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#213207 - 06/26/08 07:50 PM Classical Music Recommendations
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7031
Loc: Canada
I have been a casual listener for years, but have never owned any classical discs.

Seeing as 1/2 of the collection at my local library is classical, and there are some connesuers here, I am looking for recommendations.

What is your favourite and why?
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#213239 - 06/27/08 12:19 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: fredk]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10363
Fred, borrowing CDs from the library is good for getting an idea about the specific music involved, but the performance and the sound quality on the disc are also very important and could lead to disappointment that wouldn't happen with the same music, but better performance and sound. The point is that it isn't helpful sometimes to buy or borrow a disc just because it happens to contain certain musical compositions. Some have scores of different CDs available, and they vary widely in quality, with resulting musical enjoyment also varying.

I'll suggest the following specific CDs: The Planets ; Swan Lake ; Symphonic Dances ; Hungarian Dances ; Vocalise ; Stravinsky collection ; Latin American collection(buy from Amazon seller) . These aren't necessarily what are considered the "great" classical compositions, but they're colorful and exciting music(the Moffo CD which includes the Vocalise is the most beautiful vocal collection that I've ever heard)that should appeal to most listeners.
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#213241 - 06/27/08 01:34 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: JohnK]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7031
Loc: Canada
As always, I'm posting only half of what I thought.

Yes, I meant pieces that are both well recorded and a good intro to classical.

I have listened to bits of Swan Lake several times and it never turned my crank.
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Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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#213273 - 06/27/08 12:23 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: fredk]
EFalardeau Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 08/27/07
Posts: 3270
Loc: Laval, Quebec, Canada
This is a vast question as "classical music" encompasses 1000 years and varies greatly in terms of style and audiences. If you want to have "samplers" and then start narrowing down, I'll try to type a few (going for diversity).

Orchestral work
---------------
1) Bach's Brandenburg concertos (with Goebel or Dantone if possible)
2) Any Mozart's piano concertos (preferably #18 or higher and preferably with Barenboim)
3) Beethoven's symphonies (preferable #3 or higher)
4) Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique (Coling Davis or Igor Markevitch)
5) Schumman's Symphonies no 3&4 (Harnoncourt)
6) Borodin's Symphonies 2&3 (Barenboim)
7) Debussy's La Mer (Boulez)
8) Dukas's Symphony (usually comes with La Peri and L'apprenti sorcier)

Chamber Music
-------------
1) Bach's solo cello suites (Harnoncourt, Casal)
2) Mozart's quintet for clarinet and/or trio for clarinet, viola and piano
3) Beethoven's string quartet from the middle period (7-11) (Italiano)
4) Brahms quintet for piano (Grumiaux)
5) Chopin polonaises
6) Schubert's Moments Musicaux

Vocal & Opera
-------------
1) Bach's cantata (any one, ideally from Teldec with Harnoncourt or Leonhardt)
2) Highlights for any opera from Mozart
3) Schubert's Die Schone Mullerin or Die Winterise (lieders)
4) Highlights from Verdi's Il Trovatore
5) Bizet's Carmen (actually there is a fairly good movie)
6) Mozart's Requiem (Harnoncourt)

This is a very, very quickly put together list as I was typing.
Once you sample a few things, it gets a lot easier to help with further selection.
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#213299 - 06/27/08 02:32 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: EFalardeau]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7031
Loc: Canada
Thank you for your considered response Eric.

Sometimes you don't have, or can't remember the words to describe what you are looking for.

I have been exposed to Orchestral and some chamber music. The orchestral is largely what my parents listened to;most likely Mozart, Bethoven, Bach...

I have very much enjoyed some of the Symphonies I have listened to. I have also enjoyed some pieces for Cello.I really like the sound of the Cello.

At the moment I am listening to Folies, Les Voix Humains picked up based on the piece Les Folies d'Espagne, which I listened to on the radio on a most beautiful winter day while on my way to Axiom for an audition. Oh my. Such a rich sound!!

I had never heard of the Viola da Gambe until I listened to this piece.

I also picked up (from the library) Bach the Cello Suites, Steven Iserlis
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Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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#213330 - 06/27/08 03:42 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: fredk]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7031
Loc: Canada
Les Folies d'Espagne is definately everything I remembered it as. This disc is a keeper.
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#213416 - 06/27/08 11:10 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: fredk]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10363
Fred, the mention of a musical instrument doesn't usually bring a specific recording immediately to mind, but your mention of the cello does here. The Dvorak Cello Concerto is considered by many(including me)to be the finest of the cello concertos, and of course there're several fine recordings available. However, outstanding is the performance by Pierre Fournier on a disc which also includes Bloch's haunting Schelomo and Bruch's Kol Nidrei. And there're practically giving it away!
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#213418 - 06/27/08 11:45 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: JohnK]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7031
Loc: Canada
Thanks John. I'll put it on my list
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#213549 - 06/29/08 12:20 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: fredk]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7031
Loc: Canada
I listened to the Bach Cello suites, well disc 1 anyway, tonight. Very nice. I just love the sound of this instrument!
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Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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#213550 - 06/29/08 12:22 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: fredk]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I may have to look into that one.
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#213553 - 06/29/08 12:24 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: CV]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7031
Loc: Canada
Its quite mellow. I found it very relaxing to listen to.

I think I am going to be visiting my local library quite often in the next few months.
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#214251 - 07/03/08 01:20 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: fredk]
Kruncher Offline
devotee

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 484
Loc: Maple Ridge, BC
Speaking of relaxing discs, I've had this one from Hennie Bekker for some time, albeit with both different cover art and name, so it was tough to find the link, but that's the recording nonetheless.

For both my wife and I, it's been our "go to" classical disc for a few years now, really lush sounding. Just beautiful. Obviously the sample links don't do it justice, but you get the idea.

We've bought quite a number of classical CDs since, but just haven't enjoyed them near as much. Any recommendations for similarly produced music would be very much appreciated.


Edited by Kruncher (07/03/08 01:20 PM)

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#214347 - 07/03/08 11:27 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: Kruncher]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10363
Krunch, I listened to the samples of the Bekker disc, and hopefully it's as you say that they don't "do it justice" since I didn't care for what I heard and certainly wouldn't recommend something "similarly produced". I noticed that Bekker has several other CDs available if you care for that approach.

You didn't give any examples of the classical CDs that you didn't enjoy as much, so it's a bit hard to make a suggestion that might be helpful. If relaxing is the main point, some of the French music by Debussy or Ravel comes to mind and maybe even more so if the harp is prominently involved. After all, that's what the angels will be playing for us(I was warned that in the other place it's non-stop play of The Best of Britney Spears). For one example, a very nice Debussy/Ravel collection by Nancy Allen is one that I often enjoy.
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#214354 - 07/04/08 01:09 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: JohnK]
Kruncher Offline
devotee

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 484
Loc: Maple Ridge, BC
Thanks John. I did just spend a few minutes on Amazon listening to samples of his other works. Some are definitely more appealing than others. I'm not one for the nature sounds mixed in with the music.

Nancy's CD sounds very nice. I'll pick it up next time I order a few items from Amazon. Can I trouble you to point out some specific great Ravel recordings? I'll search the forums for previous references to them in the meantime.

Thanks again.

Edit: I found one of your posts from March discussing the Mobile Fideltiy Ravel SACD. Sounds good. There's two to order.


Edited by Kruncher (07/04/08 01:16 AM)
Edit Reason: Quick follow-up

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#214356 - 07/04/08 01:28 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: Kruncher]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
If you like relaxing to piano, Ravel and Debussy (and Liszt and Griffes) are represented on this disc which was recommended to me by Alan:

Amazon.com - "Water Music" of the Impressionists - Carol Rosenberger

I really like this recording. I'd say it's one of my best classical purchases, though I know it's not a steal from a price perspective.
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#214357 - 07/04/08 01:58 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: Kruncher]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10363
Yes, if you're willing to splurge a bit, that Mobile Fidelity disc is exceptional. Now let me point out probably the biggest bargain available in Ravel, the 3-disc re-mastered set of the performances by Martinon of practically the entire Ravel orchestral output. Don't worry about duplication, of course.
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#214358 - 07/04/08 02:18 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: JohnK]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Hey, I bought that Dvorak Cello Concerto disc, and I'm listening to it now. It's very cool so far. Thanks for the recommendation!
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#214359 - 07/04/08 02:25 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: CV]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10363
Yes, the Dvorak is great and the haunting nature of Schelomo is unforgetable.
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#214941 - 07/10/08 06:54 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: JohnK]
spiffnme Offline
axiomite

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5214
Loc: Los Angeles
Seeing the LA Phil this week has inspired me to dig out my classical disc again, and look for some more good stuff.

Here are some things I'm interested in finding REALLY good recording/performances of (hybrid SACD's would be a plus)

Beethoven's 7th symphony

The Tchaikovsky symphonies

Samuel Barber Adagio for Strings

something like the second movement(?) of Beethoven's Piano Concerto no. 5 - a nice quiet piano concerto

Piano & Cello? Are there works specifically focused on these two instruments together?
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#214942 - 07/10/08 07:02 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: spiffnme]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17741
Loc: NoVA
That all sounds like good stuff to me.
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#214944 - 07/10/08 08:10 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: Ken.C]
AdamP88 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 08/12/03
Posts: 639
Loc: Omaha, NE
For Beethoven's 7th, Deutsche Grammaphon has an SACD of #s 5 and 7 conducted by Carlos Kleiber. The sound quality is quite good, but I'm not particularly sold on the interpretations. I've got the complete symphonies conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt w/ the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and while the recording quality is nothing special and the performances themselves aren't as precise, I really like the overall interpretations.

This Telarc recording has Barber's Adagio on it, as well as a great recording of Faure's Pavane for a Dead Princess and a couple Satie Gymnopedies. Truth be told I find the Satie and Faure more interesting performances, but it's up to the usual stellar Telarc recording quality.

I don't know if you're familiar with Rachmaninoff's piano concerti, but I'd suggest checking out #2 and 3, both of which have absolutely gorgeous second movements. Telarc has an SACD of #3 with Lang Lang playing with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic that's quite nice. Brahms' 2 concerti are also quite good.


Edited by AdamP88 (07/10/08 08:10 PM)

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#214945 - 07/10/08 08:42 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: AdamP88]
spiffnme Offline
axiomite

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5214
Loc: Los Angeles
We have similar tastes. I have the Kleiber SACD and have the same impression of it.

I also have the complete Harnoncourt Beethoven symphonies and really enjoy them.

I'll look into the others. Thanks.
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#214951 - 07/10/08 11:27 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: spiffnme]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17741
Loc: NoVA
I have the Deutsche Grammaphon one on CD. Guess I'll have to look into a different version.
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#214953 - 07/11/08 02:47 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: spiffnme]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10363
Craig, was that the performance of Carmina Burana at the Bowl on Tuesday night that you heard?

Chamber music compositions for just about every possible combination of instruments exist, including cello and piano(general category "cello sonata"). There are a whole bunch and I'll suggest these French compositions as an excellent collection at a bargain price.

The Tchaikovsky collection on 7 discs that we discussed in the past which includes all the symphonies and some other works is still outstanding.

The Schippers Barber collection is my top recommendation for the Adagio for Strings and the other items.

As far as the Beethoven 7th, in my view you already have the best one in the Kleiber performance with the 5th.




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#214976 - 07/11/08 11:53 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: JohnK]
spiffnme Offline
axiomite

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5214
Loc: Los Angeles
 Quote:
Craig, was that the performance of Carmina Burana at the Bowl on Tuesday night that you heard?

It sure was! It was outstanding!
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#214979 - 07/11/08 12:18 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: spiffnme]
spiffnme Offline
axiomite

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5214
Loc: Los Angeles
fyi...this is a GREAT source for classical music beginners to get an idea of what they like. It has short clips from 100 different pieces of classical music and comes with a short description of each. It's really terrific. And at $0.49 why shouldn't you buy it?
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#215049 - 07/11/08 09:15 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: spiffnme]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10363
Yeah, Craig; I see that you agree with "C.Rogers" of L.A. as to its usefulness(of course there's also $2.98 for shipping). What I thought was interesting was the guy who wanted $29 instead of 49 cents. I heard that he was a Monster Cable employee, which is where he learned how to charge for audio items.
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#215293 - 07/15/08 10:43 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: JohnK]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6740
Loc: PEI, Canada
I too have renewed an interest in Classical since now actually having speakers that let you hear the music as intended. I've been keeping a spreadsheet of "stunning recordings" from this board for a while now. I thought this tab of the classical genre might prove useful. I already added a few from this thread so some are repetitious.

Basically my criteria to make it to this list was that it had to be recommended as acoustically superior recording and that there was enough information (usually the Title & Conductor or an actual link) so that I could be sure I would find the correct version. If I couldn't narrow it down from a bunch of variations, it might not have made the list. My apologize if someones suggestion didn't make it to my sheet, I wasn't religious about it, I just added a few whenever I thought of it, while reading the board.

I have purchased 12 from this list so far and thoroughly enjoy each one of them. So if that is an indication of the odds, you can't go wrong with anything here.

This board strips out extra tabs & spaces when I copy it, so please excuse the formatting. I tried to get the HTML links to survive a mass copy as well. No luck and too lazy to try again. If it's missing the conductor, it was probably a Link and can be found with a forum search to get the exact one, or just ask and I'll check for you.

SUBMITTER TITLE
JohnK "Water Music" of the Impressionists - Carol Rosenberger
Mark Johnson Alexander Nevsky
Mojo Bach and Canadian Brass: Sacred Brass
Efalardeau Bach's Brandenburg concertos (with Goebel or Dantone
Efalardeau Bach's cantata (from Teldec with Harnoncourt or Leonhardt)
Efalardeau Bach's solo cello suites (Harnoncourt, Casal)
JohnK Barber collection (Schippers)
JohnK Beethoven - Nine Symphonies
JohnK Beethoven Symphony No. 9(Wand)
Efalardeau Beethoven's string quartet from the middle period (7-11) (Italiano)
JohnK Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique(Munch)
Efalardeau Borodin's Symphonies 2&3 (Barenboim)
JohnK Brahms Hungarian Dances(Bogar)
Efalardeau Brahms quintet for piano (Grumiaux)
Efalardeau Concerti by Vivaldi
Efalardeau Dukas's Symphony (La Peri and L'apprenti sorcier)
JohnK Dvorak Slavonic Dances(Kubelik)
JohnK Dvorak: Cello Concerto: (Pierre Fournier )
Efalardeau El Amor Brujo (Manual de Falla (ideally the 1915 version))
Efalardeau French suites by Bach (ideally with Gustav Leonhardt or Tom Koopman)
JohnK Holst Planets(Mehta)
Efalardeau La Mer and other orchestral work by Debussy
JohnK Latin American collection(buy from Amazon seller)
Efalardeau Mozart's Requiem (Harnoncourt)
JohnK Orff Carmina Burana(Muti)
JohnK Prokofiev Cinderella(Ashkenazy)
JohnK Rachmaninoff Symphonies, etc. (Ashkenazy)
JohnK Ravel Daphnis et Chloe(Dutoit)
JohnK Ravel: Orchestral Works (Martinon)
JohnK Respighi Roman Festivals(Batiz)
JohnK Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade (Batiz)
Efalardeau Schubert's Die Schone Mullerin or Die Winterise (lieders)
Efalardeau Schubert's Impromptus for piano or his Moments Musicaux
Efalardeau Schumman's Symphonies no 3&4 (Harnoncourt)
Efalardeau Shostakovitch symphonies
JohnK Smetana Ma Vlast(Berglund)
JohnK Stravinsky Rite of Spring(Ozawa)
JohnK Symphonic Dances
JohnK Tchaikovsky Swan Lake(Lanchbery)
JohnK Tchaikovsky Symphonies, etc.(Muti)
Mojo The Quicksilva Collection: Volume 2 ivaldi, Purcell, Handell
JohnK Vaughan Williams Symphony No. 2(Bakels)
JohnK Vocalise
Efalardeau Zoltan Kodaly's sonata pour solo cello opus
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#215333 - 07/15/08 03:33 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: Murph]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
My two additions:

Janine Jansen's recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons is incredible, IMHO. It's my very favorite recording of the 4S and probably my favorite 'classical' album in my collection. http://www.amazon.com/Vivaldi-Four-Seaso...16150642&sr=1-5

The genius of Mozart combined with her talent, expressed through that Stradivarius, via SACD, over my M80's..."it's like buttah". \:\)

As a runner up, I enjoy Sharon Bezaly's Mozart Flute Concertos; Rondo; Andante. Not quite as emotional as the first, but it's a pretty amazing recording as well. http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Concertos-A...16150488&sr=1-4


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#215338 - 07/15/08 03:56 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: PeterChenoweth]
spiffnme Offline
axiomite

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5214
Loc: Los Angeles
You mean the genius of Vivaldi?
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#215375 - 07/15/08 11:03 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: Murph]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10363
That's a great list of candidates for possible purchase there, Andrew. Just to further identify a couple of my suggestions, the "Symphonic Dances" is the Rachmaninoff disc conducted by Batiz and "Vocalise" is the gorgeous RCA disc with Anna Moffo and Stokowski available from Arkiv.
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#215380 - 07/15/08 11:39 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: JohnK]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I keep meaning to look into Vocalise. Thanks for another reminder.

PeterChenoweth, I like those two discs a lot. I bought the Janine Jansen based on your recommendation, and it certainly is fun. I bought the Sharon Bezaly after reading an online review followed by Amazon.com user reviews, and while I don't listen to it as often as the Jansen, I do enjoy it.
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#215394 - 07/16/08 07:26 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: PeterChenoweth]
davidsch Offline
aficionado

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 678
Loc: Houston, Texas
I have the Bezaly Mozart Flute Concerto SACD as well but I think that I only paid $9.99 for it with the BIS catalog. The performance and recording is nice but I discovered that I don't care that much for flute music. After one or two movements, I usually put something else on.

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#215413 - 07/16/08 12:02 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: davidsch]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11146
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Don't flout the flautist!

Actually, I'm with you. I never listen to the whole thing in one sitting. I just take the occasional small dose.
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#215923 - 07/22/08 01:27 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: JohnK]
davidsch Offline
aficionado

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 678
Loc: Houston, Texas
 Originally Posted By: JohnK
Fred, the mention of a musical instrument doesn't usually bring a specific recording immediately to mind, but your mention of the cello does here. The Dvorak Cello Concerto is considered by many(including me)to be the finest of the cello concertos, and of course there're several fine recordings available. However, outstanding is the performance by Pierre Fournier on a disc which also includes Bloch's haunting Schelomo and Bruch's Kol Nidrei. And there're practically giving it away!


Thanks John for this recommendation. I just ordered it from Arkivmusic.com for $6.99.

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#216004 - 07/23/08 12:07 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: davidsch]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10363
Very good, David; if you like great music with the cello prominently featured you should really enjoy those classic performances. As David Hurwitz commented in his editorial review for Amazon, it's a peculiarity of the classical music business that there's no relationship between price and quality of performance, and that this disc is available for around $6 is certainly a great example. Hope that you also ordered some other items to help average down the shipping costs.
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#216014 - 07/23/08 07:21 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: JohnK]
davidsch Offline
aficionado

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 678
Loc: Houston, Texas
John - Yes, I also ordered a disc featuring the Canadian Brass caled Jazz Roots which sounded interesting. It is a 2 CD set of previously released LPs called Rag-Ma-Tazz and Unexplored Territory.

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#216022 - 07/23/08 10:11 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: spiffnme]
PeterChenoweth Offline
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Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
 Originally Posted By: spiffnme
You mean the genius of Vivaldi?



Ummmm.... Yeah.....

Why did I type that Mozart?? I think I might have actually been listening to Mozart when I was typing that. Or maybe I was already moving on to Bezaly's CD....
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#220362 - 09/09/08 09:28 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: PeterChenoweth]
Murph Offline
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Registered: 10/05/06
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Anybody tried this SACD sampler of classical woks yet? It came up on my Amazon, 'we recommend you give us even more money on this,' list.

The Absolute Sound, Telarc SACD Sampler.
.
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#220407 - 09/09/08 03:40 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: Murph]
grunt Offline
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Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
I haven’t heard that one but here is some additional info on it:

http://www.musicdirect.com/product/76526

http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=7013947&style=classical

I haven’t even heard that brand but the others I do have are quite nice.

Dean
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#220469 - 09/10/08 12:41 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: Murph]
JohnK Offline
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Andrew, I'm not really interested in samplers and want the entire performances of compositions that I like. Of the list of excerpts on there I've listened to the complete Runnicles Carmina Burana and the Spano Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony. Both were fine performances and the sound was excellent, but I didn't buy either since I already had performances which I liked better.

One Telarc that I have and can recommend is the beautiful Synphony No. 2 by Howard Hanson(from Wahoo, Nebraska)performed by Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops .
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#220517 - 09/10/08 12:17 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: JohnK]
myrison Offline
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Clearly one of the most talented of the 3,942 people in Wahoo. ;\)
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#324794 - 10/05/10 03:39 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: myrison]
CV Offline
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Does anyone have any specific disc recommendations for Chopin?
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#324895 - 10/05/10 09:58 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: CV]
JohnK Offline
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Charles, I certainly do, but is there something specific that you have in mind which motivated the question? Chopin is best known for his solo piano compositions, but I'm inclined to suggest a recording of his two piano concertos for a first buy. I'll make a suggestion there and as to the various etudes, mazurkas, nocturnes etc., but I'm wondering if you heard something specific that you liked.
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#324901 - 10/05/10 11:01 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: JohnK]
prototype3a Offline
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I can't spell it but I really like Mendelsohnn #64 I believe.
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#324909 - 10/06/10 12:06 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: JohnK]
CV Offline
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John, I was impatient and went ahead and ordered this reasonably priced SACD from Amazon.com:

The Chopin Ballades & Scherzos

I'm still open to your suggestions. As for what I heard, I don't even know. It was a solo piano piece, though.
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#324915 - 10/06/10 01:49 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: CV]
Captain4105 Offline
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Hi CV...You bought the recording I was going to recommend. Rubinstein was a Chopin specialist and universally considered the preeminent interpreter of his compositions. However what you now have is just a sampling of his repertoire and Chopin's works. What a unique composer this man from French/polish heritage was. He died at 39 or so years of age and completely changed the world of keyboard playing.

There are many other works by Chopin and I am sure John has some great suggestions. When you get a chance check out his polonaises as well and the two concerti. Interpretation and sound quality are important to many folks and although subjective it may be better to read some CD/SACD reviews about the various recordings out there or take a tip from one of us. John has asked the right questions of you so that recommendations can be tailored to your personal tastes. I hope you enjoy your purchase.

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#324916 - 10/06/10 02:11 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: Captain4105]
CV Offline
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Thanks, Lee. I'll post back here after I've heard the disc I ordered.
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#324918 - 10/06/10 05:27 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: CV]
JohnK Offline
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Charles, no need to be impatient; these great Chopin works have been around for over 150 years and will exist as long as there are people who enjoy beautiful music. You picked a renowned Chopin artist in Rubinstein, as Lee pointed out, but for a broader sampling of the solo piano works there's an outstanding bargain available. A new 3-disc compilation from Idil Biret's excellent complete edition of all the works is available for about $15 shipped from Amazon sellers .
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#324919 - 10/06/10 05:39 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: JohnK]
CV Offline
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Thanks, John! I'll have to pick that one up sometime.
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#340594 - 03/02/11 12:42 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: CV]
Ken.C Offline
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See this article. I'd like excellent CD/SACD recordings of at least the first 3. John?
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#340601 - 03/02/11 04:13 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: Ken.C]
JohnK Offline
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Will do.
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#340665 - 03/02/11 10:50 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: Ken.C]
JohnK Offline
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Okay, Ken, I listened to/watched those. I think that I see their point, although a lot of the recordings that I've suggested here get me more "pumped up". Be that as it may, I can suggest three excellent recordings which include those compositions. Young Canadian violinist James Ehnes recorded the Paganini Caprices to considerable acclaim, and it's available here . Relatively little-known Eric Himy has an outstanding performance and recording of the Liszt La Campanella and other Liszt favorites on this disc . A fast and furious performance of Brandenburg 5 and other Bach "pumps up" Bach enthusiasts(one way or another) on this .
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#340666 - 03/02/11 11:21 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: JohnK]
Ken.C Offline
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Thanks! One question on the Brandenburg--the harpsichord solo was not really to my taste in that he seemed to be hesitating at weird times. I have another Bach recording where that happens so much, I can't stand to listen to it. Is that how it is intended to be played? Is that how it's ALWAYS played in elite groups?
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#340669 - 03/02/11 11:38 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: Ken.C]
JohnK Offline
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It depends what the "weird times" are, of course. Sure, some performers, but not all, overinterpret and dramatize(they think)where Bach was a little too "straight" in their view. I can say that on the one I suggested, Goebel plays so fast that there's barely time for those indicated in the score for the harpsichordist.
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#340670 - 03/02/11 11:42 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: JohnK]
Ken.C Offline
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See, I like my Bach utterly precise, except perhaps at the end of a passage when one might slow down. Bach should be clockwork.
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#340671 - 03/02/11 11:54 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: Ken.C]
JohnK Offline
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Well, Staier, who plays the harpsichord here, keeps it pretty straight, but fast. And, as the first Amazon reviewer commented, if it's too fast for you, "listen faster!".
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#340672 - 03/02/11 11:55 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: JohnK]
Ken.C Offline
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Oh, I'm good with fast. Blow my mind, man.
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#340673 - 03/03/11 01:18 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: Ken.C]
Ken.C Offline
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Purchased two. I'll wait until the Liszt comes back in stock and perhaps down in price.
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#340676 - 03/03/11 02:02 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: Ken.C]
JohnK Offline
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Ken, you're not likely to be able to do better than those prices now around $11.90. I've used "oddbanana" a couple times with complete satisfaction(received in about five days)and suggest that you order there.
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#340756 - 03/03/11 08:47 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: JohnK]
pmbuko Offline
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John, you should really consider signing up as an Amazon Associate. Then if someone purchases anything you link to, you get a little kickback.
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#340861 - 03/04/11 09:16 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: pmbuko]
JohnK Offline
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You may be right, Peter; and just think, I may get a note from Brittany, as Charles did!
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#341513 - 03/10/11 02:09 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: JohnK]
Captain4105 Offline
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Registered: 01/11/09
Posts: 124
Loc: Southern California
Hi Guys: Ken I understand your frustration with regard to the precision of a group in its performance of pieces like the Brandenburgs. However the practice of the day was for the harpsichord to improvise at certain places in the piece. If you listen to two or three recordings of just one concerto you will here many differences in the outcome. That's why I have about four recordings of these concerti. John's suggestion for the Bach will be period performances. Those groups sound very different from those who use modern instruments. That too is an issue at least for me as I prefer the modern. Ironically my favorite rendition as of now is from a period group based in Berlin.

If you aren't happy with your Bach try the tried and true favorite on a Decca twofer and conducted by Benjamin Britten. You can find it on Amazon here:http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Brandenburg-Concertos-Britten-ECO/dp/B00000425M/ref=sr_1_5?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1299740548&sr=1-5

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#341861 - 03/12/11 10:27 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: Captain4105]
DanielBMe Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Toronto - ON
Not sure if this is on the same topic but does anyone have any recommendations for some great cello music? I'm looking for something very...emotional and stirring. I have the Yo-Yo Ma 6 Cello Suites and enjoyed it and so thought I'd like to hear some more. I also have some of his music for Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon which I really love. YOu can feel the passion in it which I find moving.
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#341873 - 03/12/11 01:24 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: DanielBMe]
Adrian Offline
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Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6600
Loc: It's all about the location.
Daniel, if you like cello(and singing) with a somewhat Middle Eastern/Old World flair to it, try Caroline Lavelle . She also is a mainstay in much of Loreena McKennitts work and plays some stirring cello solos as in this rendition of Dante's Prayer.
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#341875 - 03/12/11 01:49 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: Adrian]
DanielBMe Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Toronto - ON
Adrian, I listend to both links provided but to be honest I lean towards non vocal.
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#341879 - 03/12/11 02:20 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: DanielBMe]
michael_d Offline
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Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3875
Loc: Up yonder
I like Cello too.

Wanna try something different? Yo Yo Ma in Appalachian Waltz. Kind of a mix between classical and blue grass. I really like it.

Another favorite is Janine Jansen; Four Seasons on SACD. (I like Vivaldi as well)
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#341884 - 03/12/11 03:32 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: michael_d]
Ken.C Offline
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Jacqueline du Pre has some good stuff.
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#341887 - 03/12/11 04:10 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: Ken.C]
DanielBMe Offline
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Already found some of her music on utube. Great stuff! I'll have to see if I can find some music in my local cd shop. I may have to order from Amazon though.
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#341909 - 03/12/11 09:54 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: DanielBMe]
JohnK Offline
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Absolutely, Dan; have suggestions for great cello music that even sounds good when the volume control runs backwards!

The prime choice is this recording of the great Dvorak Cello Concerto plus emotional Jewish-inspired music(Schelomo and Kol Nidrei). This was my suggestion here before and several of our members reported buying and enjoying it.

Next, I'll list the little-known, but beautiful, Cello Concerto and "City of Light" 22nd Symphony by American composer(from Seattle)Alan Hovhaness. Mr. Hovhaness himself conducted the symphony with the Seattle Symphony.

Ma(I assume that you were referring to his performances of the Bach Cello Suites)and Maazel collaborated in fine performances of the Lalo and Saint-Saens Cello Concertos on this disc .

The celebrated Schumann Cello Concerto and Brahms "Double" Concerto for Cello and Violin are both given fine performances here .

These links are Amazon U.S., but these items are also listed on Amazon Canada and are available(including from U.S. sellers such as Import CDs)at bargain prices of just a few dollars each.
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#341914 - 03/12/11 10:45 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: JohnK]
pmbuko Offline
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Originally Posted By: JohnK
The prime choice is this recording of the great Dvorak Cello Concerto plus emotional Jewish-inspired music (Schelomo and Kol Nidrei). This was my suggestion here before and several of our members reported buying and enjoying it.

The music on this disc is fantastic. I bought it on John's recommendation -- he could have got a little money out of it it he were an Amazon Associate (hint, hint) -- and was pretty much blown away by the music.
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#341958 - 03/13/11 12:44 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: JohnK]
DanielBMe Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Toronto - ON
THanks for the links. Just curious as to the quality of the recordings. I suspect the Yo-Yo Ma one would be good since it's recent. How about the others?

Right now my collection consists of all Yo-Yo Ma. I have his Bach Sic Unaccompanied Cello, Silk Road Journeys Beyond the Horizon, Soul of the Tango, Plays the Music of John WIlliams, and Essential Yo-Yo Ma. I just downloaded a bunch of flac recordings I found on the internet to see if I like them enough to buy. So far so good.

I definitely will add Jacqueline du Pre. I plan on buying this one of hers Amazon Link 1
I'll also check out your recommendation

Lalo, Saint-Saëns: Cello Concertos

I have to say I find it very difficult to figure out what CD's to buy. I just type in a search in Google "best cello recordings" and then follow the links. I found most that way including a Jian Wang and
this
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#341966 - 03/13/11 04:26 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: DanielBMe]
DanielBMe Offline
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I finally got around to listening to Yo-Yo Ma Plays John Williams. WOw! Some of those tunes, especially tracks 2 and 3 really made my speakers sing!

I'm not sure what's better when listening to music like this, 2 channel or switching to PLII to get surround sound? I would assume the overall sound quality would be better from the M60's than the VP150 no?


Edited by DanielBMe (03/13/11 04:55 PM)
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#341972 - 03/13/11 05:57 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: DanielBMe]
alan Offline
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Posts: 3186
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Hi DanielB,

It really depends on the engineering of the source recording, whether or not it will "decode" into excellent sounding PLII. If the recording has generous ambience, DPLII will usually extract that and route it to the surrounds, producing a pleasant expansion of hall sound and upgrade in realism. If it's a dry studio job, it may not benefit at all from DPLII.

As to the VP150, I think it would be quite good with cello. I used to occasionally fault the 150 mainly on male/female vocals and orchestral horns and brasses.

Alan
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#341987 - 03/13/11 07:08 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: alan]
DanielBMe Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Toronto - ON
Hey Alan, I was switching between 2 channel and PLII while listening to some tracks. Turns out I quite liked the sound of the VP150 with cello.
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#342013 - 03/13/11 10:54 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: DanielBMe]
JohnK Offline
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Dan, all of those suggested are of fine sound quality and allow full appreciation of the great music.

It really isn't a good idea in classical music to make a particular solo performer the overwhelmingly important factor in making a choice. Note that on three of the four suggestions, I made no mention of the identity of the cellist and only mentioned Ma because you'd heard his Bach Cello Suites. I happen to have him as the soloist on one of my cello recordings, but that certainly wasn't the determining factor. Ma is generally excellent, but these days there're many other cellists who perform as well or better on specific compositions.

My list was pretty much in order of preference, and the Dvorak Concerto/Schelomo/Kol Nidrei disc is the indispensable one which you should consider first.

I always listen to 2-channel recordings in surround using a mode such as DPLII. You of course have the option to set the center speaker to "No" if you prefer and listen with surround ambience, which is more significant than the center speaker.
All recordings, in my experience, benefit at least to some degree from this.
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#342049 - 03/14/11 09:03 AM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: JohnK]
DanielBMe Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Toronto - ON
Hey John,

I'll definitely be adding the Dvorak Concerto/Schelomo/Kol Nidrei disc to my collection. I do have to say I do like Ma's work. I listened to Soul of the Tango and Brazil CD's. His were the easiest for me to find and start with but definitely won't be the only one.
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#342200 - 03/15/11 03:41 PM Re: Classical Music Recommendations [Re: DanielBMe]
Ken.C Offline
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Edgar Meyer... can't believe I forgot about him. Although I guess he mostly does bass...
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