Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Starting and managing a classical music collection

The very first thing you need is a guidebook which reviews CDs and tells you which are the best recordings for all the major works. If you are going to go to the trouble of building up a collection, it is worthwhile ensuring that you get good quality recordings, and a CD guidebook will tell you the differences between the best recordings, helping you to avoid lemons. I use The Grammophone magazine’s Classical Good CD Guide 2002. The latest edition has been slightly renamed as The Classical Good CD & DVD Guide 2006, alluding to the fact that many operas are now appearing on DVD. Penguin also does a guidebook, The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs and DVDs.

As your collection grows, it is worthwhile thinking about storage. There are plenty of plastic monstrosities you can use. If you want something elegant that also keeps the dust off your collection, then you should turn to Manufactum. This German firm sells elegant marble paper-lined wooden boxes with six drawers that take 150 CDs.

Here are some suggestions for essential CDs for your collection. Where I have views on the recording to buy, I have given details.
  • Handel: Coronation Anthems, conducted by Preston and Pinnock (Archiv)
  • Allegri: Miserere, Choir of King’s College Cambridge (Decca)
  • Beethoven: 9 Symphones, conducted by Leonard Bernstein (DG)
  • Saint-Saens: Organ Symphony, conducted by Daniel Barenboim
  • Chopin: Piano Works, pianist: Vladimir Ashkenazy (Decca)
  • Brahms: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra no. 1, pianist: Maurizio Pollini (DG)
  • Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker
  • Handel: Acis and Galateia
  • Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique


Post a Comment

<< Home