Classical Music Favorites

These recommendations from many people have been compiled from various online newsgroups and message boards over the years. I've left duplicate recommendations intact so that you can judge popularity of different works.
See also our list of Classical Music Books with links to Amazon.


Iberia (Larrocha, London)


Brandenburg Concerti Menuhin Seraphim 2fer (bargain)
Orchestral Suites Pinnock
Mass in B
Goldberg Variations Glenn Gould (Sony)
Goldberg variations (Gould, 1981) Sorry, Matthew Tepper!
Sonatas and Partitas for violin (Szeryng)
Well-Tempered Clavier (Feinberg)


Concerto for Viola and Orchestra Christ/Ozawa/BPO
Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta Ozawa/BPO
String Quartets Juilliard Quartet


Missa Solemnis
Piano Concerti Fleischer & Szell
Pno Cntos- 3cds Sony Fleisher/Cleveland/Szell
Piano Sonatas Op. 109-111 (Richard Goode)
String Quartets, you might start with a middle period set (Opus 59), if you don't want to get all 16 Piano Sonatas, you've already started exploring worth continuing
Syms:1 & 6 RCA Chicago/Reiner
Symphonies 2 & 8 EMI LCP/Norrington (digital/ period inst)
Symphonies 3,5,6,7,8 and 9 at the least
Symphonies 3&8 Sony Cleveland/Szell
Symphonies 4 & 6 Sony Columbia SO/Walter
5th / 7th Klieber DG Originals
Symphonies 5&7 DGG BPO/Kleiber
Symphonies 5th and 9th
Symphony No. 6 (Karajan, DG)
Symphony 7 don't have a good recording of this
Sym 8 Harnoncourt
Symphony 9 (Furtwangler, Reiner, Szell or early 60's Karajan)
Symphony 9 Tahra Philharmonia/Furtwanlger (1954) (mono) or DGG Staatskapelle Dresden/ Sinopoli (digital)
Violin Concerto Heifetz
Violin concerto (Oistrakh, Heifetz, among others)
Piano Sonatas ("Pathetique", "Tempest", "Appasianato", "Moonlight", "Pastorale" various
Triple Concerto (Oistrakh et al),
Piano Concertos
Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7
Missa Solemnis (Toscanini 1940, Levine)
last 3 sonatas, op. 109, 110, 111 (I like Arrau, Fischer, Hess, Michelangeli, etc. in these pieces, but a fine, available disc of all 3 is Brendel's newest one)
symphony #9 (there have been many great performances of this work. I have no real preference amongst the various Furtwaengler's, Toscanini's, Klemperer's, Kubelik, Karajan, et. al.)


Symphony Fantastique Stokowski


Symphony No. 2 (Gergiev/RPO, Philips)
Sym 2: Seraphim VPO/Kubelik


Pno Ctos- 2 cds DGG Gilels/Jochum
String Quintet in G, Op 111 Berlin Philharmonic Octet
Symphonies Walter
Sym 1. Either Furtwaengler/Hamburg or Karajan (DG Originals)
Symphony 1 Bruno Walter (Sony)
Symphony No.1 Klemperer. EMI
Symphony 1 (Szell)
Syms: 2 & 3 Sony, Columbia SO/Walter
Sym 1 Tahra NDRSO/Furtwangler (mono)
Sym 4 DGG VPO/Kleiber
Symphony #3 (Abbado)
Piano Concertos
symphony #3+4 (Klemperer)
Violin Concertos Heifetz, CSO, Reiner. RCA Victor Living Stereo 1 CD


Sym 4, DGG BPO/Jochum;
Symphony No. 4


Preludes Martha Argerich (DG)
Nocturnes (Moravec)
Piano Concerto #2 (Ax),


Florida Suite (Beecham, EMI or Mackerras, Argo)


7th, 8th, and 9th Giulini EMI (double forte)
Piano Trio in F minor (forgot the details, sorry think its Sony)
Symphony 9 (Kubelik)
Symphonies 7-9 & Symphonic Variations. CGA & Colin Davis. Philips Duo 2 CD


Cello Concerto Jacqueline DuPre (EMI)
Cello Concerto & Sea Pictures


Peter Gynt


Symphony No.2 "Romantic" (Hanson, Mercury or Schwarz, Delos)


Piano Sonata in B minor (Pollini, DG or Argerich, DG)
Consolations #3 (Van Cliburn)


Concerto for Orchestra (DePriest, Delos)


Sym 1 Bernstein DG
Sym 4 Szell
Sym 5 EMI New Philharmonia/Barbirolli).
Symphony 2 (Klemperer)
Symphony no.5 Karajan/BPO
Symphony #9 (Karajan)


Syms 3 & 4 London SFSO/Blomstedt
Symphonies 4&5 (possibly Blomstedt.)
/Bruch Violin Concertos Vengerov (Teldec)
Piano Concerto #2 (Serkin)


Ave verum corpus (I can't remember)
The Marriage of Figaro Sir Georg Solti (London)
Jupiter Fricsay
Late Symphonies including 40 and 41 Fricsay DG 2fer
Mass in C Minor (Leppard/Te Kanawa/Cotrubas)
Piano Concerti Gardiner & Bilson
Pno Ctos- try the two Philips Duos with Brendel/ASMF/Marriner for a cheap way to get the later ones.
Sinfonia Concertante Phillips/Gallagher/Orpheus C.O.
Symphonies Neville Marriner
Symphonies 40 & 41 (Kubelik)
Piano Concerto #20 (Ashenazy)
Symphonies 35-41 BPO & Böhm. DG Originals 2 CD
Cosi Fan Tutte (Boehm I can't believe I'm picking a Boehm recording!)
Don Giovanni and Magic Flute (Klemperer)
Marriage of Figaro (Kleiber)
Symphonies #39-41 (Klemperer)


Pictures At An Exhibition Karajan (DG)


Sym 4 (Chicago SO/Martinon)


Carmina Burana (Joachum) Philips Duo 2 CD


Sextet (Roge etc., London)


Piano Concerto No. 3 (Argerich, DG or Parker, Telarc)
Alexander Nevsky


Tosca Maria Callas (EMI)
Madama Butterfly (Karajan with Freni)


Sym 2 Previn
Piano Concerto #3 (Kissin)


Piano Concerto in G major (Duchable, Erato or Argerich, DG or


Scheherazade Stokowski
Scheherazade (Reiner)


Symphony #3 (Dutoit)


Piano Sonata in B flat D960 (Goode, Nonesuch or Horowitz, RCA :-))
9th / Haydn 88th Furtwangler DG Originals (mono from the 50's)
Impromptus: Brendel on a Philips DUO is economical
String Quartet in d, D 810 "Death and the Maiden" Brodsky Quartet
Symphony 8 & 9 Furtwangler
Symphony #9 "The Great" (can't remember).
Piano Trios Beaux Arts Trio on Philips (2 CD)
Symphonies, esp. 5,6,8,9


Sym 3 (+ Beethoven 5) DGG LAPO/Guilini
Fantasy in C for piano (Richter)
Schumann/Grieg Piano Concertos Radu Lupu, LSO, Previn. Decca


Symphony 5 Stokowski
String Quartet no. 8 Kronos Quartet.
Piano Trio in e minor (The only recording I have is Ma, Ax and Stern which I don't like. I've heard much better live performances)


Sym 5 (DG BPO/von Karajan) and
Symphony 2 (Blomstedt or Ormandy)
violin concerto Lin


Rite of Spring (Eiji Oue)


Spem In Alium Tallis Scholars (Gimell)


1812 Overture Stokowski
Marche Slav Stokowski
Symphony 5 & 6 Stokowski
Symphonies 4, 5, and 6 Mravinsky DG (double CD)
Symphony No. 6 Karajan/VPO
Syms: 4-6 DGG Leningrad PO/Mravsky (mono or stereo)
violin concerto Heifitz/Reiner


Requiem Giulini
Requiem (Solti),
Falstaff (Bernstein) WPO & Carlos Kleiber. DG Originals 1 CD


Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg (Solti, the new recording)
Tristan Und Isolde (Furtwaengler)

My Personal Favorite Classical works/CDs not on the above list

Verdi Rigoletto highlights, Laserlight
Mozart Requiem
Brahms German Requiem, DG
Elgar Enigma Variations
Chopin Polonaises, especially opus 53
Wagner Ring (start with a highlights CD/set)
Greig/Rachmaninov (#2)/Tchaikovsky (#1) Piano concertos (often 2 of these on 1 CD)
Puccini La Boheme (or any Puccini highlights CD)

Copyright 1997-2005 David J. Nixon. All Rights Reserved