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Thread: Gramophone 250 Greatest Recordings of All Time

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    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    Default Gramophone 250 Greatest Recordings of All Time

    I found this to be a highly illuminating and informative list that has given me a wide variety of recordings to check out:

    https://www.gramophone.co.uk/feature...ding-musicians

    I did like the methodology of having prestigious musicians choose the recordings (names like Hilary Hahn, Marin Alsop, Angela Hewitt, Steven Isserlis, Neeme Jarvi, and Anne Sofie von Otter were on the committee, although there is a suspicious amount of their own recordings on the list...), but this leads to some truly eclectic selections. 2 recordings of Steve Reich's "Different Trains" but only one each of Haydn, Handel, and Sibelius (!) and no Mendelssohn or Grieg? Gardiner gets 3 Mozart opera recordings? Two different versions of Bernstein and Kubelik conducting the same Mahler symphonies? But for the most part, I think it does a really good job at covering all sorts of performance types and genres from medieval to 21st century, and there is a good mix of "canonical" recordings (Solti's Ring, Furtwangler's Beethoven, Callas/De Sabata Tosca, etc.) and some lesser-known ones from both the historical and modern recording eras. Worth a look despite the inevitable subjectivity! What do you think about it? It would be fascinating if the TC community created a similar list like our Most Recommended Works.

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    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegro Con Brio View Post
    I found this to be a highly illuminating and informative list that has given me a wide variety of recordings to check out:

    https://www.gramophone.co.uk/feature...ding-musicians

    I did like the methodology of having prestigious musicians choose the recordings (names like Hilary Hahn, Marin Alsop, Angela Hewitt, Steven Isserlis, Neeme Jarvi, and Anne Sofie von Otter were on the committee, although there is a suspicious amount of their own recordings on the list...), but this leads to some truly eclectic selections. 2 recordings of Steve Reich's "Different Trains" but only one each of Haydn, Handel, and Sibelius (!) and no Mendelssohn or Grieg? Gardiner gets 3 Mozart opera recordings? Two different versions of Bernstein and Kubelik conducting the same Mahler symphonies? But for the most part, I think it does a really good job at covering all sorts of performance types and genres from medieval to 21st century, and there is a good mix of "canonical" recordings (Solti's Ring, Furtwangler's Beethoven, Callas/De Sabata Tosca, etc.) and some lesser-known ones from both the historical and modern recording eras. Worth a look despite the inevitable subjectivity! What do you think about it? It would be fascinating if the TC community created a similar list like our Most Recommended Works.
    Nice list, but no Mendelssohn recommendations.
    "Life is too short to spend it wandering in the barren Sahara of musical trash."
    --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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    [Beethoven Symphonies
    COE / Nikolaus Harnoncourt

    Teldec

    Freshly conceived, Harnoncourt reinvents Beethoven for our age on period instruments]

    Period Instruments? I thought is was chamber sized using modern instruments with natural trumpets (period). Well, I've seen better lists including from this magazine. I am not a big fan on listening (that is, paying attention) to all these recommendations. They have to "sell" music, sell recordings, sell themselves, and so it is what it is.

    Cd of the month? Best Cd of the year? Greatest version since legendary so and so recorded it....

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    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    Bach The Well-Tempered Clavier

    Samuil Feinberg
    Russian Disc
    For some Bach devotees, Feinberg was the interpreter par excellence
    Fun to read, I do like the choice of Sam Feinberg for Bach WTC, masterful performance which is often off the radar screen


    “Mad Scenes”

    Maria Callas
    Warner Classics
    The unique Maria Callas caught at her most histrionically impressive
    Very little opera but I did notice only one recital set recommended, a great one............

    Last edited by DarkAngel; Feb-23-2020 at 21:06.

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    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    Beethoven Symphonies

    London Classical Plyrs / Roger Norrington
    Revolutionary performances that still pack a punch
    Really????? Norrinton LCP Set over Karajan, Szell, Etc............???????????


    Prokofiev Symphonies

    LSO / Valery Gergiev
    Philips
    The blazing live performances that won Gergiev his job at the helm of the LSO
    Never liked the timid safe sound of Gergiev's set, Jarvi Chandos runs circles around these.........
    Last edited by DarkAngel; Feb-23-2020 at 21:07.

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    It is, of course, an absolutely ridiculous thing to do because everything is so subjective. For example, I would prefer Schreier's Wintereisse with Richter over D F-D's any day. Some of the choices had one nodding one's head but others had you shaking your head in bewilderment as did the omissions. I mean, to choose Norrington's LCP Beethoven set above Karajan's 1963 BPO is ludicrous. Of course we all have our favourites and such a list is fun to look at but only ultimately only to disagree with many of the choices.
    Last edited by DavidA; Feb-23-2020 at 20:09.

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    This is an extremely narrow-minded list - only three recordings of music written before 1700 and very little contemporary music. And concerning the recordings on the list, which I know, I disagree with most of their choices. The list is laughable, but of course this may be kind of entertainment.

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    Senior Member D Smith's Avatar
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    One entry for Haydn. One for Sibelius. Norrington for a Beethoven set. Laughable and sad.

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    I can see the need for period instruments representation but Norrington was the "new" thing on the block back in the day. However, I would pick Gardiner set over Norrington's set if the point was--well, nevermind, but the Gardiner set is far more popular and still selling quite well it appears. I agree on Karajan and Szell as obvious choices. Aside from making stupid mistakes (Calling the COE Harnoncourt a period instrument set) they do not say which set for Solti-1970's analogue or digital 80 set. I am not aware of one being better or worse than the other. Kind of sloppy quick list for some purpose.

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    Senior Member apricissimus's Avatar
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    This is a list of recordings that are loved or well-respected by a group of very accomplished musicians. I think their opinions are worth hearing. Take it for what it's worth, and if your favorites are not represented, that doesn't make it "laughable" or "sad".

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    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apricissimus View Post
    This is a list of recordings that are loved or well-respected by a group of very accomplished musicians. I think their opinions are worth hearing. Take it for what it's worth, and if your favorites are not represented, that doesn't make it "laughable" or "sad".
    I must say that I've been devouring lists like this for many years to the point that I'm tired of them. But your assessment is correct.

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    I take all these lists with a huge pinch of salt. The same old recordings get trotted out every time. I doubt whether even 10 of those mentioned are in my top 5 recordings of each piece. There's the usual Klieber, Bernstein and Furty fanboyism evident . Each to their own but if the esteemed panel think Norrington's first, occasionally poorly-played LVB cycle is one of the greatest sets of all time then there is no need to read this article at all. If they said that about his 2nd cycle I'd be much more in agreement. However, I'm being harsh and cynical. Each to their own. Somebody also likes Jarvi and Harnoncourt a lot too.
    Last edited by Merl; Feb-28-2020 at 17:47.

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    Senior Member Joachim Raff's Avatar
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    Meaningless exercise. Gramophone need to spend their time on more constructive reviews. Throw the list in the garbage. Explore music yourself without unscrupulous marketing ploys trying to influence what you really like.

    The list would have some credibility if they had just listed the musicians nominations without Gramophone's own preferences on the recording.
    Last edited by Joachim Raff; Mar-03-2020 at 13:00.

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    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    This is nothing more than entertaining food for thought. I for one, have enjoyed its existence and have learned about several wonderful recordings, as well as some I don't care for. A weird, sometimes bizarre list? You betcha. But I put it up here just in case anyone wanted to compare their own opinions. We all know about the inherent subjectivity. No one is saying this is a "holy grail!"

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    Gramophone has many lists. There no need to get that worked up one way or another. The mere fact that it can arouse this intensity of reaction reveals that these lists serve a purpose. I see it for what it is--selling their services. Even if a complete novice wakes up and thinks I will investigate this classical music by ordering many classical cds, and go online and comes to this list and orders everything on the list to start their listening journey, not a bad start for sure.

    One has to realize that "negativity" is not a trait that works well in sales. So Gramophone will not "trash" any recording. Even when all these new recordings come to them, how to put a positive spin when maybe the new recording really is not all that exciting--well, usually read behind lines will do. I get that Gramophone will use these lists because they know "we" are hooked on this music. I am interested when you posters bring up your favorites as well.

    They do not say how they polled the musicians for their choices. It would be nice though if the musicians/artists would rate the various recordings of genres (symphony/cycles, concertos., etc) on a scale. But, here again, they would be exposing their views to others, and this might be too much to put out there for the public to see. And I get that.

    Allegro con brio original post is right on.
    Last edited by Bigbang; Mar-04-2020 at 03:13.

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