011, 08:41:12 PM »
I'd like to call this a first draft!

Chant Byzantin - Marie Keyrouz
Perotin - the Hilliard Ensemble
Officium - Jan Garbarek & the Hilliard Ensemble
Monteverdi: L'Orfeo - Gardiner
Rebel: Les Elemens; Gluck: Alessandro; Telemann: Sonata - Goebel

Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcell; Allegri: Miserere; etc. - Preston 
Purcell: King Arthur - Pinnock
Scarlatti: Sonatas - Scott Ross
Bach: Goldberg Variations - Gould
Bach: Mass in B minor - Richter 1962

Beethoven: Late Piano Sonatas - Pollini
Beethoven: Symphonies 5 & 7 - Kleiber
Chopin: Nocturnes - Rubinstein
Brahms: Symphonies, etc. - Abbado - Box Set #1
Dvorak: Symphonies 8 & 9 - Kertesz

John Williams: Albeniz - Echoes of Spain
Rachmaninoff: Elegiac Piano Trios - Beaux Arts Trio
Syzmanowski: Stabat Mater, etc. - Stryja
Elgar: Cello Concerto, Sea Pictures, Cockaigne Oveture - Barbirolli, Du Pre, Baker
Reich: Music for 18 Musicians (ECM)

Takemitsu: From Me Flows What You Call Time, Twill by Twilight, Requiem
Black Angels - Kronos Quartet
Piazzolla: Tango Zero Hour
Glass: Aguas da Amazonia - Uakti
Penderecki: St. Luke Passion - Wit

« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 06:06:07 PM by coffee »

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: GMG Members' Personal Essentials Lists
« Reply #99 on: November 16, 2011, 07:12:18 AM »
Welcome, coffee!  Some of your choices are way cool, in my estimation, and tempt me to give others in your list that I don't know a go (Like Pendercki's Luke's Passion)!
"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher