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Thread: Too obvious a thread? Your best 5 records please

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    Default Too obvious a thread? Your best 5 records please

    Hi there,

    I have been transferring my CD collection to computer over the last weeks and now I am noticing gaps in my collection - composers or works that I never got around to. Maybe someone will shed light on a recording I don't have that is good enough to be put in their top 5 recordings. I refer of course to music and performance. If you could limit yourself to single or double CDs only.

    It is in no particular order and yes, this aint easy to do I admit but let's say it gives a good idea...

    here is mine:


    Rite of Spring and Poem of Ecstasy (Gergiev)

    Das Lied von der Erde (Klemperer)

    Ravel Complete Piano Music (Lortie)

    Bach Violin Concertos (Manze and Podger)

    Rachmaninov 3 and Tchaikovsky 1 (Argerich live)

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    Senior Member nickgray's Avatar
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    Just tried doing that for ~3-4 mins. It's impossible, as with any Top N. There's just way, way too much stuff
    Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur.

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    Yeah, I know what you mean, but what about the CDs that first sprang to mind when I said 'the top'? Don't worry about exclusion. I ruthlessly excluded too.

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    Senior Member nickgray's Avatar
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    Currently? Oh, dunno...

    Brahms, Symphony No.4 - Solti
    Shostakovich, String Quartets - Emerson SQ
    Beethoven, Piano Sonatas - Annie Fischer
    Mahler, Symphony No.4 - Bernstein
    Schnittke, String Quartets - Kronos SQ
    Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur.

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    Last edited by Toccata; Aug-15-2009 at 20:46.

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    oh cool thanks Toccata!

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    Wow, for me, this would be humanily impossible to list 5 recordings.

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    It is possible though that when asked the question of best recordings then one or two CDs might immediately spring to mind. When the brain starts to analyze it gets increasingly difficult though!

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    Following the 'pop into your head' approach ( ) I offer these, though I don't actually know if all of them are available right now.

    1) Rubinstein/Shostakovich: Piano Quintets, performed by the Pihtipudas Quintet
    2) Bruckner: Symphony #8, performed by the Amsterdam Concertgebouw under Bernard Haitink (the earlier recording)
    3) Mahler: Symphony #6, performed by the Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell
    4) Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra, performed by the Chicago Symphony under Fritz Reiner (though I do have to say, having heard both, that the LP sounds better than the CD)
    5) Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen, performed by various soloists and the Vienna Philharmonic under George Solti

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    You are the second person to recommend that version of The Ring in the last week. Must be a sign I think that Szell recording is live? I heard it once - electric stuff. Must get the Reiner/Strauss for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaibyrne View Post
    You are the second person to recommend that version of The Ring in the last week. Must be a sign I think that Szell recording is live? I heard it once - electric stuff. Must get the Reiner/Strauss for sure.
    The Solti Ring was the first complete studio recording, made when stereo LPs themselves were fairly new, so they made incredible efforts to achieve something remarkable (I recommend John Culshaw's book Ring Resounding, which is an informative and often entertaining account of the recording process by someone intimately involved with it). There are six complete studio recordings of Der Ring des Nibelungen; this is still considered by most listeners and critics to be the best.

    You're right about the Szell/Mahler; there are a few audible coughs and such sounds, but they are very minor blemishes on what you quite accurately describe as "electric." It's an intriguing performance in many ways, not least because this isn't the sort of music most people would associate with Szell (he also recorded the 4th symphony and the first movement of the 10th, as well as some of the Wunderhorn songs). Thinking about Szell reminds me of another recording I'd place at the top of my list: the Brahms first piano concerto with Leon Fleischer: absolutely stunning.

    I know of no performance led by Reiner that isn't among the best available. I just looked up the Reiner/Strauss and discovered that the coupling of Zarathustra and Ein Heldenleben is on sale ( http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/...?album_id=1701 ); you may want to get it. I also highly recommend Reiner's La Mer and Isle of the Dead.

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    Senior Member nickgray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaibyrne View Post
    You are the second person to recommend that version of The Ring in the last week.
    And I'll be the third one. Solti's Ring is simply gorgeous, one of the best Rings out there.
    Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toccata View Post
    Yeah... and there's this one, too!

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    I can only think of one:

    Dvorak symphonies no 7,8 & 9 + Symphonic variations - Koninklijk Concertgebouw Orkest with Sir Colin Davis

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    I know it's over the limit, but the (separate) 3 cd sets of Varese's complete works conducted by Nagano & Chailly. Christopher Lyndon-Gee's accounts on Naxos are also fine, but you miss out on the Poeme Electronique.

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