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Thread: Project: The BIG ones !

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    Default Project: The BIG ones !

    Here is the deal.
    I'm just about to start a new project in my music collection. The aim is to aquire only recordings that are considered to be important and made by famous artists, orchestras and conductors.
    I will also prefer recordings in which the conductor doesn't mess around too much with the original intentions of the composer (For example, Otto Klemperers tame slow-motion recording of the Eroica symphony was ruled out and I went for Mravinsky's more powerful recording instead).
    I will update my list every time I get hold of a new recording. I would also appreciate comments and suggestions. I believe a lot of you own copies of the same recordings or other recommendable ones.

    The following recordings were aquired as a starting point.

    Bartok - Concerto for Orchestra (Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Fritz Reiner)
    Bartok - Music for strings, percussion and celesta (Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Fritz Reiner)
    Beethoven - Symphony no. 3 (Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra - Evgeni Mravinsky)
    Beethoven - Symphony no. 5 & 7 (Wiener Philharmoniker - Carlos Kleiber)
    Beethoven - Symphony no. 6 (Wiener Philharmoniker - Karl Böhm)
    Beethoven - Symphony no. 9 (Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele - Wilhelm Furtwängler)
    Beethoven - Violin concerto (Itzhak Perlman - Philharmonia Orchestra - Carlo Maria Giulini)
    Brahms - Piano concerto no. 1 (Clifford Curzon - London Symphony Orchestra - George Szell)
    Brahms - Symphonies no. 1-4 (Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Georg Solti)
    Dvorak - Cello concerto (Mstislav Rostropovich - Berliner Philharmoniker - Herbert von Karajan)
    Dvorak - Symphony no. 8 & 9 (Berliner Philharmoniker - Rafael Kubelik)
    Haydn - Symphony no. 88 (Berliner Philharmoniker - Wilhelm Furtwängler)
    Schubert - Symphony no. 5 (Wiener Philharmoniker - Karl Böhm)
    Schumann - Symphony no. 4 (Berliner Philharmoniker - Wilhelm Furtwängler)
    Shostakovich - Symphony no. 5 (Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra - Evgeni Mravinsky)
    Smetana - The Moldau (Wiener Philharmoniker - Herbert von Karajan)
    Last edited by janne; Jul-26-2010 at 14:37.

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    I've also aquired these:

    Brahms - Piano concerto no. 2 (Emil Gilels - Berliner Philharmoniker - Eugen Jochum)
    Debussy - Images pour orchestre, Nocturnes & La Mer (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra - Bernard Haitink)
    Liszt - Piano concerto no. 1 & 2 (Sviatoslav Richter - London Symphony Orchestra - Kirill Kondrashin)
    Mahler - Symphonies no. 1-9 (Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Georg Solti)
    Mozart - Symphony no. 25 (Academy of St Martin in the Fields - Neville Marriner)
    Mozart - Symphony no. 35, 36, 38, 39, 40 & 41 (Berliner Philharmoniker - Karl Böhm)
    Rachmaninov - Isle of the Dead (St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra - Mariss Jansons)
    Rachmaninov - Piano concertos no. 1-4 (Vladimir Ashkenazy - London Symphony Orchestra - Andre Previn)
    Rachmaninov - Piano concerto no. 4 (Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli - Philharmonia Orchestra - Ettore Gracis)
    Ravel - Piano concerto in G (Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli - Philharmonia Orchestra - Ettore Gracis)
    Tchaikovsky - Symphonies no. 4, 5 & 6 (Leningrad Symphony Orchestra - Evgeni Mravinsky)


    Mravinskys recording of Beethovens Eroica symphony has become one of my favourites. Let's see if his recordings of the Tchaikovsky symphonies share the same power and energy. Another option is to add Karajan, Szell or someone elses recordings. Though I'm not really sure who is to be considered the Tchaikovsky guru among all those great conductors.


    When it comes to Mahler cycles it stood between Solti and Bernstein. I chose Solti only because I'm more familiar with his style. I've heard a lot of positive things about Bernsteins recordings also, so maybe it's worth to check out ?

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    The building of a great library continued today.

    Bach - 6 Suites for solo Cello (Yo-Yo Ma)
    Beethoven - Symphonies no. 1 & 2 (The Cleveland Orchestra - Christoph von Dohnyani)
    Beethoven - Symphonies no. 1 - 9 (Columbia Symphony Orchestra - Bruno Walter)
    Bruckner - Symphonies no. 4, 7, 8 & 9 (Berliner Philharmoniker - Eugen Jochum)
    Bruckner - Symphony no. 9 (Wiener Philharmoniker - Carlo Maria Giulini)
    Liszt - Les Preludes (Berliner Philharmoniker - Zubin Mehta)
    Liszt - Liebestraume (Daniel Barenboim)
    Liszt - Piano sonata in B minor (Maurizio Pollini)
    Mahler - Symphony no. 2 (San Francisco Symphony Orchestra - Herbert Blomstedt)
    Mahler - Symphony no. 6 (Wiener Philharmoniker - Pierre Boulez)
    Mahler - Des Knaben Wunderhorn (Lucia Popp, Andreas Schmidt - Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra - Leonard Bernstein)
    Mahler - Kindertotenlieder (Anne Sofie von Otter - Wiener Philharmoniker - Pierre Boulez)
    Mahler - Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Thomas Quasthoff - Wiener Philharmoniker - Pierre Boulez)
    Mendelssohn - Lieder ohne Worte (Daniel Barenboim)
    Prokofiev - Piano concerto no. 3 (Yefim Bronfman - Israel Philharmonic Orchestra - Zubin Mehta)
    Prokofiev - Symphonies no. 1 & 5 (London Symphony Orchestra - Valery Gergiev)
    Rachmaninov - Symphony no. 2 (St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra - Mariss Jansons)
    Schubert - Moments musicaux (Daniel Barenboim)
    Schubert - Symphony no. 8 (Wiener Philharmoniker - Carlos Kleiber)
    Tchaikovsky - Nutcracker Suite (Berliner Philharmoniker - Herbert von Karajan)
    Vivaldi - Gloria RV 589 (Concerto Italiano - Rinaldo Alessandrini)
    Vivaldi - The Four Seasons (Salzburg Baroque Chamber Orchestra)
    Last edited by janne; Jul-27-2010 at 21:23.

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    I've taken all your CDs and put them into Excel and then had a look at them alphabetically by composer.

    You have a long way to go, although what you have is very good.

    To develop your library further may I suggest you take a look at the various "greatest" lists by genre on the DDD music website, and then for specific recordings you might glance through the many recommendations on best buys on the BBC's Building a Library site

    I would say that the best music forum I've ever participated in was, in its heyday, DDD. It's a dead duck now, at least on the classical music side, but there is the legacy of several "greatest" recommendations by genre. I found these lists invaluable in completing my already quite large collection, and is far better than any other single source that I've ever seen elsewhere. Unfortunately the lists tend to be occasionally maligned by a few goons on GMG, but you can safely ignore that bunch. The lists are very good provided you don't take the order of things too literally.

    As for recommendations of particular performances, I generally trust the BBC reviews, and little else I'm afraid. I have always found them to be very good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Opal View Post
    I've taken all your CDs and put them into Excel and then had a look at them alphabetically by composer.

    You have a long way to go, although what you have is very good.

    To develop your library further may I suggest you take a look at the various "greatest" lists by genre on the DDD music website, and then for specific recordings you might glance through the many recommendations on best buys on the BBC's Building a Library site

    I would say that the best music forum I've ever participated in was, in its heyday, DDD. It's a dead duck now, at least on the classical music side, but there is the legacy of several "greatest" recommendations by genre. I found these lists invaluable in completing my already quite large collection, and is far better than any other single source that I've ever seen elsewhere. Unfortunately the lists tend to be occasionally maligned by a few goons on GMG, but you can safely ignore that bunch. The lists are very good provided you don't take the order of things too literally.

    As for recommendations of particular performances, I generally trust the BBC reviews, and little else I'm afraid. I have always found them to be very good.
    Thanks Opal, that link will become very helpful.
    I know it's a long way, and I will probably never reach the end of it but it doesnt matter. It's so much fun along the way!

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    Quote Originally Posted by janne View Post
    Thanks Opal, that link will become very helpful.
    I know it's a long way, and I will probably never reach the end of it but it doesnt matter. It's so much fun along the way!
    It is a lot of fun. I envy you.

    Are there any particular composers where you want to make some further acquisitions immediately? What type of material most interests you?

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    Here are some suggestions for the next phase:

    Bach: Well Tempered Clavier, Goldberg Variations, Brandenburg Concertos

    Beethoven: Piano Concertos 4, 5; Piano Sonatas 14, 21 23, 29

    Brahms: Piano Quintet, Clarinet Quintet, Ein Deutsches Requiem

    Chopin: Ballades 1-4, Piano Concerto No 2, selection of Nocturnes

    Debussy: La Mer

    Handel: Water Music; Music for Royal Fireworks; Concerto Grosso Op 6; Messiah; Julius Caeser

    Haydn: Symphonies 94, 101, 103, 104; String Quartet No 76/3 "Emperor"

    Mendelssohn: Symphonies 3, 4, 5; Octet; Hebrides Overture

    Mozart: Piano Concertos 20, 21, 24; Clarinet Concerto

    Schubert: Symphony No 9; String Quintet, Piano Sonata No 21

    Schumann: Symphony No 3; Fantasy in C Major; Piano Concerto

    Stravinsky: Rite of Spring; Firebird

    Vivaldi: Gloria RV 589; Mandolin Concerto RV 425

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    Quote Originally Posted by Opal View Post
    It is a lot of fun. I envy you.

    Are there any particular composers where you want to make some further acquisitions immediately? What type of material most interests you?
    I'm interested in recordings that fit these criteria:

    * World famous artists, orchestras and conductors (No Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra and such Naxos stuff or budget recordings by almost unknown artist - although there is nothing wrong with that it just don't fit this project)

    * Recordings that are considered to be top level (let's say by a majority of reviewers).
    Last edited by janne; Jul-28-2010 at 09:08.

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    Quote Originally Posted by janne View Post
    I'm interested in recordings that fits these criteria:

    * World famous artists, orchestras and conductors (No Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra and such Naxos stuff or budget recordings by almost unknown artist - although there is nothing wrong with that it just don't fit this project)

    * Recordings that are considered to be top level (let's say by a majority of reviewers).
    I think that is a very sensible approach, although some of the stuff on cheap labels like Naxox is very good. I have never bought any cheap stuff just because it's cheap on the off-chance that it might be OK. Like you, I take the opposite view and look around carefully before buying.

    Sometimes I stumble across a recording which may not have the big time in terms of professional review but nevertheless I like it. This is mainly where I happen to like particular pianists.

    I do listen quite a lot to the main (up market) classical music radio station in the UK (BBC Radio 3) and generally speaking they play good quality recordings, and that's one of the main sources from where I obtain inspiration for particular recordings. I have already mentioned one of the programmes where recommendations are made regularly.

    What do you think of the items on my suggested list of works for your next phase? I derived it by comparing what you already have with some of main items in the standard repertoire. If there are works on that list for which you would like recommendations for, I will look up what I have, and would guess that other members will have some useful suggestions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Opal View Post
    What do you think of the items on my suggested list of works for your next phase? I derived it by comparing what you already have with some of main items in the standard repertoire. If there are works on that list for which you would like recommendations for, I will look up what I have, and would guess that other members will have some useful suggestions.
    Can I ask you to supply information on recommendable artists along with the works you suggested ?
    For example, there are many recordings of Bachs Goldberg variations. Which do you have ? Which is considered to be THE ONE ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by janne View Post
    Can I ask you to supply information on recommendable artists along with the works you suggested ?
    For example, there are many recordings of Bachs Goldberg variations. Which do you have ? Which is considered to be THE ONE ?
    I wouldn't want to pretend that there is anything like a consensus on THE ONE for any of the works I mentioned. Usually there are a several recommended versions. In some cases there are very many opinions, e.g. for Beethoven's Symphony No 9.

    In the case of Bach's Goldberg Variations, I have 4 versions: Andras Schiff, Glen Gould, Angela Hewitt, and a harpsichord version by Gustav Leonhardt. Each of these is well regarded. I must say that I prefer piano to harpsichord. Of the three piano versions, I guess I like best the version by Glen Gould. If you were to acquire this, it would be a brave person to tell you that have bought unwisely. I also like the more recent version by Angela Hewitt, which has a cleaner sound. Either of these would be fine. See if you can them both out before buying.

    Let's see what others think before moving on to another work, for which you choose.

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    Ok, so I'll wait for some more thoughts on the Goldberg Variations.
    I the meantime I have aquired the following recordings.

    Beethoven - Symphony no. 9 (Wiener Philharmoniker - Claudio Abbado)
    Beethoven - Piano concerto no. 5 (András Schiff - Staatskapelle Dresden - Bernard Haitink)
    Beethoven - Piano concerto no. 5 (Claudio Arrau - Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra - Bernard Haitink)
    Beethoven - Piano concerto no. 5 (Maurizio Pollini - Berliner Philharmoniker - Claudio Abbado)
    Beethoven - Piano sonatas nr. 8, 12, 14, 17, 21 & 23 (Emil Gilels)
    Beethoven - Piano sonatas nr. 27-32 (Alfred Brendel)
    Beethoven - Triple concerto Op. 56 (David Oistrakh, Mstislav Rostropovich, Sviatoslav Richter - Berliner Philharmoniker - Herbert von Karajan)
    Brahms - Double concerto (David Oistrakh, Mstislav Rostropovich - Cleveland Orchestra - George Szell)
    Debussy - Le Martyre de Saint Sebastien (Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra - Esa-Pekka Salonen)
    Debussy - La Mer (The Cleveland Orchestra - Pierre Boulez)
    Grieg - Three sonatas for violin and piano op. 8, 13 & 45 (Augustin Dumay - Maria Joao Pires)
    Mozart - Violin concertos no. 3 & 5 (Arthur Grumiaux - London Symphony Orchestra - Colin Davis)
    Mozart - Violin concertos no. 3 & 5 (Itzhak Perlman - Wiener Philharmoniker - James Levine)
    Paganini - Violin concertos no. 1-6 (Salvatore Accardo - London Philharmonic Orchestra - Charles Dutoit)
    Rachmaninov - Piano concerto no. 3 (Martha Argerich - RSO Berlin - Riccardo Chailly)
    Rameu - Pieces de Clavecin en Concerts (Jean-Pierre Rampal - Isaac Stern - John Steele Ritter)
    Ravel - Bolero, La valse, Rapsodie Espagnole & Alborada del gracioso (Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal - Charles Dutoit)
    Schubert - String quartet no. 14 (Amadeus Quartet)
    Schubert - Die Schöne Müllerin (Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau - Gerald Moore)
    Schubert - Schwanengesang + 4 Lieder (Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau - Gerald Moore)
    Schubert - Winterreise (Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau - Gerald Moore)
    Sibelius - Violin concerto (Anne-Sophie Mutter - Staatskapelle Dresden - Andre Previn)
    Tchaikovsky - Romeo and Juliet, Francesca da Rimini, Capriccio Italien & Manfred symphony (Russian National Orchestra - Mikhail Pletnev)
    Tchaikovsky - Piano concerto no. 1 (Martha Argerich - Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks - Kirill Kondrashin)

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    Janne: you must be downloading otherwise you'd be laying out a lot of green$$ to obtain CDs.

    But you haven't really said where you're getting your information concerning 'the big ones' i.e., great performances.

    From here some of them look good; others, well okay.


    In any case, for the Goldbergs, Glenn Gould's 1982 version is the one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by janne View Post
    I the meantime I have aquired the following recordings.
    "In the meantime"? You must have a very generous budget.

    Right then, he we go again. Some more for your "essentials" collection:

    Bach: Musical Offering, VC No 1, Concerto for 2 Violins, Art of Fugue, Orchestral Suite No 2, Bass in B Minor

    Beethoven: Missa Solemnis, SQ no 13 + Grosse Fugue, Piano Trio Archduke, Cello Sonata No 3, Violin Sonata No 9 Kreutzer

    Mozart: Requiem K626, Clarinet Quintet, Sinfonia Concertante, serenade Gran Partita, Mass in C Minor, Opera: Le Nozze, DG, Die Zauberflote

    Brahms: Piano Quartet No 1, Variations on a theme by Haydn, Academic Festival overture, Tragic Overture

    Handel: Solomon, Judas Maccabeus

    Haydn: Nelson Mass, The Creation, Trumpet Concerto

    Liszt: Annees de Pelerinage, Les Preludes

    Mozart: Requiem K626, Clarinet Quintet, Sinfonia Concertante, serenade Gran Partita, Mass in C Minor, Opera: Le Nozze, DG, Die Zauberflote

    Schubert: Trout Quintet, Wanderer Fantasy, SQ no 13 & 14, Piano Trios Nos 1 &2, Piano Sonatas 17, 18, 19, 20

    Schumann: Cello Concerto, Carnaval, Dichterliebe, Introduction & Allegro, Symphonic Etudes, Waldzenen, Kinderszenen

    Sibelius: Symphony No 2, Symphony No 5, Symphony No 7, Swan of Tuonela, Tapiola

    I don't want to over-awe you for today, so I will stop here. We still have only scratched the surface. There's tons more, so get too complacent! When you're ready for the next instalment, just let me know, probably tomorrow?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastien Melmoth View Post
    Janne: you must be downloading otherwise you'd be laying out a lot of green$$ to obtain CDs.
    First of all, that was so f***in unnecessary of you to write. What is wrong with ppl on this forum ?
    I'm buying, trading and also selling all my "low class" recordings I owned. I had tons of naxos records for example and a lot of greatest hits collections with even more obscure orchestras.
    I have also sold almost everything in my dear old rock and heavy metal collection which consisted of well over 800 cds and vinyls together.

    The CDs I've aquired now do not even come close to match my former collection in quantity, but probably already does so in quality. Do you have a problem with that ? Do you want me to scan my receits and post them here ? Sorry dude, I won't do that.

    My aim is to aquire such a library that every sophisticated lady I invite will just tear off her clothes as soon as she sees it. That requires physical copies. But I will make backups and save to a hd to be stored in case something happens. Do you have a problem with that too ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastien Melmoth View Post
    But you haven't really said where you're getting your information concerning 'the big ones' i.e., great performances.
    I read reviews, scan the internet for info and I also have some understanding of which orchestras and conductors that are considered to be of more importance than others.
    I also read a lot on this forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastien Melmoth View Post
    In any case, for the Goldbergs, Glenn Gould's 1982 version is the one.
    Maybe I'll go for it.

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