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American Record Guide - Top 25 recordings


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Initial post: Nov 14, 2012 4:13:37 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 14, 2012 4:14:08 PM PST
carnola says:
In the Nov/Dec 2012, the editor, Donald Vroon, asked his reviewers to name their top 25 recordings for his 25th anniversary issue as editor. Some responded under protest, some didn't respond at all. He asked them not to put anything on the list because they thought it should be there, but to list only personal favorites that they also considered great. Including his own list, there were 24 responses. The recordings below were the ones I could find that appeared on multiple lists (some lists were alphabetical by composer, but some appeared to be in random order--maybe the reviewers own rank ordering--so I may have missed something).

Bach: Goldberg Variations (Gould - 1955) - 4
Bach: Goldberg Variations (Gould - 1981) - 4
Beethoven: Sym 5 & 7 (C. Kleiber) - 2
Beethoven: Sym 9 (Furtwängler, Bayreuth 1951) - 2
Beethoven: Missa Solemnis (Klemperer) - 2
Brahms: Requiem (Klemperer) - 3
Britten: War Requiem (Britten) - 2
Mahler: Sym 2 (Mehta) - 2
Mahler: Sym 3 (Bernstein - Sony) - 2
Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde (Reiner - RCA) - 2
Puccini: Tosca (Callas/DeSabata) - 3
R. Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier (Karajan - EMI) - 2
Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker (Dorati - Philips) - 2
Wagner: Ring (Solti) - 6 (plus a single vote for Götterdämmerung)

Posted on Nov 14, 2012 4:38:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 14, 2012 4:39:33 PM PST
Wagner: Ring (Solti) - 6 (plus a single vote for Götterdämmerung) >>>
I spent all week with this one.....
I have had it in my collection for over 30 years!!!!

I've only got 7 of these.
I guess I just don't know my music....

Posted on Nov 14, 2012 4:50:35 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 14, 2012 4:52:56 PM PST
scarecrow says:
carnola, that's a predictable list, no surprises there; like asking if the New York Yankees have ever been in the World Series. . .

I'd take Solti's Mahler Third with Chicago, and Bernstein,New York Phil and Beethoven Ninth. . .Klemperer is a bit slow as Furtwangler for me. . .

loved to hear Bernstein and Callas, "Tosca" at La Scala. . .

there are much better RINGs now than Solti's oldee but Moldee; even if he did have a great cast with Birgit Nilsson; you know that brought Grane (Brunnhilde's horse) as a surprise in the studio. . .

Not to throw cold water on a warm surface;
you know for the 1961 recording there in some places Solti could only record it in one take. . .because of time, and recording equipment. . . . Now you can have all the takes you need to get it right. . .
Barenboim and Bayreuth is quite good. . or Boulez . . .

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 4:56:28 PM PST
KenOC says:
Exactly half the list is made up of Bs...

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 5:22:28 PM PST
David M. says:
No sign of any IQ, either.

Posted on Nov 14, 2012 6:24:53 PM PST
HB says:
I am somewhat surprised the Klemperer Mozart Magic Flute did not make the list, unless it made the magazine and not our forum.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 6:40:33 PM PST
I'm not surprised at all, HB. I'm more surprised that the other sacred cow Magic Flutes, Bohm's and Beecham's, didn't make the cut. Nor Giulini's Don Giovanni.

No Verdi or Mozart!

Bill

Posted on Nov 14, 2012 11:24:11 PM PST
Mandryka says:
These guys are all necrophiliacs, except for 2. And those two are gerontophiliacs.

Surprised (pleasantly) to see Reiner's Lied von der Erde.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2012 11:32:02 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 14, 2012 11:32:38 PM PST
KenOC says:
Britten's version of his War Requiem? Aged singers, slack conducting, hiss, and all? Bow down ye masses! In fact, Hickox rules.

Posted on Nov 15, 2012 5:02:26 AM PST
carnola says:
Note that there are many other selections on the various lists. One reviewer restricted his list to living composers such as Birtwhistle, Blackwood, Corigliano, Carter (well, living at the time he made the list), etc.

HB, K's Magic Flute was on one of the lists.

There were many different versions of some works mentioned, but no two the same: various operas, Bruckner symphonies, etc. Lesser known works abounded on some lists: Noskowski piano quartet (on Olympia), Schickhardt: Concerto for 4 flutes (on Ars Musica), Pablo: Frondoso Misterio (on Claves), Rossi: Michelangelo Madrigals (on Virgin), Langgaard: Antikrist (on DaCapo), Hausegger: Natursymphonie (on CPO) to name just a few.

I suspect older recordings appeared on multiple lists because they've been around longer, had been touted, and more reviewers had heard them. Newer recordings would take a while to circulate, particularly if not in the reviewer's specialty (and most of the reviewers tend to have specialties).

Posted on Nov 15, 2012 5:44:29 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Nov 26, 2013 10:11:35 AM PST]

Posted on Nov 15, 2012 6:13:11 AM PST
Skaynan says:
Seems the list tend towards important "landmarks" in recording history, and that makes it a bit biased. Solti's Ring is an important RECORDING (the first ever of the whole thing, and it's great nonetheless), so are Gould's two Goldbergs, the Klemperer selections, etc.

Posted on Nov 15, 2012 6:18:48 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Nov 26, 2013 10:11:35 AM PST]

Posted on Nov 15, 2012 6:22:38 AM PST
No hip recordings. Only one Baroque work.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 7:57:24 AM PST
Aged singers? Both Vishnevskaya and Fischer-Dieskau were under 40, and even Pears was only 53. Nor do I find the conducting slack, and the hiss doesn't bother me.

And by the way - when the Hickox was recorded, Langridge was 54, Shirley-Quirk 62, and Harper 63. So there!

Bill

Posted on Nov 15, 2012 8:03:01 AM PST
HB says:
Here is another list of great recordings:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2012/05/ten-perfect-orchestral-recordings.html

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 8:10:06 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 15, 2012 10:41:34 AM PST
Actually, in the "Top 25" article in the Nov/Dec '12 ARG, there are not fewer than 625 recordings listed: 25 from each of 25 ARG reviewers including Mr Vroon.

What Carnola did (he points this out in his OP) was to go through the 625 items and cumulate those that had more than one iteration. I had planned to do that myself!

When you look at all 625 listings, a much different---and far more extensive---view emerges.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 9:30:57 AM PST
R. Schroeder says:
Ken...I've often thought about the odd coincidence of how many of the well known composers last names start with a B, M or S. I could probably listen only to composer's whose names start with these three letters and be pretty darn happy about it. Others, from other letters, I would miss, but not as much as I would miss the names on this list.

Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Berlioz, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Mahler, Mussorgsky, Strauss, Shostakovich, Sibelius, and Schubert.

More could be listed, but that is a darn fine list right there.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 9:45:30 AM PST
Martinu and Smetana aren't bad either. But these check-lists are typicaly Czech-less for some reason. Like having a hormone imbalance.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 9:57:10 AM PST
HB says:
"Ken...I've often thought about the odd coincidence of how many of the well known composers last names start with a B, M or S. I could probably listen only to composer's whose names start with these three letters and be pretty darn happy about it."

Eight composers that I would dearly miss are Chopin, Dvorak, Haydn, Prokofiev, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, Verdi and Wagner. I would also miss Janacek and Kodaly. There may be others but I have run out of time.

Posted on Nov 15, 2012 10:22:36 AM PST
R. Schroeder says:
Agreed, I would miss Chopin, Dvorak, Prokofiev, and Tchaikovsky very much....I'm not disagreeing with that.

But I would not miss any of them as much as Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler or Sibelius.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 10:23:18 AM PST
Vaughan writes: "But these check-lists are typicaly Czech-less for some reason".

I made a very quick (and possibly superficial) review of the 625 listings. Suk, Dvorak, and Janacek were the only Czech composers I saw. I didn't see Smetana or Martinu. (I hope I'm wrong and that one of those 25 critics liked something by those composers enough to list). Also, I may not recognize the names of other Czech composers.

Still, Vaughan's point is confirmed by this review.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2012 10:29:33 AM PST
KenOC says:
"Aged singers? Both Vishnevskaya and Fischer-Dieskau were under 40..."

Bill, obviously I intended to type "immature," and somehow my fingers slipped and it came out "aged!" ;-)

Anyway, I do like the Hickox but in fact listen to the Britten version more often. My CD set is from way back when; I understand the hiss level (which was originally quite noticable) was much reduced in a subsequent remastering.

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 4:53:48 AM PST
Tero says:
I used to have some Gould Bach suites but I never played them, so I must have got rid of them. I never had the Goldberg. I don't think I have the harpsichord version even.

So the list seems to be off the mark for me. I wonder what baroque music made it to any of the reviewers' 25?

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 5:48:36 AM PST
carnola says:
Tero,

Lots! Just not much in the way of one recording on multiple lists. A LOT of Bach and quite a bit of Handel including several operas and oratorios.

Also Schutz: Musicalische exequiem (Gardiner), Christmas & Easter Stories (Bernius); Gabrieli: Symphonie Sacrae (Jacobs), Music for San Rocco (McCreesh), Antiphonal Music (Brass sections of Chic SO, Phil O, Clev SO); Monteverdi: Vespers (Gardiner and Schneidt), Madrigals Book 8 (Jacobs); Vivaldi: Op 3 (I Musici), Sacred (Negri), 4 Seasons (Marcon); Purcell: Fairy Queen (Savall), Sacred Music (King's Consort), Fantasias (Fretwork); Blow: Anthems (Winchester); Boyce and Croft: Anthems (New College, Oxford); Gibbons: Second Service & Anthems (Magdalen College); Frescobaldi: Harpsichord (Allesandrini), Harpsichord (Koopman); D Scarlatti: Sonatas (Ross); F Couperin: Harpsichord Books I-IV (Gilbert); Froberger: Harpsichord (Leonhardt)
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Discussion in:  Classical Music forum
Participants:  19
Total posts:  54
Initial post:  Nov 14, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 17, 2012

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