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The GMG essential collection: a desert island briefcaseful

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On another thread recently I noted a reference to someone's record collection numbering several thousand CDs and still growing rapidly.  Among other things, it made me wonder how often one might listen to individual records in a collection so large.  Even in my own comparatively meager collection there are dozens or even hundreds of CDs that I've not heard in years.

Running some numbers, I calculated that if I owned 1000 CDs and listened actively for 3 hours every day, it would take about a year to hear each of them once.  Yet there are many pieces that I would rather hear two or three times a month than hear certain others once every two or three years.  Just what are those most beloved pieces, I wondered...and don't they make up 80% or more of all my listening?  Could I be fairly well satisfied with only a hundred or so records?  And if I chose only 100 CDs (discs, not sets!), which would they be?

That reminded me of MNDave's tongue-in-cheek "100 Greatest Piccolo Concerti" threads.  I know similar things have been done before, here and elsewhere, but still I thought it might be a service to the Classical Newbies who stumble onto our forum to find the current members' ideas about what, for each of us, constitutes the core repertoire for which--if necessary--we would happily forsake all others, keeping ourselves only unto the chosen 100. 

And then I thought "Wait just a cotton-pickin' minute!  What if each of us were to nominate just one disc, and so build an idiosyncratic recommended list that would truly reflect the tastes of our membership while offering newbies interested in building their own collections a list they're unlikely to find duplicated anywhere else?!"

If the idea intrigues you--or even if it doesn't but you want to participate anyway!--please add your candidate to the list started below.  The rules are simple: each of us may add only one CD--or, in the case of single works spanning multiple CDs, such as most operas--then only one work.  No box sets of symphony or sonata cycles, for instance.  For grey areas, such as Bach's Sonatas & Partitas for Solo Violin, customarily packaged as a single extended work spanning two CDs, please use your own discretion.  If you would like to include a recommended recording, please do so, but feel free to list only the composer and work if you prefer.

The GMG Essential Collection

1. Mahler, Das Lied von der Erde -- Ludwig/Wunderlich/Klemperer/Philharmonia

It took several pages to arrive at the list of 100 reproduced below:

--- Quote from: DavidRoss on September 07, 2010, 06:09:44 AM ---The GMG Essential 100

1   Anonymous   Ludus Danielis     Estampie-Munich Ensemble      
2   Bach            Cello Suites           Fournier      
3   Bach                   Sonatas & Partitas for Violin    Enescu      
4   Bach            Goldberg Variations           Hantai/Mirare      
5   Bach                   St Matthew Passion    Fink/Goerne/Harnoncourt (2001)      
6   Bach                   Well-Tempered Clavier   Tureck/DG      
7      Bartόk           Wooden Prince           Boulez/CSO      
8   Beethoven   Symphonies 5 & 7    Kleiber/WP      
9   Beethoven   Piano Cto #5           Kempff/van Kempen/BP      
10   Beethoven   Pathetique Sonata   Moravec      
11   Beethoven   String Quartet #14, op 131   Busch Quartet      
12   Beethoven   Missa Solemnis         
13   Beethoven    Symphony #9           Furtwängler/London Philharmonia (1954)      
14   Berlioz           Symphonie Fantastique   Davis/LSO      
15   Berg                   Chamber Cto     Boulez/Barenboim/Zuckerman      
16   Bloch           Evocations     Sedares/NZSO      
17   Brahms           Symphony #4     Reiner/RPO      
18   Brahms           Piano Cto #1     Gilels/Jochum/BP      
19   Brahms           Piano Trios op 87 & 101/Clarinet Trio Op.114       Beaux Arts Trio /Pieterson      
20   Brahms           String Sextets      Amadeus Quartet et al      
21   Brahms           German Requiem      Kempe/Gruemmer/Fischer-Dieskau      
22   Bruckner           Symphony #7     Karajan/WP      
23   Chopin           Études             Pollini      
24   Chopin           Nocturnes     Arrau      
25   Copland           Appalachian Spring        Orpheus Chamber orch      
26   Debussy           Chamber Music for Woodwinds (+ Saint-Saens)   Bennett/Gough/et al      
27   Debussy           Preludes Bks 1 & 2        Michelangeli      
28   Debussy           Prélude...faune, Jeux, Images, Danses       Baudo/Czech Phil      
29   Dufay           Isorhythmic Motets       Huelgas Ensemble      
30   Dvořák           Symphonies 8 & 9       Mackerras/Prague      
31   Dvořák           Cello Cto (w/Elgar cello cto)           Fournier/Szell/Wallenstein/BP      
32   Dvořák           Symphony 7 / The Water Goblin   Belohlavek/Czech Phil      
33   Durufle            Requiem (w/Faure Requiem)           Barley/Bar/Murray/Cleobury/ECO      
34   Gluck           Orfeo & Euridice        Jacobs      
35   Godowsky   Studies on the Etudes of Chopin   Hamelin      
36   Grainger           Country Gardens (+ works by Coates)       Fennell/Eastman-Rochester Pops      
37   Handel           Messiah           Christie      
38   Handel           Heroic Arias   Bowman/King      
39   Haydn          11 Keyboard Sonatas   Brendel      
40   Haydn          String Quartets op 76   Quatuor Mosaïques      
41   Hildegard          A Feather on the Breath of God-Sequences and Hymns       Kirkby, et al      
42   Janáček          Cunning Little Vixen     Mackerras/WP      
43   Ligeti          Etudes, bks 1-3          Aimard      
44    Liszt                Favourite Piano Works     Bolet
45   Mahler          Das Lied von der Erde   Ludwig/Wunderlich/Klemperer      
46   Mahler           Symphony #5          Dohnanyi/CO      
47   Mahler          Symphony #9          Bernstein/RCO      
48   Martin          Der Cornet/Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets   Lipovsek/ORFSO/Zagrosek      
49   Martinu          Symphony #4/Piano Cto #4/Tre ricercari        Turnovsky      
50   Massenet          Mélodies         Kruysen/Lee      
51   Medtner          Sonata op. 25/2, "Night Wind"         
52   Mendelssohn  Violin Cto (w/Shostakovich Violin Cto #1)     Hahn/Wolff/Oslo Philharmonic      
53   Monteverdi      L'Orfeo           Pickett      
54   Monteverdi      Vespers           Bernius      
55   Mozart             Don Giovanni   Jacobs      
56   Mozart           Cosi fan tutte   Böhm (1953)      
57   Mozart            Late Symphonies          Harnoncourt/RCO      
58   Mozart           Great Mass in C minor   Leppard (EMI)      
59   Mozart           Requiem            Böhm/WP      
60   Mozart           Clarinet Concerto and Clarinet Quintet     Frost/Oundjian/Amsterdam Sinf
61    Mussorgsky   Boris Gudunov       Abbado/BP
62   Pärt                   Tabula Rasa/Fratres/Cantus      Kremer/Jarrett/Sondeckis      
63   Pärt                   Kanon Pokajanen            
64   Pergolesi           Stabat Mater    Alessandrini/Concerto Italiano      
65   Prokofiev           Romeo and Juliet   Maazel/CO      
66   Prokofiev           War Sonatas           Richter      
67   Puccini           Turandot           Pavarotti/Sutherland/Mehta      
68   Rachmaninov   Piano Cto #2 (w/Tchaikovsky Piano Cto #1)      Richter      
69   Rachmaninov   Vespers           Svechnikov/USSR Nat'l Choir      
70   Rameau           Keyboard Works   Tharaud      
71   Ravel           Piano Trio            Rouvier/Kantorow/Muller      
72   Ravel           Daphnis et Chloe   Dutoit/Montreal      
73   Satie           Selected piano compositions       Aldo      
74   Schoenberg   5 pieces op 16 (w/ Webern & Berg)        Levine/BP      
75   Schubert           String Quintet in C major          Emerson or Melos SQ w/Rostropovich      
76   Schubert           Sonata in G, D.894       Richter      
77   Schubert           Schwanengesang       Munteanu      
78   Schumann   Kinderszenen/Kreisleriana/Carnaval   Cortot      
79   Schumann   Symphony #4               Furtwängler/BP      
80   Schumann   Dichterliebe               Wächter/Brendel      
81   Shostakovich   String Quartet #8       Emerson or Borodin SQ      
82   Shostakovich   Symphony #7 "Leningrad"   Ančerl/Czech Phil      
83   Sibelius           Symphony #5/Violin Cto           Haendel/Berglund/Bournemouth      
84   Sibelius           Symphony #4 & #7/Tapiola   Maazel/WP      
85   Strauss           Four Last Songs          Janowitz/Karajan/BP      
86   Stravinsky   Rite of Spring                  Bernstein/NYPO (1958)      
87   Stravinsky   Symphony of Psalms (w/Poulenc & Bernstein)          Bernstein/LSO/NYPO      
88   Stravinsky   L'oiseu de feu (complete)            Rattle/CBSO      
89   Suppe           Overtures (w/ Auber Overtures)   Paray/DSO      
90   Tallis                   Spem In Alium/Salve Intermerata   Summerly/Oxford Camerata      
91   Tchaikovsky   Violin Cto (w/Brahms Violin Cto)   Heifetz/Reiner/CSO      
92   Tchaikovsky   Swan Lake      Svetlanov      
93   Tchaikovsky   Piano Trio op 50 (+ Shostakovich Piano Trio #2 op 67)    Argerich/Kremer/Maisky      
94   Vaughan Wms   Symphony #5      Previn/RPO      
95   Verdi           Requiem              Toscanini/NBC (1951)      
96   Victoria           Requiem 1605      Christophers/The Sixteen      
97   Vivaldi           Vespri per l'Assunzione di Maria Vergine      Alessandrini      
98   Wagner           Tristan und Isolde               Böhm (1966)      
99   Wagner           Der Ring des Nibelungen       Solti/WP      
100   Weber           Der Freischütz       Keilberth

--- End quote ---

The GMG Essential Collection

1. Mahler, Das Lied von der Erde -- Ludwig/Wunderlich/Klemperer/Philharmonia
2. Bach's Solo Violin Sonatas and Partitas -- Enescu

MN Dave:
Brahms Symphony No. 4 - Reiner/Royal Philharmonic


     Stravinsky The Rite of Spring -- Bernstein NYPO ('58)

So far, so good--thanks, guys!

The GMG Essential Collection

1.  Mahler, Das Lied von der Erde -- Ludwig/Wunderlich/Klemperer/Philharmonia
2.  Bach's Solo Violin Sonatas and Partitas -- Enescu
3.  Brahms Symphony No. 4 - Reiner/Royal Philharmonic
4.  Stravinsky The Rite of Spring -- Bernstein NYPO ('58)


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