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25 Classical Discs For Beginners

R. J. Ball "Esoteric_13"
 
Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988
Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988
"The greatest ever keyboard variations, the fast variations are a revelation under Perahia's fingers"
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7
"The opening chords are so simple, yet so revolutionary, this is a virtual perfect reading from Kleiber"
Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique/Clťop‚tre
Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique/Clťop‚tre
"Berlioz's symphony of madness, Gergiev brings out extra little touches"
Piano Concerto No.1
Piano Concerto No.1
"Brahms dark Piano Concerto, a masterpiece, Zimerman and Rattle are a great partnership"
Bruch/Mendelssohn - Violin Concertos
Bruch/Mendelssohn - Violin Concertos
"The two most famous romantic Concerto's make a pair, the slow movement in the Bruch is heart-tugging, Perlman is the greatest living Violinist"
Bruckner: Symphony No. 4
Bruckner: Symphony No. 4
"Bruckner's easiest symphony to get to know, Rattle's is a fine modern reading"
Chopin: The Complete Etudes Op 10, Op 25.
Chopin: The Complete Etudes Op 10, Op 25.
"Chopin's Etudes take your breath away, always something new to discover, Lortie's playing is revelationary, little touches of perfection"
Debussy, Dutilleux & Ravel: String Quartets
Debussy, Dutilleux & Ravel: String Quartets
"The Debussy/Ravel combination fits together, the Debussy is so full of nostalgia, these newcomers are as good as any in the catalogue"
DvorŠk - Symphony No 9, 'From the New World'
DvorŠk - Symphony No 9, 'From the New World'
"Dvorak's masterpiece, the slow movement is heavenly, a real warm recording, plus Jansons's disc has one of the most clever booklet covers i have ever seen"
Elgar: Cello Concerto, Enigma Variations
Elgar: Cello Concerto, Enigma Variations
"Elgars two masterpieces, Menuhin brings out the playfulness in many of the variations"
Schumann / Grieg: Piano Concertos
Schumann / Grieg: Piano Concertos
"These two Concerto's go together so well, the Grieg slow movement is wonderful, Vogt and Rattle know what they're doing"
Holst: The Planets
Holst: The Planets
"A great introduction to Classical music, seven very varied little tone poems, Dutoit knows how to colour each one"
Mahler: Symphony No. 5
Mahler: Symphony No. 5
"In my opinion Mahler's greatest symphony, the conclusion is so satisfying, under Chailly the second movement is thrilling, edge of the seat stuff"
Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos 20 & 21
Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos 20 & 21
"Mozart's 20th starts in such a revolutionary way, irresistible!, Schiff has incredible forward momentum, a great pairing"
Prokofiev: Symphonies no 1 & 5
Prokofiev: Symphonies no 1 & 5
"The fifth of Prokofiev is his most satisfying symphony, bringing out all the quirky ideas of this composer, Karajan has tremendous authority here"
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.2 and Works for Piano
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.2 and Works for Piano
"Rachmaninov's slow movement here is justly famous, i love the way Grimaud is so different, bringing individual insights, the Corelli reading is icing on the cake"
Albťniz/Rodrigo/Turina: Rapsodia EspaŮola/Concierto de Aranjuez/Rapsodia Sinfonica etc.
Albťniz/Rodrigo/Turina: Rapsodia EspaŮola/Concierto de Aranjuez/Rapsodia Sinfonica etc.
"Lots of wonderful music here, Bonell brings out the sunshine, of course the slow movement of Aranjuez is so dreamy"
Rossini: 14 Overtures
Rossini: 14 Overtures
"I love the way Rossini works these changes of gears and rhythms, Chailly lets the music speak for itself"
Saint-SaŽns: Organ Symphony / Dukas: L'Apprenti Sorcier
Saint-SaŽns: Organ Symphony / Dukas: L'Apprenti Sorcier
"So many good things are in this symphony, Levine can be robust one moment, and tender the next, a wonderful recording"
Schubert: Piano Sonata D960, 12 German Dances
Schubert: Piano Sonata D960, 12 German Dances
"Schubert's last sonata is the pinnacle of this medium, Kovacevich's reading is darker than most, intense and controlled, truly breathtaking"
Symphony 5 / Festive Overture
Symphony 5 / Festive Overture
"Shostakovich's most accessible symphony, Muti isn't straightforward, a strange but compelling reading"
Sibelius: Symphony No. 2
Sibelius: Symphony No. 2
"A wonderful symphony, full of fresh ideas, a satisfying climax at the end, Jansons brings out the full weight of the profound moments"
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6, Pathetique in B Minor / Romeo and Juliet
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6, Pathetique in B Minor / Romeo and Juliet
"Full of pathos, ending up Tchaikovsky's own Requiem to himself!, Litton isn't a usual first choice, but his reading is so satisfying"
Vaughan Williams - Symphony No 5 & Orchestral Works
Vaughan Williams - Symphony No 5 & Orchestral Works
"VW's best symphony, the slow movement is full of wonder and melancholy, Haitink is slow but thoughtful, and the Chang Lark is a great bonus"
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons
"Vivaldi's most famous, maybe these pieces are over recorded, but Chung brings out something fresh, more thoughtful than full of the usual dash"