The classical music thread

For the Shostakovich quartets you really need to listen to the Borodin Quartet - their SECOND survey. It’s available on Melodiya or on EMI (individual discs). Really, it blows everything else out of the water…


Yevgeny Mravinsky (with his Leningrad orchestra) made some exceptional recordings of some (not all) Stravinsky symphonies, once available as a 15 CD Erato box. He conducted a number of the symphonies’ premieres.

I don’t know if they’re still in the lists, but certainly looking out for.



The Borodins were my introduction to the string quartets. IIRC there was an album which coupled Borodin’s second quartet with Shostakovich 8. I bought it for the Borodin, but had to play the other side and somehow the Shostakovich quartet made an impression that has remained with me. It’s still the Shostakovich quartet I respond to most deeply.


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I have that set along with the Fitzwilliam. I first connected with the Shostakovich quartets through a single Fitzwilliam CD containing Nos. 3, 8, and 13. So I tend to favore that set.

RIP Ingrid Haebler. I always loved her playing with Henryk Szeryng especially. (Mozart/Beethoven sonatas, e.g.).

From Decca

We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Ingrid Haebler.

With an imposing discography, Haebler was regarded by many as Philips’ “house pianist”. She was admired for the grace and shapeliness of her phrasing, her pellucid cantabile touch, her crystalline articulation, and the warmth, sensitivity, and quietly nuanced expressivity of her interpretations.


I have just seen that Hyperion Records has been sold to Universal. Sorry if this has been mentioned before on this forum but I have loved many of their recordings from Hildegard of Bingen onwards. With Chandos one of the best companies and perhaps sad it is no longer a relatively small independent company.

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Just tried the new recording by Rachel Willis-Sørensen - No thanks! I’ll stick with the nine versions I have already. This is the first I ever heard and it remains a favourite, but my favourites do reorder themselves every so often.


i was hoping this might change their attitude towards streaming but no sign of this so far

I believe you can already stream via Apple Music (because of its link with the download service). Universal has its own streaming service, Stage + for its Decca and DG labels etc.
The biggest Apple download was 36,000 streams for a Stephen Hough Beethoven recording but this only equated to the same value as 36 cd’s. For this reason I guess streaming may not be available from Spotify and Tidal.

Many thanks for the Popp + Tennstedt recommendation!

If you want a ‘best’ recommendation for Strauss’s Four Last Songs, I’d go for Isokoski, Norman or the ever reliable Schwarzkopf. But there are others!

I have all of them! :slight_smile:

Schwarzkopf for me, her later Berlin SO recording, with George Szell (and seraphic solo violin playing - Edith Peinemann, from memory).

The LP seems to have slipped out of the catalogue - shame on you, EMI!

Here’s another. It is one I often forget about for some reason, maybe because it’s listed under Karajan. But Karajan was a master Straussian conductor and here he gets the very best out of the BPO and Janowitz. I have just played the Four Last Songs three times in succession. Sheer beauty! One of the finest IMHO.


I prefer her earlier, less-mannered performance with Ackermann… but have them both of course :slight_smile:

New to me! Thanks. Lined it up on Qobuz…

15 minutes later: Oh, wow! Thank you! Thank you very much. Powerful yet nuanced and delicate at the same time. Nice partnering from K, too. Agree with you that this is right up there…

Lovely recording, too. This really is something special…


That’s the version I have and used to really enjoy it, but each time I listen these days, I enjoy it a little less. I now find Schwarzkopf far too mannered for my taste in almost all repertoire. She seems to be promoting Schwarzkopf rather than the music – the Walter Legge influence, perhaps.

No surprise 7 of her 8 choices on Desert Island discs were of Schwarzkopf.


That’s fair.

Lisa della Casa made a lovely version for Decca in Vienna with, I think, Karl Bœhm conducting. I think that it was deleted long ago.

I’m just starting to play my latest used record acquisition, the Bach Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, performed by Arthur Grumiaux, recorded in the early 60s.

This is has been sort of a Holy Grail for me, as I have hunted for it on and off over the years, looking for a minty copy that wouldn’t be stupidly overpriced. This is not an original 1961 first press, but a very good 1970 repress. So far it sounds great, and I’m not so sure it’s ever been played. I see no visible evidence of spindle marks on the discs.

This joins my collection of five other sets on vinyl:

  • Nathan Milstein (50s Capital mono)
  • Nathan Milstein (DG stereo)
  • Henryk Szeryng (Archiv)
  • Sigiswald Kuijken (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi)
  • Sergiu Luca (Nonesuch)