Symphonic Thursday

The Team:

Greatest Games:

Bach: Cello Suits (Fournier), Brandenburg Concertos (Britten), Mass in B Minor (Richter), St Matthew’s Passion (Richter), Cantatas (Richter), Well-Tempered Clavier (Feinburg), Violin Concertos (Oistrach)

Rachmaninoff: All-Night Vigil (Sveshnikov), 2nd Piano Concerto (Ashkenazy & Previn), 2nd Symphony (Previn), Trio Eliagique No. 2 (Rostropovich, Vajman and Serebrekov)

Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker (Previn), Violin Concerto in D (Heifetz), Swan Lake (Bonynge)

Dvořák: Cello Concerto (Fournier & Szell), 9th Symphony (Szell)

Schumann: Cello Concerto in A Minor (Rostropovich & Samosud), Piano Concerto in A Minor (Serkin), Three Romances (Kempff)

Grieg: Peer Gynt (Marriner), Piano Concerto in A Minor (Davis & Kovacevich)

Schubert: Impromptus & Late Sonatas (Brendel: analogue), 14th String Quartet (Berg), String Quintet in C (Hollywood), 8th & 9th Symphony (Krips)

Beethoven: String Quartets (Busch), 6th Symphony (Klemperer, Furtwängler 44), 7th Symphony (Kleiber), 9th Symphony (Furtwängler 42), 5th Piano Concerto (Kovacevich & Davis), Violin Concerto in D (Perlman), Sonatas (Kovacevich for the passionate pieces, Barenboim for the delicate ones)

Wagner: The Ring (Furtwängler), Das Rheingold (Keilberth), Tristan und Isolde (Barenboim)

Chopin: Piano Sonata No. 2 (Rachmaninoff), Nocturnes (Moravec), Preludes (Argerich), Etudes (Magaloff)

Mozart: 40th Symphony (Böhm), 20th Piano Concerto (Brendel), Requiem (Karajan), Piano Sonata in A Minor (Lipetti), Clarinet, Flute & Bassoon Concerto (Böhm)

Vivaldi: Magnificat & Gloria (Muti), Cello Concerto in E minor (Fournier), The Four Seasons (Perlman), Concerti Con Molti Strumenti (Biondi), Violin Concertos (Accardo)


This post is in honour of my ritual of listening to a classical symphony (concerto, quartet, mass, etc — no opera though, sorry, can’t stand it) on a Thursday evening. Bloody good. ‘Meditative loveliness’.

If you’re thinking ‘sigh, no authentic period-piece recordings here’ — fair enough, but I rate very few of them (not because they’re ‘historically informed’ but because they’re without depth), and if you’re thinking ‘where’s Stravinsky and Górecki?’ — I’m only including here pre-20th century artists, and if you’re thinking ‘where’s Brahms and Mahler?’ — I find them cold, conceited and very, very boring, and if you’re thinking ‘sigh, another list of white men’ see here.

Finally, if you’re into Beethoven’s Symphonies and want to listen to Furwängler’s peerless interpretations, check out the Chibás remasters. Pristine Classical are also exceptionally good.