The classical music thread

He still writes in The Oldie. I was not a good student of his and we didn’t always see eye to eye but I learnt a lot about music from him. And I regret that I could have learnt so much more. He was instrumental in introducing me to Mahler and in making one look more broadly at the musical landscape beyond the traditional (witness the operas that he took us to).

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Continuing Karajan’s airtime with his controversial Don Giovanni. The approach is serious, glamorous, paced to perfection and well recorded. One of my favorite recordings of this endlessly fascinating work.



Strangely, one of my English teachers was also to be found on the pages of Gramophone: John Steane who specialised in vocal music, opera and choral, in particular. He also contributed a Quarterly Retrospect, looking back on recent vocal recordings even where someone else had written the original review. And he was the author of several books on classic vocal recordings, including The Grand Tradition: Seventy Years of Singing on Record.

Often to be heard on Radio 3, too. As a Vaughan Williams fan, I particularly remember a programme he did on VW’s Serenade to Music. As an English teacher, I guess Shakespeare’s lyrical text appealed as much as the luminous musical setting.

He died more than a decade ago, sadly.



It’s Sunday evening ehre, and I am waiting for my smoker to finish some chicken quarters for dinner. Here’s some great music to pass the time. Not all of it though, it’s the complete 14-LP box set. I acquired this in the early 80s and have always enjoyed it when it comes out for play. I noticed recently while browsing my copy of the Penguin guide – that wants to fall apart from age and use – that this set gets a Rosetta.

Haydn, Piano Trios, Beaux Arts Trio, on Philips.

I actually have two copies of this. My original copy has a few discs that are a bit on the noisy side. Some years ago I came across an eBay auction for a minty copy. No one bid on it so I ended up getting it for $18 shipped. And it is minty, mostly perfect.


That was a bit of a steal, getting a 14LP mint Philips set for $18. You will have lovely, clean Dutch pressings there, I hope!

That said, I’m not familiar with the music at all.

Thank you very much. I listened to the first few bars only and picked my sheet book, this is how confused I got.

While this is without any doubt an interesting recording, I think the one that comes closest to the actual notes is the Acadamy’s one, featuring Thomas Allen:

Love these discussions.

I would love a copy of the Marriner one.
I have The Magic Flute & Cosi Fan Tutte in this series already.
The Flute is absolutely my favourite recording.

Yes, Dutch pressings. The Haydn Trios are wonderful chamber works, and the Beaux Arts Trio is one of the best performers of piano trios in general. They have done the trios of many classical and romantic era composers.

There are some truly wonderful older recordings of ‘Don Giovanni’: I have Josef Krips on an ancient (1955?) Decca Wiener Philharmoniker account, the classic Giulini (with Eberhard Wæchter as the Don) EMI/Legge account (1963), and Bœhm’s ‘live’ Vienna recording (with Sherrill Milnes) from 1977 (DGG).

I don’t think that any later recordings (including Marriner’s) match these.

Theodor Currentzis’s much more recent recordings have garnered much praise, but I haven’t heard them, so can’t comment on them.

That’s interesting, I never compared to the score itself! I’ve once read that no single performance can do full justice to the work, and that all good performances have an angle. In that respect, Haitink (also with Tom Allen as Don Juan) and Muti (with Shimell) come highly recommended as well!

I haven’t listened to Marriner for a long time but have it on CD, will give it a spin one of these days.


I was fortunate to see ‘Don Giovanni’ just down the road from me at Glyndebourne about 10 years ago, with Vladimir Jurowski conducting his London Philharmonic, a truly wonderful evening.

Everyone who loves opera should try to visit Glyndebourne at least once, as it is a magical place, and the (fairly newly built) auditorium is an ideal (and beautiful) place to stage operas.

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Krips’ recording comes from a different time - the singing less accurate than you’d hear today. But worth it to hear Siepi as a deep bass Don. Giulini is often mentioned as the best of them all, and perhaps it is - I have it on Japanese-pressed SACD - but all the personality on display can get a bit glossy I feel sometimes? Davis managed his superstar crew just as well and might also be considered in this company.
So many riches… on the outside I have Jacobs, Gardiner and Norrington - they aimed to shake up the establishment, but enjoyable in their own way.

Just went looking on Discogs, but it seems there is no Vinyl release of this, only CD☹️

The original ‘Gramophone’ review of the Giulini famously concluded that listenung to the set was like a year’s study in an Italian university.

This quote is included in the notes of the 2021 remastering: “This set put into the hands of those who have not yet unlocked the paradise of Mozartian opera is worth — what? A year at a foreign university? I don’t believe I exaggerate.”

It’s a minor miracle the recording worked as well as it did, as Giulini was a late replacement for Klemperer and had not yet conducted the work; the two concerts planned around this recording came after the recording sessions, but for these, a young Colin Davis stepped in.

Indeed they have @JosquinDesPrez . I had a VERY good day at my favourite charity shops today, amongst the haul was this:

Crazy cheap and looks to be Mint condition - only playing will tell of course.

There was recently on this thread some discussion of the Mozart String Quintets and I also managed to score this today. Also looks pretty unblemished.

Very :blush:


I was there once in 2016 to see Figaro. The performance was fine, but the weather was about 90 degrees Fahrenheit, I was in my one - winter weight - tuxedo, and the auditorium is not designed to handles that.

That is a nice haul indeed. I have both those sets of works, but difference performances. The Brahms Trios I have are Hydn-Trio, Wien on Telefunken, and the Mozart Quintets I have are the Grumiaux-Trio + 2nd violin and viola.

I might look for the Brahms Beaux Arts version.

Edit: I just found a Mint- copy of the Brahms and ordered it. I’ll see how it compares to my other version, but you can never go wrong with The Beaux Arts Trio.

I hate shops that put stickers on the album jackets. Arrrgghhh…

Agreed, though I complain less when they have such low numbers on the stickers :wink: