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Thread: Desert-Island Symphony Cycle Recordings

  1. #1
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    Default Desert-Island Symphony Cycle Recordings

    Just for fun (if you're so inclined) and because I'd be interested to see, if you were going to live with just one complete set of a composer's symphonies, which that would be? I've left out Mahler and Bruckner, that's not possible for me!

    Here are mine:

    Late Mozart: Harnoncourt (Teldec)

    Beethoven: Vänskä (BIS)

    Schubert: Brüggen (Philips)

    Schumann: Zinman (Arte Nova)

    Brahms: Dohnanyi (Teldec)

    Sibelius: Blomstedt (Decca)

    Nielsen: Gilbert (Da Capo)

    Martinu: Valek (Supraphon)

    Prokofiev: Kitajenko (Capriccio)

    Shostakovich: Jansons (EMI)

    Vaughan Williams: Davis (Teldec)

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    Haydn - Bruggen
    Beethoven - Gardiner
    Mendelssohn - Bruggen
    Brahms - Klemperer
    Bruckner - Karajan
    Mahler - Bernstein
    Sibelius - Karajan
    Dvorak - Kubelik

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    Senior Member realdealblues's Avatar
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    Off the top of my head...

    Atterberg - Rasilainen/Radio Symphony Frankfurt
    Bax - Lloyd-Jones/Royal Scottish National Orchestra
    Beethoven - Wand/NDR Symphony
    Brahms - Levine/Chicago Symphony
    Bruckner - Jochum/Staatskapelle Dresden
    Dvorak - Neumann/Czech Philharmonic (Digital)
    Glazunov - Serebrier/Royal Scottish National Orchestra
    Haydn - Dorati/Philharmonia Hungarica
    Mahler - Bernstein/New York Philharmonic
    Martinu - Thomas/Scottish National
    Mendelssohn - Dohnanyi/Vienna Philharmonic
    Mozart - Marriner/Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields
    Nielsen - Schonwandt/Danish National Symphony
    Prokofiev - Jarvi/Scottish National Orchestra
    Rachmaninoff - Jansons/St. Petersburg Philharmonic
    Saint-Saens - Martinon/French National Radio Orchestra
    Schubert - Muti/Vienna Philharmonic
    Schumann - Bernstein/Vienna Philharmonic
    Shostakovich - Barshai/WDR Symphony
    Sibelius - Berglund/Bournemouth Symphony
    Tchaikovsky - Markevitch/London Symphony
    Vaughan-Wiliams - Previn/London Symphony

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    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    Under most circumstances I can’t imagine having just one set of interpretive viewpoints for a body of work - I love hearing different perspectives on the music. But, for the fun of it:

    Haydn - Adam Fischer (if I could supplement with Bernstein/NY for Paris Symphonies and Davis/RCO for London Symphonies I would be all the happier)
    Mozart - Walter/Columbia (35-41 which is all I need)
    Beethoven - Furtwängler (the set on Andromeda)
    Schubert - Marriner
    Mendelssohn - Dohnanyi
    Brahms - Jochum/LPO
    Bruckner - Karajan (Furtwängler for 4-9)
    Dvorak - Kertesz
    Tchaikovsky - Pletnev
    Mahler - For truly complete probably Bernstein DG but otherwise I would take all of Barbirolli’s recordings
    Sibelius - Bernstein
    Nielsen - Blomstedt
    Vaughan Williams - Previn
    Rachmaninoff - Ashkenazy
    Martinu - Belohlavek
    Prokofiev - Gergiev
    Shostakovich - Kondrashin

    Some of these are consensus picks, some are more “dark horse"
    Last edited by Allegro Con Brio; Sep-17-2020 at 17:20.
    "If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." - Jean Sibelius

    "Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere." - G.K. Chesterton

    "Ceaseless work, analysis, reflection, writing much, endless self-correction, that is my secret." - Johann Sebastian Bach

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    Senior Member D Smith's Avatar
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    At this point in my classical music listening life, the greatest joys come from listening to different interpretations of cherished works, so the thought of having only one is distressing! However, since you asked…..

    Some of these are partial as I have little interest in Mozart’s early symphonies etc.

    Bax - Handley/BBC
    Beethoven - Karajan/Berlin (70s)
    Brahms - Abbado/Berlin
    Bruckner - Karajan/Berlin (70s)
    Dvorak - Kertesz/London
    Elgar - Barenboim
    Haydn - Fischer/Austro-Hungarian
    Mahler - Bernstein/New York Philharmonic
    Mendelssohn - Abbado/LSO
    Miaskovsky - Svetlanov
    Mozart - Abbado/Orchestra Mozart
    Prokofiev - Alsop/Orquestra Sinfônica Do Estado De São Paulo
    Rachmaninoff - Previn/London
    Roussel - Janowski/Orchestre Philharmonique De Radio France
    Saint-Saens - Martinon/French National Radio Orchestra
    Schubert - Abbado/Chamber Orchestra of Europe
    Schumann - Bernstein/Vienna Philharmonic
    Shostakovich - Kondrashin
    Sibelius - Berglund/Bournemouth Symphony
    Tchaikovsky - Karajan/Berlin
    Vaughan-Wiliams - Haitink/London Phil
    Last edited by D Smith; Sep-17-2020 at 18:57. Reason: added Elgar

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Did one of these a few years back but go on I'll give you a current* list....


    Bax - Handley
    Beethoven - Stan the man
    Brahms - Levine / Chicago
    Bruckner - Young
    Dvorak - Anguelov
    Haydn - Fischer
    Mahler - Gielen
    Mendelssohn - Herbie
    Miaskovsky - Svetlanov
    Mozart - Adam Fischer
    Nielsen - Blomstedt
    Schubert - Menuhin 2
    Schumann - Sawallisch
    Scriabin - Muti
    Shostakovich - Kondrashin
    Sibelius - Berglund / Bournemouth
    Tchaikovsky - Markevitch

    * liable to change weekly barring a few
    Last edited by Merl; Sep-17-2020 at 18:07.

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    Bax - Handley
    Beethoven - Barenboim
    Brahms - Mackerras
    Bruckner - Chailly
    Dvorak - Rowicki
    Elgar - Tate
    Glazunov - Jarvi
    Mahler - Bertini
    Mendelssohn - Sawallisch
    Miaskovsky - Svetlanov
    Nielsen - Blomstedt
    Prokofiev - Jarvi
    Rachmaninoff - Ashkenazy
    Raff - Stadlmair
    Schmidt - Sinaisky
    Schubert - Sawallisch
    Schumann - Dohnanyi
    Shostakovich - Rostropovich
    Sibelius - Berglund
    Stanford - Handley
    Tchaikovsky - Muti
    Vaughan Williams - Slatkin

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    Senior Member Simplicissimus's Avatar
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    From my CD collection, these are my favorite symphony cycles (stretching a little with R. Strauss tone poems and breaking up Tchaikovsky into two parts):

    Beethoven: Szell/Cleveland, Sony (via RCA)
    Brahms: Sawallisch/Wiener Symphoniker, Decca
    Bruckner: Chailly/Royal Concertgebouw and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Decca
    Elgar: Colin Davis/LSO (SACD), LSO
    Haydn London symphonies: Jochum/London Philharmonic Orch., DGG
    Mahler: Gielen/SWR Sinfonieorchester, SWR
    Mendelssohn: Sawallisch/New Philharmonia Orch., Decca
    Prokofiev: Ozawa/Berliner Philharmoniker, DGG
    Schubert: Sawallisch/Staatskapelle Dresden, Decca
    Schumann: Paray/Detroit SO, Mercury Living Presence
    Shostakovich: Michael Sanderling/Dresdner Philharmonie, Sony
    Sibelius: Ormandy/Philadelphia Orchestra, Sony (via RCA)
    R. Strauss complete tone poems: Weigle/Frankfurter Opern- und Museum Orchester, Oehms
    Tchaikovsky Symphonies 1-3: Dorati/LSO, Mercury Living Presence
    Tchaikovsky Symphonies 4-6: Monteux/Boston SO, RCA Living Stereo
    Vaughan Williams: Handley/Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, EMI

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    This seems to be a lot of love for Chailly's Bruckner cycle, any favourites from that cycle?

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    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
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    Just symphonies, right?

    I'd do myself a big favor by bringing Stanisław Skrowaczewski's birthday celebration box with hard-to-beat complete symphony cycles of Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, and Bruckner.

    Otherwise:

    Beethoven, Immerseel or Haitink or Abbado/Berlin or Skrowaczewski
    Brahms, Skrowaczewski or Walter
    Bruckner, Karajan or Skrowaczewski
    Chávez, Mata
    Dvořák, Kertesz
    Elgar, Davis/LSO
    Haydn "Sturm und Drang" Symphonies, Pinnock
    Haydn "Paris" and "London" Symphonies, Harnoncourt
    Lutosławski, Gardner or Salonen
    Mahler, Boulez or Abbado or Bernstein or Fischer (I struggle with this one the most)
    Martinů, Bělohlávek
    Mendelssohn, Gardiner
    Mozart, Mackerras/ScottishCO
    Nielsen, Berglund/Danish National
    Prokofiev, Gergiev/LSO
    Schubert, Abbado
    Schumann, Bernstein/Vienna
    Scriabin, Gergiev/LSO
    Shostakovich, Haitink or Kondrashin
    Sibelius, Kamu/LahtiSO
    Tchaikovsky, Karajan
    Vaughan Williams, dunno, maybe Haitink
    Last edited by Knorf; Sep-17-2020 at 22:38.

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    Senior Member Simplicissimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ulfilas View Post
    This seems to be a lot of love for Chailly's Bruckner cycle, any favourites from that cycle?
    I think the performance of the 8th is great, but then that’s my favorite Bruckner symphony. Strangely, there was not a single mention of Chailly in the very long thread on Bruckner’s 8th that’s been around for a few months on this forum. Go figure.

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    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simplicissimus View Post
    I think the performance of the 8th is great, but then that’s my favorite Bruckner symphony. Strangely, there was not a single mention of Chailly in the very long thread on Bruckner’s 8th that’s been around for a few months on this forum. Go figure.
    Well! Get over then and flippin' mention it!
    Last edited by Knorf; Sep-17-2020 at 23:06.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Knorf View Post
    Well! Get over then and flippin' mention it!
    When I only really know about two and a half recordings of the work and the other posters know about eighty, I sort of get the feeling that I don’t have anything interesting to add to the discussion. I like Bruckner but he’s not among the composers I have ever gotten deeply into, so tbh I bought the Chailly cycle because it got good reviews, I tend to like Chailly (for Hindemith, e.g.), it’s in good modern sound, and it’s very reasonably priced. It definitely has not disappointed me.

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simplicissimus View Post
    When I only really know about two and a half recordings of the work and the other posters know about eighty, I sort of get the feeling that I don’t have anything interesting to add to the discussion. I like Bruckner but he’s not among the composers I have ever gotten deeply into, so tbh I bought the Chailly cycle because it got good reviews, I tend to like Chailly (for Hindemith, e.g.), it’s in good modern sound, and it’s very reasonably priced. It definitely has not disappointed me.
    The Chailly cycle is really good. Whether you have 2 or 80 Bruckner cycles you should trust your ears. Every opinion is valid.

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    Senior Member Brahmsianhorn's Avatar
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    Beethoven - Furtwangler (Andromeda set), or for modern: Bohm, Bernstein (VPO), or Karajan '62
    Brahms - Furtwangler (Music & Arts), or for modern: Abbado
    Bruckner - Karajan
    Dvorak - Kubelik
    Haydn - Dorati, or Jochum for just London
    Mahler - Bernstein (DG)
    Mendelssohn - Abbado
    Mozart - Marriner, or Bernstein for the Late
    Schubert - Abbado
    Schumann - Sawallisch
    Shostakovich - Kondrashin
    Sibelius - Collins
    Tchaikovsky - Dorati
    Vaughan Williams - Boult


    .
    Last edited by Brahmsianhorn; Sep-19-2020 at 15:50.

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