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I have a request for my friends here at onegoodmove. I'd like to know what two or three classical recordings are your favorites. I'm thinking albums, but I'm also interested in individual performances you like. You can leave them in the comments or send me an email. Thanks

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    A couple of hard drive crashes and a couple of cross-continental moves seem to have separated me from one of my favorite recordings: Bach’s sonatas for recorder and harpsichord by Keith Jarret and Michala Petri. I still have their recording of the Handel sonatas which is definitely worth a listen, especially the larghetto in C major.

    If you are unfamiliar with Mozart’s variations on Ah Vous Dirai-je Maman (twinkle twinkle little star) you need to correct this gap in your music knowledge. He turns what was then a popular French ditty into a work of crazy genius.

    I'll have to check out the Keith Jarrett stuff. The twinkle variations have been a good friend for a long time. I'm currently listening to them performed by Lise de la Salle

    1. also sprach zarathustra (2001 soundtrack)

    2. beethoven's 9th (clockwork orange soundtrack)

    3. blue danube (2001 soundtrack)

    and just for fun: symphony for the new world, dvorjjjjjaaaaakkkkkk.

    yes, i am a neanderthal- the missing link between classical and rock.

    All good stuff, but if you like rivers try Smetena's Moldau

    well that was interesting. sounds like a jumble of themes all mixed together. one of the more prominent ones, starting around 1:10, is basically the israeli national anthem with some VERY slight, almost nonexistent variation. totally and instantly recognizable to any israeli. "hatikvah" was also written by a czech, i think. i wonder who stole from who? and could you possibly have known this?

    The piece contains Smetana's most famous tune. It is an adaptation of La Mantovana, a folk song of the Italian renaissance origin, which is also the basis for the Israeli national anthem, Hatikvah. The tune also appears in major in an old folk Czech song "Kočka leze dírou" (Cat is crawling the hole") and Hans Eisler used it for his "Song of the Moldau".

    (got it from wikipedia)

    This section of the entire work - My Fatherland (Ma Vlast) starts with 2 streams that come together to form the river Moldau (Vlatva) at the point you mention. There's a storyline behind the music that's worth delving into.

    well, you continue to amaze me, g.s., thanks.

    It's your post that led me to the Italian and Jewish legacy of the folksong; good thing that you mentioned the resemblance. I knew about the Czech one from teaching music apprec. The 2 streams are represented by my instrument, so that's my job to know!

    well now i really have to know: i know norm and everyone makes fun of me here (and rightly so) for finding a jewish or israeli connection with just about everything. i also know that plenty of classical music contains echos, variations and straight rip-offs of jewish/eastern european folk melodies. but come on, the ISRAELI NATIONAL ANTHEM?! norm, did you know of this connection, just taking the piss etc., or was this just a bizarre coincidence?

    You need to listen to the finale of Mahler Symphony No. 1!

    ok i'll get right on that teach! :) since mahler himself was (of course) jewish, and also my dad's fave, i have some idea what to expect.

    just a bizarre coincidence?

    Coincidence, yes, but why bizarre? I must say that I enjoyed your reaction. I was going to take a trip to wiki myself to find out, but was pretty sure someone else would already know. Thanks GS

    Berlioz Damnation of Faust David Zinman with Baltimore SO

    If you can find any recording of Ensemble Rebel doing Vivaldi and other Baroque works, get them; they are awesome!

    Emmanuel Pahud, flute: anything he does. I don't usually play favorites, but all of his recordings are a safe bet. I'm pickier with Rampal, Galway, Wincenc, and that list goes on and on.

    Rodrigo Concerto collection with Romero, Gallois, et. al.

    You've opened up a can of worms with me. I'll probably send you a much longer list when I'm at home. I cannot limit myself to 3!!

    I'm also happy to send along some good rock and commercial stuff for some balance, so people won't think I'm a total nerd.

    I don't need any rock and roll. I listen to everything except rap and country, but could live with classical alone. I look forward to all the suggestions you care to make.

    I'm going to try Emanual Pahud on the Bach Sonatas for Flute and Flute and Harpsichord.

    Be as nerdy as you like.

    Some rap that's worth checking out once is from Paul Barman. It's very literate and not at all serious. Listen to it once, then you can say that you listen to everything except country. Just make sure you wear headphones, cause he is occasionally very crude. Here's a few links if you're interested...

    oh man that was funny

    Truly funny!

    I know this is pedantsareus's job, but it's "fluoride", not "flouride".

    OK - but I have to push a few of Pahud's other recordings: Floetenmusik* (Musiques Suisses)for variety, Paris for french works, and the Ibert and Khatchaturian Concertos (last 2 on EMI).

    I may as well throw down my favorite hip-hop:

    The Rev


    Currently my top 3 are:

    Haydn's Sonata #47 performed by pianist Rudolf Buchbinder

    Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody #2 performed by the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet

    Bazzini's La Ronde des Lutins, Op. 25 performed by Itzhak Perlman

    Wonderful stuff

    I'm also getting some great leads from everybody else.

    Thank you.

    Current three favourites:

    Andreas Scholl - Heroes (The greatest counter tenor voice of modern times)

    Andrew Lytton and the Dallas S O & Chorus - Tchaikovsky's 1812 plus others (The chorus is unbelievable)

    Claude Bolling & Alexandre Lagoya - Concerto for Classical Guitar and Jazz Piano Trio (a wonderfully exciting fusion)

    Ask again next year (or next month) and I will have 3 others.

    I heard Andreas Scholl for the first time, on Performance Today a couple of weeks ago. I've been meaning to follow up and get the Album you mentioned, Thanks for the reminder.

    For those who can't into AlterNet, here's another link to Taibbi's review.


    Does the Kronus Quartet's version of "Purple Haze" count? I think that's pretty classical. :)

    What a bunch of elitists!

    What about this for music, it's a classic song anyway.

    Sorry Andyo, but my pedant alter-ego can't resist .

    'Classical' is not the same as 'classic', and Norm specifically asked "what two or three classical recordings are your favorites".

    But I also love Rolf Harris.

    hah hah! Isn't he Mr. Deity??

    heh heh

    Excellent rendition.

    And I thought Nigel Kennedy playing Purple Haze was trippy.


    Favorite Orchestra

    I do enjoy the old Ludwig Van as well.

    Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings by Benjamin Brittem (Chicago Symphony Orchestra has a good recording).

    Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind by Osvaldo Golijov (good version found on the album Yiddishbbuk (St Lawrence String Quartet, Todd Palmer on klezmer clarinet))

    Shostakovich: 5th Symphony Prokofiev 5th Symphony Mahler 2nd Symphony Strauss: Ein Heldenleben (Any of the above recorded by Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, or New York Phil will blow your mind all over your face)


    I did not mention, because they have no recordings available at the moment, but you should listen to anything by the Portsmouth Sinfonia (my old home town),

    Currently my top 3 are:

  • Andante Moderato from the 6th symphony by Mahler (sometimes the second, sometimes the third movement)
  • The Appalachian Strings by Copland.
  • Neptune from the planets by Holst.
  • Michael Nyman's (recently re-released) MGV is one of my very favorite pieces of music of the last century, and one I listen to all the time; though I can't vouch for the work it's paired with, which is an incoherent, overwrought, and badly played arrangement of music he wrote for The Piano.

    Michael Tilson Thomas' recording of The Rite of Spring with the San Francisco SO -- my favorite recording of this work both in performance and sound quality.

    Chopin: 19 Nocturnes, performed by Arthur Rubinstein (that's Vol. 49 in RCA's Rubinstein collection, the recordings he made in 1965).

    And I absolutely must take this opportunity to push hard for wider recognition of the Georgian composer Sulkhan Nasidze, who in my opinion is the most criminally undersung composer of the 20th Century. His spectacular Concerto for Violin, Cello and Chamber Orchestra, on a now out-of-print CD from Orfeo, is one of my all-time favorites. I recommend it especially to fans of Alfred Schnittke -- their styles are different, but definitely cut from the same cloth. The concerto I mentioned is far and away my favorite, but all his other work that I've heard is of the highest quality (though precious little of it is available -- I think the only recording currently in print is his Chamber Symphony No. 3 on the Naxos CD, "Caucasian Impressions").

    May I list some more, despite the space I've already taken up?

    Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians (the Nonesuch recording)

    Antoni Wit conducting Messiaen's Turangalila-Symphonie

    The Emerson Quartet's complete Shostakovich string quartets

    Mackerras' recordings of Mozart's 40th and 41st symphonies

    The Arditti Quartet's performance of Beethoven's Grosse Fugue

    Arvo Part's Tabula Rasa on ECM

    Limiting this list is the tough part, but I keep coming back to these three large works:

    Mahler: Symphony #1 (There are plenty of good recordings; I suggest the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Mariss Jansons.)

    Bach: Solo Cello Suites (There are many choices here as well. I highly recommended Edgar Meyer’s version played on the double-bass.)

    Shostakovich: Symphony #5 (The wide variety of interpretations is fascinating, and that is something I can’t wait to see Michael Tilson Thomas discuss for his “Keeping Score” series on PBS.)

    As a coda, I’d like to suggest a few small pieces: Copland’s “The Promise of Living” (instrumental rather than vocal), Shostakovich’s “Novorossiisk Chimes” (the spelling varies), and Purcell’s “When I Am Laid in Earth (Dido’s Lament)” from Dido and Aeneas. (Also, the "Paradise Road" soundtrack has an a capella version of the Largo from Dvorak’s Ninth Symphony that gives me chills…although YMMV.)

    Here's my daily 3 (not counting the Pahud extras)

    Dvorak Cello Concerto with Truls Mork, cello

    Late Beethoven Piano Sonatas with Vladimir Feltsman

    Debussy Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune with Philadelphia: if you can find an old version with Kincaid, that's worth it. Otherwise, go with the more recent recording with Jeff Khaner.

    I'll send symphonic works from now on - I want to be able to look at who recorded the works, as that can make or break a piece.

    I'm loving it. Perhaps we should put up a topic at the forum so it will stay on top and we can share our latest favorites and finds.

    What do you think?

    Did you get a gift certificate to Borders or Amazon or? ;~)

    Can you transfer all of this info over to a forum thread?

    Excellent idea.

    My favorite classical recording of all time is Rigoletto - Original Cast Recording from Rome Opera House in 1967 on EMI Classics. Overall, the cast is very good and the orchestra is very good, but Reri Grist as Gilda is the best casting possible. Her voice shines like glass in this production. Too bad she had such a short peak - her voice burned bright and fast, and was never the same after 1972 or so.


    long, LONG time reader never posted but couldn't resist: in no particular order

    1. beethoven 5&7 with carlos kleiber w vienna phil

    2. mendelssohn violin concerto with isaac stern and ormandy with philadelphia phil (piano concertos 1&2 on same disc with rudolf serkin)

    3. ivan moravec chopin nocturnes - he was alone born to play these

    4. yo yo ma and emmanuel ax playing brahms cello sonatas

    5. david shifrin with emerson quartet playing brahms and mozart clarinet quintets

    6. emerson quartet playing any of the brahms or mozart quartets -

    7. trio fontenay playing brahms trios

    8. curzon - trout quintet - but looking for other versions if any suggestions?!?

    9. cliburn playing tchaikovsky piano concerto - he has a couple recordings i forget which is best

    10. Leif Ove Andsnes playing the pair of A minor piano concertos Schumann and his countryman Grieg

    11. I like the Lang Lang rach 3 - ashkenazy for #2

    12. Jacqueline Du Pre with barenboim - any of the major cello concertos - Haydn Cmajor, Saint Saens, Dvorak, Elgar - there's a box set

    i could go on....

    Who does the best Mozart late piano concertos? any suggestions on #s 19-24?

    Wow - I'm glad you did this, Norm. I'm going to look a lot of these over. I have a recording of Mozart's Piano Concertos in G major (K453) and in B flat major (K450) which I love. It has Dezso Ranki on the piano and it's the Liszt Ferenc Chamber Orchestra - I'm sure there are other good versions. I don't know if you are looking at all at opera but I'm crazy about the Marriage of Figaro and I have a highlights one and then the full version conducted by Giulini with Taddei, Moffo and Schwarzkopf. I have to admit it was the movie Amadeus that made me try opera (my mother was always a fan which doesn't necessarily help). It was when he describes adding more and more voices to a scene and said "Sire, only opera can do this. In a play, if more than one person speaks at the same time, it's just noise. No one can understand a word. But, with music, with music you can have twenty individuals all talking at once, and it's not noise - it's a perfect harmony."

    I love the Mozart Piano Concertos. I recently got the complete concertos with Murray Peraiha playing with the English Chamber Orchestra. I also have a set with Geza Anda that I'm quite fond of. I'd never heard of Dezso Ranki which is what's so fun about this. I'm glad I did it too, but my music budget is about shot for the year. Stop please, stop. No on second thought I'm making a list and passing it out to those who ask me what I want for Christmas.

    It occurred to me that I asked for your favorites but offered nothing in return. So here's a suggestion for you, Razor Blades, Little Pills, Big Pianos, is the album currently getting the most play at my house. It's a debut album by an Englishman named James Rhodes. I love his take on Bach's French Suite No. 5, the album also has selections from Beethoven, Chopin, and Moszkowski. All of it is quite nice.

    Oh my there is YouTube of him playing the Allemande here.

    For something quite inspiring I recommend The Teresa Carreno Youth Orchestra. Gustavo Dudamel conducting.

    Astounding performance.

    Sorry. That link was broken.

    Go to and type in 'Gustavo Dudamel' for the video.

    This is a great performance; I remember it from when NOrm posted in last spring.

    He's the newbie with LA Phil now.

    Daily 3:

    Stravinsky Symphonie en 3 Movements and Jeu de cartes James Conlon conducting Rotterdam Philharmonic on the Erato label.

    Stavinsky Soldier's Tale with Vanessa Redgrave, Ian McKellan, and Sting; Nagano conducting the London Sinfonietta on Pangea label.

    Prokofiev Peter and the Wolf with Sting; Claudio Abbado conducting Chamber Orchestra of Europe on Deutsche Gramophone. Includes Classical Symphony and Overture on Hebrew Themes.

    My faves are all things I've had for many years:

    Chopin's Preludes, 2 versions: Ivo Pogorelich, & Maria João Pires

    Dvorák, ‘New World’ Symphony (No. 9 in E minor), Christoph von Dohnanyi conducting the Cleveland Orchestra

    Mozart, Symphonien Nos. 40 • 41 “Jupiter” Vienna Philharmonic, James Levine

    daily 3:

    Kronos Quartet Black Angels by George Crumb - Elektra Nonesuch. Also on the CD are works/arrangements of Tallis, Marta, Ives, and Shostakovich

    Bartok (the 4th B!) Concerto for Orchestra with Zubin Mehta conducting the Berlin Phil on Sony. Miraculous Mandarin is also on this disc. It's kind of a rip-off of Rite of Spring, but I like. There's a odd moment where one of the more gruesome depictions of the drama is also kind of funny in the OMG way.

    Muzsikas The Bartok Album on Ryodisc. Very cool recordings of the Transylvanian music that Bartok arrnged.

    This has helped me with my CD collection; my house sitter did a number with the order of my recordings. Next weekend, they all go back int the right spot.

    My absolute faves.

    Bach: Sonatas for Cello & Piano Mischa Maisky (Performer), Johann Sebastian Bach (Composer), Martha Argerich (Performer)

    6 suites for cello by bach by janos starker.... my favorite of all the different ones. well maybe the original casals might come close but janos starker is so much better than yo yo....

    I too love Bartok.. the hungarian in me..

    I used to play cello....

    oh thanks for whomever posted appalachian spring by copeland... i forgot how much i loved it.

    must buy some version


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