1. Things you need to know about the new ‘Conversations’ PM system:

    a) DO NOT REPLY TO THE NOTIFICATION EMAIL! I get them, not the intended recipient. I get a lot of them and I do not want them! It is just a notification, log into the site and reply from there.

    b) To delete old conversations use the ‘Leave conversation’ option. This is just delete by another name.
    Dismiss Notice

Classical questions and recommendations

Discussion in 'record shop' started by Tony L, Jul 1, 2007.

  1. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I've moved Richard's recent classical recommendations out of the shop listing and into this, their own thread. Whilst specific shop stock changes regularly these recommendations of classical works are pretty much timeless - it seems absurd to delete them when updating the listing each week!

    Please keep any actual orders to the weekly listing thread as usual as it keeps the timeline linear and clear to all (plus aids archiving etc). We can use this thread for longer term discussion and any feedback on recommendations given etc.

  2. lordsummit

    lordsummit Moderator

    Can't believe no-ones bought any this week, there's some fantastic stuff up.
    Some really good early 20th century stuff, this is when music got quite wild and wacky, try some of these:
    Khatschaturian / Rimsky-Korsakov – Gayaneh Ballet Suite / Le Coq D’or Leningrad Philharmonic / Rozhdestvensky, Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux Paris / Markevitch, 1961 German DGG ‘tulip’ SLPEM 136474 stereo. The fragile cover has suffered a bit over the years and shows wear and some creasing (bizarrely DGG covers got much better and stronger in the late 60s through 70s with thicker card and heavy lamination, this is an early type sleeve, thin card and just a ‘sheen’, not proper plastic lamination) but the vinyl is a nice strong EX £4.00.

    Poulenc / Flor Peters – Mass In G Major, Exultate Deo, Slave Regina / Missa Festiva OP62, Bond, Scott / Choir Of St Johns Cambridge Guest, scarce 1977 release on Argo, strong EX/EX to NM nice item £5.00

    This piece is immense, it's not squeaky Schoenberg, but Schoenberg the ultimate romantic, this is what he turned his back on because he couldn't do it any better:
    Schoenberg – Gurre-Lieder, Thomas, Napier / BBC Symphony Orchestra / Boulez, CBS 2xLP excellent modern work in EX/EX condition. This is accessible post-romantic stuff, not serial / tone row composition £8.00

    Ditto, plus an achingly beautiful piece by Richard Strauss:
    R. Strauss / Wagner – Metamorphosen / Sigfried Idyl, AOSMITF / Marriner, Argo ZRG 604 stereo original oval logo edition with laminated sleeve – this is a 1969 release so very late for an ‘oval’ Argo and therefore probably pretty scarce, the sleeve has some light creasing and storage wear, the vinyl is a nice EX £3.50.

    If you're at all interested in this period of music these pieces are all a must:
    Bartok – Concerto For Orchestra, BPO / Karajan, DGG Priv.
    Bartok – String Quartets 3 & 4, Fine Arts Quartet, Saga.
    Bartok – String Quartets 5 & 6, Fine Arts Quartet, Saga.

    Another fascinating piece here, the Berg violin concerto, it's a 12 note piece (that means it's very dissonant) but Berg still wanted music to be expressive, so it's that as well.
    Berg / Stravinsky – Violin Concertos, Perlman / Boston SO / Ozawa, DGG, bad sticker mark (I just can’t get the damn thing off!).

    A bit of light relief here, but this record is wonderful, well worth £2.50 of anyone's money:
    Bliss / Britten – Checkmate (Ballet Suite / Matinees Musdicales, Sinfonia / Bliss / Philharmonia / Irving, HMV Concert Classics.

    This piece has the most amazing beginning and end, and the middle ain't bad either. It needs about 40 brass players to play this piece......
    Janacek – Sinfonietta / Taras Bulba, Chicago SO / Ozawa, RPO / Kebelik, HMV Concert Classic.

    Here you have a great fiddle concerto, with possibly it's most convincing exponent. What more could you want?
    Prokofiev / Miaskovsky – Violin Concerto 2 / Cello Concerto, Oistrakh / Philharmonia / Galliera, Rostropovich / Sargent, HMV CC.

    Some more great Prokofiev here:
    Prokofiev – Symphony 1 / Suite From Three Oranges / Lieutenant Kije Suite, Orchestre National De France / Maazel, CBS MW.
    Bartok / Ravel – Piano Concerto No 3 / G Maj, Katchen / LSO / Kertesz, Recut, couple of very light hairlines so VG++.
  3. zener

    zener fluff

    I'm going through a serious Baroque phase , so Tony what do you have of that era , apart from the obvious , excuse my ignorance.
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    My ignorance is almost certainly greater! To me Baroque means Bach(s), Telemann, Handel, Vivaldi, Purcell & Scarlatti, beyond this my knowledge quietly expires...

  5. lordsummit

    lordsummit Moderator

    Zener you could try some of these. I don't know what you've got, so any repetitions I do apologise:

    For me part of the interest in baroque is the use of the voice. From Tony's box sets these look interesting:

    An interesting baroque opera:
    Gluck – Armide, Palmer / City Of London Sinfonia / Hikox, HMV dig 3xLP, some cover fading & wear, vinyl mint.

    Some rather nice Handel
    Handel – Ariodante, Baker / ECO / Leppard, Philips 4xLP.Handel – Solomon, Watkinson / English Baroque Soloists / Gardiner, Philips 3xLP

    Some interesting single LP's as well:
    A Bach cantata, one of the things he did best:
    J.S. Bach – Bauern-Kantate, Concentus Musicus Wien / Harnoncourt, Telefunken, gf, insert.
    The harpsichord, love it or loathe it's one of the key instruments of the period
    J.S. Bach / Scarlatti Partia in B Min BWV 831 / Seven Harpsichord Sonatas, George Malcolm, Three Centuries

    I think you might like this:
    Corette – Concerto for Flute & Harpsichord / For Flute / Sonata for Harpsichord and Violin, Mainz Chamber Orchestra / Kehr, deep-groove Vox Turnabout, one slight mark

    If you haven't got these they are well worth a punt:
    Handel – Concerti Grossi OP3, Das Collegium Aureum, 1968 Swiss Ex Libris 2xLP, gf, very nice item £4.50.

    I'm a big fan of Scarlatti, he wrote some beautiful music:
    Scarlatti – Sinfonias 6-11, Cantilena / Shepherd, RCA

    Teleman in his day was bigger than Bach, well worth a listen:
    Telemann Overture In C / Violin & Trumpet Concerto / Oboe Concerto, Kolner Kammerorchester / Muller-Bruhl, 60s Swiss Ex Libris, some laminate lifting and crease to flip-back.
    Telemann / Tartini / Reichardt – Violin Concertos, Kussmaul / Capella Clememtina / Muhler-Bruhl, Philips.

    Some nice Vivaldi, suits you sir:
    Vivaldi – Concerti: Flute OP8 No 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12 from Trial or Harmony & Invention / Flute Concerto RV429 / Cello Concerto RV424, Standage, Preston, Pleeth / English Concert / Pinnock, CRD 2xLP, gf (some cover wear) £4.50.

    If you haven't got a four seasons, Tony's got a few, I'd pick one of those up too!

    Also some odds and sods, baroque comes like that sometimes:
    Maurice Andre – nice Swiss LP on EX Libris featuring the great trumpeter playing works by Vivaldi, Albinoni, Tartini and Stoezel.
    Dan Smithers - The Trumpet Shall Sound, Clarion Consort featuring works by Purcell, Blow, Morley, Handel, Dowland etc, Philips.

    This looks wonderful, and could be a great introduction to early baroque:
    Venetian Festival Music (Gabrieli / Scheidt / Schutz), Bach Choir, Wilbraham Brass Society, Kings College Choir / Willcocks, HMV

  6. zener

    zener fluff

    Thanks very much , you are on my christmas list ...Jon
  7. zener

    zener fluff

  8. duncan

    duncan ...

    There is some great stuff in the opera boxed sets. They are lovely items to own too with proper sized booklets and lyrics you'd pay £6+ for in a theatre. Even if you don't think you like opera right now, the following are good introductions. For most people opera takes a few tries before you get the hang of it but, like coffee, beer or sex, it's well worth cultivating the taste!

    Verdi – Otello, Vinay, Nelli, Valdengo / NBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus / Toscanini, HMV ALP1090-2 / RLS 609, with booklet...
    This sounds like a lovely item. It's also the greatest performance of the greatest Italian opera (IMO). Not demonstration sound but a blistering performance. If you can't stretch to the price, then this is a decent alternative:
    Verdi – Otello, Monaco / VPO / Karajan, Decca nb 3xLP.

    Verdi – Il Trovatore, Price, Domingo / New Philharmonic / Mehta, RCA 3xLP.
    Last week we were playing 'name your favourite 10 operas' on the way home from a night at the theatre. All four in the car had Il Trovatore on their lists. You'll know some of it even if you don't think you know it, so grab a pizza, open a bottle of vino rosso and sing along with Leontyne and Placido.

    Mozart – Cosi fan Tutte, Schwarzkopf / Philharmonia / Bohm, HMV ASD 3xLP, box VG++ contents NM.
    Any one of the famous Mozart operas are essential. Mozart wrote as if for the voice, even when he wasn't writing for the voice, so hear him doing what he does best. Classic performance.

    Verdi – Requiem Mass, Schwartzkopf, Ludwig / Philharmonia / Giulini, HMV 2xLP.
    Not an opera, but very operatic, so a good starter if you're uncomfortable with trained voices. A must for Alan Freeman fans!

    Haydn – The Creation, Janowitz, Ludwig / BPO / Karajan, ...
    Not an opera either, but the best thing Haydn ever did and a wonderful anti-depressant.

    I'd second Richard's recommendation of Gurrelieder, an amazing piece.
  9. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Thanks Duncan, much appreciated. I’ll never understand why classical boxes tend to be slow movers compared to single albums – I have way more boxes than individual works in my own collection, they are as you say lovely things.

  10. denni55

    denni55 pfm Member

    another cracking list Tony,i'm working my way slowly thru' them.the boxed sets are mainly operatic and i suppose like me most folk skim over them.
    was listening to R3 this lunchtime and classical requests played a nice "carnival of the animals",the programme was on a French theme and would like a vinyl version when and if it comes around.i have a double cd "best of" but the black disc should be much better.
    auditioning a set of Totem Forests this week,so the LP12 is going to be busy.will probably Ebay my Kabers,
    there's nought wrong with them but i heard the Totem range at the Scottish hi fi bash the other weekend and boy do they Swing!.


  11. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    My latest pfm record parcel arrived; in it was a copy of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. I bought it because my wife and I went to see Black Swan at the cinema a couple of months back. The LP is an RCA Red Seal Dynagroove recording, catalogue number LSC-2688, stereo, from 1964. I played it today – wow! What a dynamic sound! I was quite taken aback.

    I checked in on Tony’s Classical record label FAQ, but I am bit mystified as to exactly where it sits; it’s a Living Stereo recording, but the label has HMV’s Nipper the dog on it and there is no corresponding picture on the FAQ page.

    In any case, a fine record; are all RCA Red Seal Dynagroove recordings this good Tony?
  12. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    That one was a Canadian 'deep-groove shaded dog', i.e. a red label with Nipper in a black shaded oval at the top. The term 'Dynagroove' appeared in 1963 towards the end of the Living Stereo run. A new website / forum dedicated to the Shaded Dog Living Stereos can be found here. Looks like it will grow into a interesting resource. There are a lot of label variations with these records, especially when you get to the UK, where they bare no resemblance to the US / Canadian issues. Some wonderful records. I'm prepared to be proven wrong, but I'm pretty certain that Tchaikovsky is a Canadian first issue.


    PS no one should confuse 'Dynagroove' with 'Dynaflex', the former being substantial 60s vintage deep-groove pressings, the latter being remarkably thin and flimsy records dating from the US oil-shortage period in the 70s (they can sound remarkably good though!).
  13. wylton

    wylton Naim and Mana member

    Thanks for that Tony; I'll try another one then!
  14. Joco

    Joco pfm Member

    I'm a near newbie on the subject but would like some advice on some accessible Cello / Piano / Violin works which would be a good introduction into the subject. I am not necessarily asking for solo Instrument LP's just a gateway into the best that these instruments have to offer. Any and all advice is welcome, I realise the above may be a tad vague but hopefully its a starting point.


  15. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I've copied this to a separate thread in the music room here in the hope it gets a few recommendations. For cello I'd certainly recommend the Bach sonatas, and also Du Pre's Elgar, though I've not got either in stock!

  16. Joco

    Joco pfm Member

    Thanks Tony:)
  17. BTC3

    BTC3 pfm Member

    Apologies if it's not the done thing here to resuscitate old threads, but I was wondering if you experts might have some suggestions for a good CD version of Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor and/or Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue?
    Many thanks,
  18. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    60s period Bernstein tends to be well liked for the Gershwin, though apparently he takes a few liberties with the score. I'll defer to others for the Grieg. Try asking in the music room, you'll probably get more input.
  19. BTC3

    BTC3 pfm Member

    Thanks Tony, will re-post.
  20. Bemused

    Bemused What's this all about then?

    This was a great thread, sure be cool if some guys with knowlage could guide us through the classical and jazz in the CD store :)

Share This Page


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice